At the end of October 2018, YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki predicted that the planned EU Copyright Directive would be a disaster for YouTubers if it were adopted.
„This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world. And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ.“
In Germany, this scenario was apparently taken very seriously. Many German YouTubers produced protest videos.
Since the directive affects all EU countries, however, we thought it would be instructive to compare the reaction in Germany to those of its fellow EU member states.
We have investigated what can be found in our 8 EU neighbours on protest videos against the EU directive. For this reason, the 20 YouTube channels with the most subscribers of countries neighboring Germany were analyzed for the keywords “saveyourinternet” and “Article 13” (each in the national language).
The result is clear: in the end, only 3.75% of the main YouTube channels in our neighbouring countries are opposed to the reform.
In Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Denmark, not a single TOP 20 YouTube channel has commented on the issue. In Poland, Belgium and the Czech Republic only one each out of the top 20 in each of those countries: the ones in Poland and Belgium clearly negative, and the one in the Czech Republic rather balanced.
In Austria, there are two channels that are clearly opposed to the reform and one channel that translates everything into various languages, including Article 13. But since this channel also links to the opponents‘ campaigns, it was recorded as an opponent of the reform.
In France the topic is addressed by only one of the TOP 20 – channels. CYRILmp4 explains the advantages of the guideline under the title „LE DRAMA DE L’ANNÉE !
In this respect it appears that the important YouTubers in our neighboring countries are not concerned that the reform really threatens the existence of their YouTube channels.
Germany, on the other hand, is the HotSpot of YouTuber’s opposition to the reform. Here 6 of the 20 largest channels (30%) oppose the reform. But YouTuber Gronkh does not do this on his YouTube channel but only on Twitter; therefore he is not included in the above graphic. The main agitator LeFloid has presented 11 videos on the topic.
Via channelcrawler.com, the Top 20 YouTubers with the majority of subscribers for each neighboring state were investigated in calendar week 11 (March 11th -16th.)
Then the search function of the respective channel was used to search for videos with “saveyourinternet” or “Article 13” in the respective national language. All the videos displayed were then checked to see whether the search results had anything to do with the topic. In case of doubt, videos were attributed to the opponents of Article 13.