Max and Harvey

A week after Bars and Melody, Max and Harvey came for their first ever concert to Cologne, as part of the Coming Soon tour; support was Jenna Raine and I believe it was her first time in Cologne as well. I’m so glad to see so many talented artists coming to my home town!

The venue, Luxor, wasn’t as packed as it was the week before, but the concert was really enjoyable and I hope they’ll return soon

It’s the second video I created with Adobe Premiere – I might have a closer look at Adobe’s Creative Cloud. And a music subscription.

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(Max and Harvey stage, Luxor)

Bars & Melody

On their Choke Tour 2019, Bars & Melody had a concert in Cologne!

As always, it was great fun to see them perform; this time they had Iggy Kelly with them for support.

The club they played in (Luxor) is unfortunately not well lit, so the video did not turn out as good as I hoped it to be, but I’m still quite happy with it.

For the video I changed my editing tool, from Shotcut to Premiere Rush by Adobe – it’s not Open Source, but very comfortable; I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be keeping it, or going back to Shotcut.

I’m still behind on my videos, I hope to catch up during spring break though.

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(Queue outside Luxor)

Axel Voss in Fischenich

Thursday last week we had the opportunity to meet with Axel Voss, MEP at a public hearing of his party, the CDU, in Fischenich, a small hamlet near Cologne, Germany.

In many words, Axel Voss shared his view that the new EU Copyright Directive, and mainly Articles 11 thru 13, would not bring any changes and would be nowhere near as harmful as we fear. Axel is a master of speaking for a long time without saying anything – there’s a great video from that session on Jakob’s channel.

On the next day though, his own party through their legal expert, Heribert Hirte, issued a statement that the directive will indeed require filters, which was later confirmed by the EU Commission itself; most notably, the French government immediately started to work on such filters.

The new filters would also very nicely help with the new “terror legislation“, further reducing freedom of speech in social media.

In summary – it’s not as bad as we thought, it’s much worse!

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(Breitenbacher Hof, Fischenich)

Even worse: Sold out for Russian gas?

Nothing gets old as fast as news – just as we were looking at Helga Truepel hosting yet another lobby dinner, the FAZ published an article, outlining the background behind the surprise Trilog agreements that made the Copyright Directive so much worse.

According to this article by Hendrik Wieduwilt, the agreement reached between France and Germany was based on Russian gas; if the allegations hold true, the German government agreed to a much stricter copyright law in return for the French government agreeing to North Stream 2.

This is so bad, on so many counts – my feeling is that not even Franz-Josef Strauss would have done something so shady.

Not to mention that the CDU thus broke the coalition contract they had with the SPD, which explicitly stated that Germany would veto upload filters.

Personally, I am not happy with Germany buying so much gas from the Czar – but I would have never thought that our government would kill Social Media for it.

Definitely a new low in CDU/CSU politics

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(Image Twitter)

Lobbyism at its worst

An evening before the vote on the misguided EU Copyright Directive, lobby groups are holding a dinner for MEPs.

Impala are still touting the narrative that they are heroically fighting the evil US tech giants. Their tagline is Europe for Creators – Creators that have signed up with a media agency and hand over a substantial part of their income, that is.

They completely fail to understand that it is them, the old-school publishers and media agencies that forgot to adapt to the digital age, who are the evil lobby groups in this case – killing social media because they don’t want to adapt their business model and wouldn’t survive otherwise.

It’s indeed a struggle between David and Goliath – but with us creators being David, and them media agencies being Goliath.

I’m done commenting on the  shameful role of the Greens in this, with MEP Helga Truepel actively supporting the directive and fighting against everything the Greens ever stood for, without any opposition from her peers or her party.

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(Image by Markus Reuter, 3/25/19)

Blackout 21

Yesterday, on Thursday, March 21st, Wikipedia and a number of other sites went offline to support the fight against article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive.

So did I with this blog.

See you tomorrow at the EU-wide rallies against article 13!

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Lobbyism

The more I look into the details of the revised EU Copyright Directive, the clearer it becomes that this directive has been written for the sole purpose of propping up businesses that are not capable to adapt to the digital age.

In a new twist, the lobby group for the digital rights management firms here in Germany (GEMA, VG Wort, VG Bild-Kunst, VG Musikedition) sent out a letter, explaining that the primary goal of Article 13 was to collect licensing fees and in that letter positioned themselves as ideally suited to do so on behalf of all users.

In other words, the rights management firms have lobbied the EU parliament, under the pretense of protecting artists, for a way to force the platforms to pay them licensing fees for all user-generated content. Unbelievable! They want to get paid for rights to content that they don’t own and have never supported – in the past they had nothing but disdain for us mere creators.

And the EPP, some Progressives as well as some Greens support them.

I’m speechless.

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(Cologne Central Station, Emergency rally on Tuesday, March 5th)