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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Smoking in rental cars

Smoking in a rental car or car sharing is more than just inconsiderate!

In the 21st century, smoking in public is no longer a socially accepted behavior, simply because it’s no longer ok to poison others.

I do not care what you do in your own home, or your own car – but do not leave your cigarette buds in something shared!

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(car2go, HH-GO 7850, 3/17/19)

Inbox sunset

A couple of weeks before the official sunset I’ve finally moved back to Gmail on all my devices.

I will for sure miss the much more modern interface and the easy grouping of Emails by topic!

Also, having a tight integration with Google Trips made my life much easier.

Apps come and go – I’ll miss that one, though, at least for a couple of weeks .

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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)

Berlin gegen 13

Last Saturday I attended the first rally in Berlin against Article 13 of the revised EU Copyright Directive.

Pretty impressive turnout and a number of prominent artists that were supporting the event – Berlin being Berlin, there was more techno music than chanting, but overall it was a well organized rally and I am glad I went.

Monday then saw a move by the EPP to move the date of the parliamentary vote forward a couple of weeks, to avoid the European protests on March 23rd – so we all took to the streets on Tuesday, forcing the EPP to back down, not without them trying some rather dirty maneuvers first, though.

This Saturday we’ll again have rallies, in Germany 9 cities have signed up so far.

The struggle continues!

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(Picture taken with permission from an accompanying adult)

Think Article 13 will only affect Gen Z and YouTube?

The whole internet generation is up in arms – reason is article #13 of the revised EU Copyright Directive, due for final parliamentary vote late March.

In a nutshell, the directive will make all commercial platforms older than 3 years, that have “online content sharing” “liable for unauthorized acts of communication to the public of copyright protected works and other subject matter” (Quotes from https://juliareda.eu/2019/02/eu-copyright-final-text/).

This affects only (your) YouTube kids, right?

Unfortunately, not. Article 13 is not only about video – images, photos, music and texts are also copyright protected works (including this article, by the way).

Under the new regulation, _all_ sharing sites, and that includes professional networks such as LinkedIn or Xing, will become liable for copyright violations of their users and will have to take reasonable measures to prevent such violation to occur (hence the #uploadfilter).

Prior to publishing any user-generated content, any provider will have to make sure that the text, image or video does not contain any copyrighted material – if it fails to do that, it will open itself up for litigation (not mentioning the link tax here, for brevity and readability), which will pose a significant financial risk.

As an example, let’s look at this text: No platform whatsoever can determine for sure whether I have written this text myself (for the record: I did) or whether I copied it from one or more sources on the internet. The best option to avoid litigation thus is to disable uploads from users, and only buy content from well-known publishers.

That’s what everybody is afraid of – the end of user-generated content, the end of Social Media, and the end of professional networking sites.

Article 13 will not protect artists, and it will not do anything to help them secure an income from their work. This claim is being perpetuated by a lot of organizations, unfortunately it turns out to be false once you read the actual text of the directive; intention and execution seem to be quite a bit out of sync here.

We have only days, or possibly a couple of weeks left before the final vote, and we need to act now!

Convinced? Call your MEPs and help them make the right decision:

Not yet? Here are some more resources:

Thank you!

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(Image copyright by www.savetheinternet.info)

Notarzteinsatz am Gleis

Yesterday, on my way to the article 13 rally in Berlin, someone in deep desperation jumped out in front of our train and killed themself.

I hope they will now find the peace they were looking for!

My heart goes out to the train driver, who will have to live with this trauma for the rest of their life and I hope they will have the support and strength needed to deal with it!

I am also very thankful for the Deutsche Bahn officials involved, who drove the train to the nearest station, saving us from evacuation.

I bow my head in deep respect

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Demo against Article 13 in Cologne

Yesterday saw the first demo against Article 13 in Cologne, there are many more to come all over Europe in the coming weeks. For an up-to-date list, please check here

Needless to say that the current version of Article 13 spells disaster for all smaller providers and will change the Internet and Social Media as we know it to the worse.

But I was amazed at the turnout – with a mere two days of preparation the organizers reached about 2000 people on the street, and 16000 in Livestreams.

With #FridaysForFuture and #WirSindKeineBots this new Generation Z has the will and the ability to change the world and make it better!

It’s now time for us adults to support them as much as we can!

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Article 13

The EU Copyright Directive has been made much worse.

Now, Article13 requires mandatory copyright filters for any online community that has existed for 3 or more years, regardless of size.

This will greatly change social media as we know it and dramatically reduce the number of platforms, leaving only corporate voices to be heard.

If you haven’t done anything yet, now is the time to act!

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(Image: https://tecnoblog.net/248010/projetos-copyright-uniao-europeia/)