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).
– had Voss paid for the images he used? — and yet one that seemed so hard for the Voss team to answer, even with the single word “yes”. The article (original in German) took screenshots of the images the BuzzFeed Germany journalists had found. That’s just as well, because shortly afterwards, 12 of the 17 posts with copyrighted images had been deleted. The journalists contacted Axel Voss once more, and asked why they had disappeared (original in German). To which Axel Voss’s office replied: anyone can add and remove posts, if they wish. Which is true, but fails to answer the question, yet again.
The German Foreign Intelligence Services, supported by the government, tapped the German Internet Exchange Point Decix, the largest internet exchange point globally. While the G10 Commission had approved the blanket tapping, they were unaware that some of the tapped data were forwarded to the NSA, the US National Security Agency, based on a list of so-called “selectors” — names or numbers the NSA sent to their German colleagues.
In order to obtain a copy of the NSA’s main XKeyscore software, whose existence was first revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency agreed to hand over metadata of German citizens it spies on. According to documents seen by the German newspaper Die Zeit, after 18 months of negotiations, the US and Germany signed an agreement in April 2013 that would allow the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamtes für Verfassungsschutz—BfV) to obtain a copy of the NSA’s most important program and to adopt it for the analysis of data gathered in Germany.
In individual cases, shared pictures may be illegal. At worst, a copyright warning notice might come fluttering to the social media user. For carefully-arranged food in a famous restaurant, the cook is regarded as the creator of a work. Before it can be made public on Facebook & Co., permission must first be asked of the master chef.
In June 2011, authorities in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands raided premises suspected of having something to do with kino.to, a site that offered links to a Megaupload-style file lockers containing unlicensed copies of movies, music and TV shows.
Not long after the raids, the site shut up shop. Folks associated with the site were later jailed.
But according to a new research paper, Online Copyright Enforcement, Consumer Behavior, and Market Structure, closing the site had little effect on copyright breaches. Indeed, it may have spawned a new generation of stronger piracy services.
The paper was penned by Luis Aguiar of the European Union’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Jörg Claussen of the Copenhagen Business School and Christian Peukert from the University of Zürich. The three got their hands on Nielsen NetView data that “… monitors the online activity of a representative sample of Internet users by recording all of their URL visits together with visit duration, while guaranteeing them that the data will be kept anonymous.” With that data in hand, the authors set about identifying pirate sites and found that in their January to June 2011 sample kino.to topped their chart of 15 sites of interest with about 6,000 visits per week.
Those visits stopped once kino.to’s service ceased, but a new kinoX.to site that claimed to be kino.to’s the official heir quickly picked up traffic. So did other sites offering similar services.
“Put together, our data clearly shows that the shutdown massively altered the German market for unlicensed video streaming, making it less concentrated and more competitive,” the authors write. Users also started visiting more piracy sites, up to around 1.4 a week from the 1.15 when kino.to was online.
The study does find that former kino.to users did start to spend more time visiting sites selling licensed content, but argues “If we were to take the costs of the intervention into account (raid, criminal prosecution, etc.), our results would suggest that the shutdown of kino.to has not had a positive effect on overall welfare.”
“Finally,” the authors conclude, “the shutdown of kino.to resulted in a much more fragmented structure of the market for unlicensed movie streaming. This potentially makes future law enforcement interventions either more costly – as there would not be a single dominant platform to shutdown anymore – or less effective if only a single website is targeted by the intervention.”
Germany’s BND spy agency spied on European politicians and enterprises at the behest of the NSA for over a decade.
Der Spiegel reports (in German) that for years the NSA sent its counterparts at the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst – Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service) thousands of so-called selectors – IP addresses, emails, and mobile phone numbers – it wanted targeted for online surveillance.
German cyberspies fed this data into their own surveillance systems. The reports generated were evaluated at BND headquarters before intelligence was passed back to the NSA.
In practical terms, it seems that the BND have been tapping the Internet Exchange Point DE-CIX in Frankfurt, since at least 2009.
Results from the bulk tap of this Internet exchange were then passed over, in part at least, to the Americans as part of a collaborative agreement involving intel agencies.
The selectors included referred to European politicians and European aerospace and defence firms, including the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) and Eurocopter.
BND workers picked up on this anomalous targeting – which had nothing to do with a bilateral US-Germany agreement signed in 2002 to pool efforts in combating global terrorism – and have been complaining about it since at least 2008.
Yet it was only when the Edward Snowden revelations began in 2013 that German spy bosses began questioning the practice, which fits more closely with the profile of economic espionage.
An estimated 800,000 selectors were passed from the NSA to the BND in total over the years. A post-Snowden internal probe concluded that at least 2,000 of these various spying requests were contrary to either German or wider EU interests.
The BND helped the NSA with spying on European ministers and enterprises, without anyone in the German parliament being aware of this.
BND bosses didn’t pass on their findings to the Chancellor’s Office instead acting only to ask the NSA not to filter out requests that potentially ran contrary to German and Western European political and economic interests.
A second-tier German professional basketball team has been relegated to an even lower tier as a result of being penalized for starting a recent game late—because the Windows laptop that powered the scoreboard required 17 minutes to perform system updates.
The March 13 match between the Chemnitz Niners and the Paderborn Baskets was set to begin normally, when Paderborn (the host) connected its laptop to the scoreboard in the 90 minutes leading up to the game.
In an interview with the German newspaper, Die Zeit, Patrick Seidel, the general manager of Paderborn Baskets said that at 6:00pm, an hour and a half before the scheduled start time, the laptop was connected “as usual.”
“But as both teams warmed up, the computer crashed,” he said. “When we booted it again at 7:20pm, it started automatically downloading updates. But we did not initiate anything.”
After all the updates were installed, Paderborn was ready to start the game at 7:55pm.