Twitch CEO: Article 13 was ‘drafted quite poorly’ and ‘leaves a ton of questions’

The legislation won't go into effect 2021, however.

Image via Twitch

The day the European Parliament passed the controversial copyright legislation known as Article 13, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear spoke about its possible impact on the streaming platform at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Dinner. 

The law leaves much to be interpreted, Shear said.

“It’s extremely unclear, the legislation was drafted, in my opinion, quite poorly and it leaves a ton of questions opened,” Shear said. “It’s totally unclear what we have to do to comply or not.”

The new law makes internet platforms responsible for copyright infringement by their users. Major internet platforms are preparing to put heavy restrictions in place for European consumers to avoid copyright problems.

Due to the confusion over the new law, Shear said he sees the “next phase” involving member states writing their own rules for how they will comply with Article 13. Depending on what these interpretations of Article 13 might be, it may influence how Twitch navigates the legislation. If the rules surrounding Article 13 are specific, Shear said the law might have a lesser impact on Twitch.

“In theory, if all those rules were written well it might be OK because it is very vague so it gives you a lot of room,” he said. During the interview, Shear said Twitch will work to ensure the right rules are put in place involving Article 13. “We’re going to be lobbying to make sure that we think the right thing to happen is to go build legislation which is going to enable fair use and is going to enable people to experiment and try new things,” Shear said.

Related: Forsen talks about moving to avoid Article 13

As a whole, Shear said Twitch does not run into as much copyright infringement issues as other platforms. Instead, he said, “we’re in that happy position where we have a bunch of people who are excited to have their stuff streamed on Twitch.” Shear cited Apex Legends as an example, saying part of Apex’s marketing plan was to use influencers on Twitch.

For now, it’s a waiting game for Twitch and streamers. It’s apparent Article 13 will change the way creators use the internet, however, the extent of this change is unknown. Since Article 13 will not go into effect until 2021, Twitch has time to put a plan in place to comply with the new legislation while still benefiting streamers and their audiences.