Wednesday's vote to press ahead with mandatory copyright filters for the European internet is catastrophic for the web: starting a new business just got $60-100 million more expensive, because building filters for every kind of copyrighted work ain't cheap.
That's bad news for anyone who lets internet users communicate with each other, from Tinder to rental listings to Wikipedia, but especially hard-hit will be games. Raising the table stakes for starting a competitor to Blizzard is a surefire way to crush any competition to the current giants of the games industry, and mandatory filter rules will kill mom-and-pop Minecraft hosting and other small players. Add to that the potential for griefing — all you need to do to make your opponent's avatar disappear is claim their skin on the copyright filters.
It's not too late: the next vote will likely be on July 4: contact your MEP and get THREE PEOPLE to do the same. MELT THE SWITCHBOARDS, SAVE THE INTERNET!
The directive has other potential effects as well. Trolls and griefers might consider filing copyright claims en masse. These claims could limit creators from posting their content until a moderator could assess the validity of the claim. Embittered copyright claims on YouTube content are already a reality and the prospect of trolls unleashing claims to sabotage mod creators or server hosts is chilling.
And, of course, there's also the very real threat that your favorite service might decide that compliance with the law is too costly to be feasible, and shut down. Kotaku reached out to providers of games with large amounts of user content such as Roblox and VR Chat but did not receive comment in time for publication. When ask how the directive might affect storefronts and games like Minecraft, Microsoft declined to comment.
Proposed EU Copyright Law Could Cause Problems For Fan Content In Games [Heather Alexandra/Kotaku]