Wednesday, March 27, 2019

"New Report: Germany Caved To France On Copyright In A Deal For Russian Gas"

From Techdirt:
from the horse-trading:-the-public-internet-for-russian-gas dept
In the hours leading up to the vote in the EU Parliament on the EU Copyright Directive, the German publication FAZ (which has been generally supportive of the Directive) has released quite a bombshell (in German), suggesting that the reason Germany caved to France on its terrible demands concerning copyright was in order to get France's approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia.

If you don't recall, the German delegation had actually pushed back on the more extreme versions of Article 13 -- and, in particular, had demanded that a final version have a clear carve-out for smaller companies, so as not to have them forced out of business by the onerous demands of the law. However, after some back and forth, Germany caved in to France's demands, with many left scratching their heads as to why. However, some noted the "coincidence" in timing, that right after this, France also withdrew its objections to the pipeline which is very controversial in the EU (and the US, which is threatening sanctions).

FAZ notes that there were whispered rumors about Germany and France basically trading these two proposals, with Germany effectively selling out the open public internet in exchange for easier access to Russian gas. However, it has now seen documents that support this claim. Germany's economic minister,.....MORE
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