Shortly before the supposedly last trialogue on the copyright reform of the EU, many „stakeholders“ once again took a stand—or at least, a virtual stand largely through websites such as saveyourinternet.eu whose owners and participants remain deliberately cloaked. While the saveyourinternet.eu site was originally registered by a Belgian Google lobby company in spring 2018, it is now hidden in the registration data of EURID, without a legally valid legal notice, only with the note that it is „managed“ by the organization EDRi. According to the E-Commerce Directive this is not sufficient.
As in the summer of 2018, e-mails to members of parliament are organized there – to whom these are to be written becomes obvious, the „bad“ MEPs are all marked red and so that it is really a pain they listed with telephone numbers (Strasbourg and Brussels). This is public shaming deluxe again.
There are also text suggestions for the mails and, as usual, the creatives, who are the subject of the directive, are not mentioned themselves. The mails can then be sent in blocks of 20 in the bcc directly to all those who, in the opinion of saveyourinternet.eu, are for or against Article 13.
We have already made it clear on WebSchauder that saveyourinternet.eu is directly or indirectly backed by the Tech Giants associations.
Facebook makes you sit up and take notice. The British former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a new Head of Global Affairs for Facebook, was barely introduced when he made his first interesting public statements.
“Regulation is not so bad”, Clegg told the Financial Times. As a former senior member of the government, presumably this comes naturally to Clegg because he simply knows it from his work.
Clegg made another surprising yet unsurprising statement on the subject of campaigns. In light of the possible influence of Facebook advertising on elections, Clegg promised that future campaigns on Facebook would be clearly labeled, for example, „Paid By.”
Facebook is somewhat ahead of the EU in this respect, which is currently making efforts to do something about disinformation—especially in view of the EU election in May 2019.
This includes Brussels demanding monthly updates from Internet companies such as Google or Facebook, in which they must present what they have actually done to counter disinformation by, at a minimum, providing greater transparency. We will see whether this effort to promote greater transparency is successful, and one might be forgiven for having doubts based on past performance, but evolution is an agonizingly slow process.
The other way The Saveyourinternet.eu campaign takes a completely different approach masked in lack of transparency. As described in detail in earlier articles, the website played a central role in the attempted manipulation of EU parliamentarians by mail avalanches and Twitter storms in the summer of 2018.
The website was registered at the time by the lobby company N-Square from Belgium, which also does work for Google.
If you look at the current registration data for the website, you will see that the site is now anonymous. Tricks – Camouflage – Deception weiterlesen →
January 2019: The group Anonymous has now joined the ranks of opposition to the new EU Copyright Directive. Their emblem is the Guy Fawkes mask known from the graphic novel and film “V for Vendetta”.
The mask plays on the story of the failed attempt of the English officer Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators to blow up the House of Lords in 1605.
The group declared that 19 January 2019 would be a new day of protest with demonstrations across Europe. Eight were announced for Poland and 15 more for additional EU states, including two in Germany and one in Oslo, Norway – a non-EU country. Hard times for selling masks weiterlesen →
A request by the German political party the FDP in the Bundestag in October 2018 shows how important the issue of illegal distribution of TV content via the Internet (IPTV) really is.
Obviously, the FDP based their request on a study carried out by the Vaunet association from August 2018. The association’s study examined the usage behaviour of consumers and tried to quantify the economic damage. According to the study, this amounted to € 700 million for Germany alone.
However, the provider’s view is missing in the analysis. Illegal services are not isolated. They require many intermediaries to function. These intermediaries play an important, if not decisive, role in solving the problem. A key role is played in particular by data centres from which illegal IPTV streams are „sent“ into the world wide web. France – La Grande Nation when it comes to illegal IPTV weiterlesen →
For this ad hoc study, FDS File Defense Service and the IVD took a closer look at the intermediaries of the illegal IPTV streams. For this purpose, 25 relevant websites were examined. The sites regularly provide playlists in the form of M3U files (station and channel lists).
Such channel lists bring together a channel of IPTV streams and a receiver in a very convenient way. The M3U file is simply loaded into a program and the customer can see the channel lists and gets access to the channels in his program.
It becomes even more convenient with set-top boxes. Very often these are so-called KODI boxes, which then “conjure” the content on the TV screen.
The “free of charge” business model is used by such websites to distribute M3U files in order to lure in customers. Normally, M3U files have a very short lifetime (12 to 24 hours). Therefore, the user has to renew them permanently to use the free services. To avoid this hassle customers can simply pay a subscription fee. These illegal subscriptions cost only a fraction of the price of legal offers. For a mere € 10 or less a month there are hundreds of channels, including many Pay-TV channels.
