YouTube's Susan Wojcicki says Article 13 "poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world"

YouTube's Susan Wojcicki says Article 13 "poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world"

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has spoken out against legislation that could affect creators on the platform.

This year, the European Union has given the green light to Article 13, a new law that comes as part of a long-running Copyright Reform Act.

Dubbed as an "upload filter", this law would make content hosting sites liable for copyright violations. This means YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter et al would be responsible for finding and removing copyrighted material. This could put content such as memes, song parodies and UGC at risk of being removed by platforms.

In a recent blog post, Wojcicki spoke about how the proposed law could put content creators at risk.

"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," 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 includes YouTube’s incredible video library of educational content, such as language classes, physics tutorials and other how-to’s."

Wojcicki went on to detail that Article 13 could also threaten "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. It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content."

Speaking out

Wojcicki is not the only YouTube exec to speak out about the proposed changes. YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl also highlighted the platform's concerns prior to the vote back in September. 

Kyncl wrote that the directive in its current state could start “discouraging or even prohibiting platforms from hosting user-generated content."

In September, the EU voted in favour of Article 13. However, the board will continue to negotiate terms in to 2019 and a final vote for the legislation will take place in January. 


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.