YouTube already has a system called Content ID, whereby it uses an algorithm to detect and remove copyright violations. Some users on the platform have argued that this system is currently open to abuse, and fear more stringent filtering measures could could make matters worse.
And Google's video sharing site isn't the only company at risk. EDiMA, a tech lobbying group representing the company and others including Facebook and Twitter, claims it will affect a wide array of companies from e-commerce platforms like Amazon to dating services like Tinder.
"Instead of merely taking down infringing content specifically identified to it, a service provider will have to prevent the upload of that content in the first place," Kathy Berry, an intellectual property lawyer at Linklaters, said. "This could therefore have very significant ramifications for those providing digital services in the EU."
The whole episode has been characterized as effectively a battle of "Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley." Artists and media firms argue that the directive is needed as they're losing out from the unfettered sharing of their intellectual property on online platforms.
Tech giants like Google and Twitter, meanwhile, are concerned the reforms will do more damage to the web than good. Google argues the new law will "hurt Europe's creative and digital economies," while Twitter says it's concerned about the potential impact on the "open, creative and conversational nature of the internet."
As for Facebook, the social media giant says it will work with all relevant parties to align its own rules with that of EU member states.
The next step for the directive is ratification from the European Council, the institution that brings together different EU governments. If it passes that stage, EU member states will then have up to two years to figure out how to implement it.