The Article 13 copyright legislation winding its way through the European Union parliament would put “hundreds of thousands of jobs” at risk, and dramatically change the online video market if passed as written, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a blog post Monday.
Wojcicki addressed Article 13 in a post updating the platform’s creators about various priorities, which also included concerns around monetization, communication and transparency, and education.
While Wojcicki generally had good news to share about the strides the company has made in improving communication with creators and improving monetization opportunities, she painted Article 13 as presenting a grave threat to the platform.
Article 13 requires internet companies to check all content uploaded to their platforms for copyright infringement and filter the content that people post to ensure compliance. The EU parliament passed the bill, although the final language is still subject to change. A number of technology companies and content creators argue that the language renders them effectively unable to host content.
“Article 13 as written threatens to shut down the ability of millions of people -- from creators like you to everyday users -- to upload content to platforms like YouTube,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote. “And it threatens to block users in the EU from viewing content that is already live on the channels of creators everywhere.”
“This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” she added. “And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ. The proposal could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies.”
Wojcicki’s note also said the company is expanding its “memberships” option, which allows creators to have subscribers pay a monthly fee to support their channel. YouTube will now allow channels with 50,000 or more subscribers to add a membership option, down from the current 100,000 subscribers.
The company’s YouTube Premieres product — which enables creators to schedule a video to publish and allow viewers to communicate with each other and the creator as it runs — will now be available to all creators in the platform.