This is not surprising because the distributors do not have any procurement costs for the content they market.
This study is based on approximately 45,000 transmitter and channel lists which are distributed by 25 web pages. These lists led to 211,000 analyzable illegal IPTV streams which were subsequently analyzed by origin (the data centre). In addition, the data home of the M3U Files distributing websites were examined. In the case of data centres spread over several countries, the headquarters of the main company was taken as the country of origin. IPTV – Data centres for illegal streaming services weiterlesen →
The streaming platform is exploiting its community for its own ends in the controversy over copyright in Europe and hasn’t shied away from misrepresenting the truth.
The controversy surrounding European copyright reform has entered a new phase following the release of an open letter and a video addressed to the YouTube community. On 22 October 2018, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed the operators of successful YouTube channels (“creators”) in a blog post and warned them that the implementation of Article 13 would result in numerous smaller channels being shut down and in important content becoming unavailable to viewers in Europe. YouTube’s new media order weiterlesen →
On 12 September 2018, the EU Parliament voted on the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The entire summer of 2018 was characterized by a gigantic lobbying assault as the directive’s opponents resorted to the means of asymmetrical lobbying and bombarded EU parliamentarians with avalanches of emails and floods of tweets in a manner resembling the handiwork of a grassroots movement.
Immediately after losing the September vote, the directive’s opponents marshaled their forces to sketch out how they could influence the trilogue process of upcoming negotiations on the legislation between the Council of the European Union (the member states), the EU Commission and the EU Parliament.
“It is coming from Google”? On 21 September 2018, the fifth “Das ist Netzpolitik!” [“This is net politics!”] conference took place in Berlin. One of the speakers was Julia Reda, the sole representative of the Pirate Party in the EU parliament. At the conference – addressing her supporters and requesting that they write to EU parliamentarians – she said:
The EU Copyright Directive, which has now been adopted by the EU Parliament, has been the subject of controversy, including e-mail bombardments of members of the European Parliament. The WebSchauder blog has reported and revealed who is behind the alleged citizens‘ protest.
This current campaign against the directive is similar to the dispute over the introduction of legal rules on net neutrality. Danish consultant John Strand produced an excellent study on this subject back in 2016 („The Moment of Truth – A Portrait of the Fight For Hard Net Neutrality Regulation by Save the Internet and Other Internet Activists“). Among other things, the study investigates the economic backgrounds of the participants and also describes campaigns carried out in the USA and India.
This article presents the similarities and differences between these alleged civil society campaigns.
Last weekend, several organizations called for a „Day of Action“ with demonstrations throughout Europe against the planned EU Copyright Directive. Among the supporters of the events were the Pirate Party, the Left, the Greens and the network association Load e.V. (FDP).
In any case the cards weren’t put on the table. Again.
The „Day of Action“ in Germany
The first event was Mainz on Saturday, August 25, 2018, where prominent members of the Bundestag such as Tabea Rösner (Die Grünen) and Manuel Höferlin (FDP) performed.
Nevertheless, they only spoke in front of about 30 participants.
While the poor attendance at the event in Mainz was notable – it was far from the worst showing of the day for the declared opposition to the copyright directive. Astroturf instead of grass roots: When clicktivism meets hard reality weiterlesen →
As mentioned in a previous article, saveyourinternet.eu’s campaign was primarily responsible for the flooding of MEPs‘ mailboxes with ready-made e-mails their Twitter accounts with automated tweets and their phones with switched phone calls including call guidelines.
The New Testament narrates numerous miracles attributed to Jesus Christ. One of them is the feeding of the multitude: Jesus is described as having multiplied a few loaves and fish so that five thousand people could eat and were satisfied.
The debate over the new EU Copyright Directive towards the end of June 2018 was characterized by a similarly remarkable form of multiplication. But what was being multiplied in this case was not bread or fish, but protest – or rather the appearance of protest.
To begin at the beginning … In September 2016, EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger put forward proposals for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Time passed, and Oettinger moved on to a new role within the Commission, but the wheels of bureaucracy continued to churn until the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) was due to vote on the proposed directive.
In the run-up to the vote, observers may have wryly recalled the dictum of German parliamentarian Peter Struck that no bill ever exits parliament in the form it enters it. The directive’s rapporteur Axel Voss (CDU/EPP) had the pleasure of steering a process in which numerous changes and additions to the text were negotiated before it was formally adopted by the JURI Committee and Voss was finally given a mandate to proceed to negotiations with the EU member states.