After January, Google could decide that linking to news sites is too costly. Which means if you googled, say, "EU copyright vote," there would be no news stories about the vote. The first page of search results would probably be a few government websites and maybe a Wikipedia article about what the European Parliament is. (Although, this law will also seriously affect Wikipedia, as well.)
Most photos and videos on places like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube would either have such aggressive filters that people would stop trying to use them, or they would no longer allow people in the EU to upload content. Already, large swathes of YouTube are blocked for regional copyright reasons in the EU. Apple's App Store does this as well. Most likely this would just increase this.
It could very quickly create two internets. One without the Copyright Directive and one with it. But perhaps more alarming is the idea that social media platforms might decide it's easier to make all users play by EU regulations.
"The closest example is the GDPR," Rossi said. "What happened was because of scalability and ease of compliance, tech platforms decided to implement the GDPR outside of the EU."
In May of this year, the EU triggered the General Data Protection Regulation. Overnight, new data protection rules were unleashed on the internet. You may have casually noticed more of your favorite websites asking you if you wanted to opt in to them tracking your cookies, or asking you to manage your privacy settings. Which means upload filters and link taxes won't stay a European problem for long.
"We may see that for some internet platforms to comply for a worldwide operation than a European operation," Rossi said, "it’s easier for them to comply to one law than many laws."