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 →
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.