EU Censorship News

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 Offsite Article: A dangerous tweet...


Link Here 23rd April 2017
twitter 2015 logo Jail for a joke: student's case puts free speech under spotlight in Spain

See article from theguardian.com

 

  Running scared of popular opinion...

Germany demands that people running small streaming channels on the likes of YouTube obtain broadcasting licences and submit to the associated state censorship


Link Here 14th April 2017

Germany flagThe German broadcasting authority, the Landesmedienanstalt , has issued a temporary ruling requiring streamers using services such as Twitch and YouTube to obtain a broadcasting license to avoid penalties. This license, known in German as the Rundfunklizenz , can cost anywhere from 1000 to 10,000 euro to obtain.

The news comes after popular Twitch streaming channel PietSmiet said it was told it will need a license by April 30 if it wants to continue streaming. The changes apply to all online streamers with a very low threshold of 500 or more followers.

 

 Update: Censor first, no questions later...

Germany approves plans to require social media to immediately censor posts that complainants do not like


Link Here 7th April 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering

governmet germany logoGerman ministers have recently approved plans to fine technology companies if they fail to censor posts that are claimed to be hate speech or 'fake news'.

The law introduces fines to the tune of approximately £42.7m if technology companies do not censor complalined about posts within 24 hours of it being reported (or seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases). The approval comes one month after the draft law, the Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, was unveiled.

Google, Facebook and Twitter are likely to be particularly affected.

Many have raised concerns over the censorship process. The head of the Digital Society Association, Volker Tripp, said: It is the wrong approach to make social networks into a content police.

The implementation of the law will now mean that all contended posts will now be rapidly and routinely removed regardless of the voracity of the complaint. After all this is the age when complainants are always right.

 

  Fake Blame...

Germany set to alter copyright law that currently prevents the offering of public WiFi


Link Here 7th April 2017
governmet germany logoGermany has approved a draft law that will enable businesses to run open WiFi hotspots without being held liable for the copyright infringements of their customers. Copyright holders will still have the ability to request that certain sites are blocked to prevent repeat infringement.

In most jurisdictions it's standard practice for those who commit online copyright infringement to be held responsible for their own actions. However in Germany there is a legal concept known as Störerhaftung (interferer liability) where a third party who played no intentional part in someone else's infringements can be held responsible for them. This type of liability has raised its head in a number of file-sharing cases where WiFi owners have been considered liable for other people's piracy.

As a direct result of this precarious legal position, Germany has found itself trailing behind its European neighbors when it comes to providing public Internet hotspots. Some have described the situation as an embarrassment for one of the most advanced countries in the world.

Under pressure and in response to a European Court of Justice opinion on the matter last March, the government eventually decided to rescind liability for open WiFi operators. Since then the government has been working on changes to local law to bring it into line with EU standards. A third draft presented by Brigitte Zypries, Minister for Economics and Energy, has now been adopted by the cabinet.

Should the amendments receive parliamentary approval, businesses will be free to offer open WiFi to their customers, without fear of being held liable for their actions. They will also be able to offer truly open WiFi, with no requirement to verify the identities of users or have them log in with a password.

While copyright holders won't be pleased by the changes, they will still have opportunities to clamp down on infringement. If a certain WiFi location is connected with online piracy, a properly filed complaint will require the operator to bar access to websites connected with the infringement.

 

  Elephants and Rooms...

Germany's press regulator modifies censorship rules about reporting people's religion or ethnicity


Link Here 26th March 2017

presserat logoGermany's media regulator has revised its code on reporting whether crime suspects belong to an ethnic or religious group.

The German Press Council, a voluntary, industry-run body, says information about a person's ethnicity shouldn't be published unless there is a justified public interest in doing so. Previous guidance said such details should only be published if there was a link between a person's ethnicity or religion and the crime.

Numerous German media outlets complained that the old code was hard to interpret during a breaking news situation and that withholding such information left readers searching for it on questionable social media sites and stirred conspiracy theories of media cover-ups of migrant crimes.