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A year later: A review of the campaign against EU copyright reform

More recent findings allow a closer look at the campaigns, their backgrounds and, in particular, the key players in financing them.
About a year ago, the German protests against the reform of EU copyright law began. A group of about 120 demonstrators gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate, but they had some bad luck with the weather; June 22 was one of the few rainy days in the otherwise very dry German summer of 2018. A year later: A review of the campaign against EU copyright reform weiterlesen

Beyond Cloudflare: Data centres for pirated copies – The hall of shame

In February, this blog showed the importance of Cloudflare for Internet piracy.
This analysis was based on the top 5,000 of the still existing copyright infringing pages of the Google Transparency Report. These include more than 2.9 billion reports on deletions from the Google search index; they account for 79% of all reported URLs.
The 1,355 domains that are parked with companies such as Team Internet, Sedo or GoDaddy have to be subtracted from the 5,000 domains. Although these domains still exist, they are currently not used for copyright infringements.

This leaves 3,645 domains. Of these 3,645 copyright-infringing sites, 41.9% run via Cloudflare. For their part, they are responsible for 44.7% of the copyright infringements reported to Google.
But where are the other 58.1% of the pages or 55.3% of the infringing files? This will be examined in more detail below. Beyond Cloudflare: Data centres for pirated copies – The hall of shame weiterlesen

German Angst – Part 2

On Saturday, 16.03.2019, an article entitled „Purchased Protests?“ was published in the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), which stated that Create.Refresh tried to influence YouTubers and offered money to them to publish negative videos about the EU Copyright Directive.
This influence of Create.Refresh will be described in more detail below. Here, too, we will come across important German protagonists of the campaign who are against the planned regulation.

France – The failed attempt
In summer 2018, the Create.Refresh campaign addressed various YouTubers across Europe on this topic, including the French YouTube collective Tatou.
Tatou actually released a video in December 2018. However, the directive is not criticized in this one, in fact they backed the directive. Tatou documented how Create.Refresh contacted them.

Illustration: Screenshot from the Tatou video, letter from Create-Refresh.

Tatou also shows that Create.Refresh’s contact to the European YouTubers apparently went far beyond the mere proposal of video creation. As Tatou explains in their video, Create.Refresh sent a script, which other French YouTubers used for their videos.
In doing so, they even adopted mistakes that were contained in the script. German Angst – Part 2 weiterlesen

German Angst Part 1

At the end of October 2018, YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki predicted that the planned EU Copyright Directive would be a disaster for YouTubers if it were adopted.
„This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world. And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ.“

In Germany, this scenario was apparently taken very seriously. Many German YouTubers produced protest videos.

Since the directive affects all EU countries, however, we thought it would be instructive to compare the reaction in Germany to those of its fellow EU member states.
We have investigated what can be found in our 8 EU neighbours on protest videos against the EU directive. For this reason, the 20 YouTube channels with the most subscribers of countries neighboring Germany were analyzed for the keywords “saveyourinternet” and “Article 13” (each in the national language).

The result is clear: in the end, only 3.75% of the main YouTube channels in our neighbouring countries are opposed to the reform. German Angst Part 1 weiterlesen

Who tweets on EU copyright?

The debate on the reform of EU copyright law has many facets and a considerable part of the discussion takes place on Twitter.

The power of hashtags
On the one hand, hashtags are used to search for key words in discussions particularly quickly and effectively. On the other hand, it is very easy to find out which topics receive special attention on Twitter by analyzing which terms are often hashed and how often and dynamically they are shared. These terms are then displayed as so-called „trending topics“ on the Twitter home page. The so-called „retweeting“, i.e. the unchanged forwarding of a tweet along with hashtags to one’s own followers, is an important factor here.
The frequency of use and distribution of hashtags is therefore often seen as an indicator of the public relevance of certain topics. If, for example, the #saveyourinternet hash tag appears regularly in the trending topics, the impression is created that more and more people are rejecting the copyright reform. Who tweets on EU copyright? weiterlesen

Pledge2019 – Old wine in new wineskins?

In summer 2018 the campaign platform Saveyourinternet.eu set up to fight against the EU copyright reform. The campaign was organized by C4C, which is mainly financed by the American CCIA and the Open Society Foundation. This was criticized at the time. The website Saveyourinternet was later „taken over“ by EDRi; C4C was out.

Now there is a new action platform Pledge2019.eu, which claims to be „independent“ and „without any support from Google or other web giants“.

We need to look at this in more detail.

Pledge2019 – Old wine in new wineskins? weiterlesen

Statement on the publication of 28.02.2019

On 28.02.2019 an article with the title „Who tweets on the EU Copyright Directive“ was published on this blog.

The article looked at the regional origin, so-called geoloca, of tweets with mentions of certain hashtags.
The database was based on figures from the professional service Talkwalker. The extract of the figures from Talkwalker was made to the best of our ability. Extensive tests with very different Hashtags were carried out (also from those which were not discussed in the article) and the numbers from Talkwalker seemed quite plausible. Statement on the publication of 28.02.2019 weiterlesen

Cloudflare: The bad, the worse and the ugly?

In the US, a large technology company is about to go public. Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based company, wants to collect nearly $3.5 billion on the stock exchange in the first half of the year with the support of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. But there are dark shadows over Cloudflare. The spectrum of its customers ranges from credit card fraudsters and spammers, to sites that engage in copyright infringement as a business model, to terrorist sites. Even US embargos are undermined. Cloudflare: The bad, the worse and the ugly? weiterlesen

US Tech industry calls on US government to intervene in E.U. political process to allow them to continue to exploit creators

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.

Illustration: Raise Your Voice & Act Against Article 13 at https://saveyourinternet.eu/fi/#Intro

We have already made it clear on WebSchauder that saveyourinternet.eu is directly or indirectly backed by the Tech Giants associations.

But this new mail wave is something like barking up the wrong tree. US Tech industry calls on US government to intervene in E.U. political process to allow them to continue to exploit creators weiterlesen

Tricks – Camouflage – Deception

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

Hard times for selling masks

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.

Screenshot from the StopACTA2.org website

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

France – La Grande Nation when it comes to illegal IPTV

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