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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[Guardian] Tim Berners-Lee: the internet has no off switch

Briton who launched first web page in 1990 reiterates opposition to extending government control of internet. [...]

Berners-Lee, 57, said: "The way the internet is designed is very much as a decentralised system. At the moment, because countries connect to each other in lots of different ways, there is no one off switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off. In order to be able to turn the whole thing off or really block, suppress one particular idea then the countries and governments would have to get together and agree and co-ordinate and turn it from a decentralised system to being a centralised system. And if that does happen it is really important that everybody fights against that sort of direction." [...]

[TechDirt] Copyright Killbots Strike Again: Official DNC Livestream Taken Down By Just About Every Copyright Holder

Here we go again. Less than 24 hours ago, content-protection bots killed a livestream of the Hugo Awards, thanks to the brief appearance of fully approved clips from an episode of Dr. Who. [...]

This time, content protection via crawling bots have taken down another approved, perfectly legal stream. The victim this time? The Democratic National Convention's official stream, hosted at YouTube. [...].

Sure, defining legitimate, pre-approved accounts may prove to be as difficult as determining which content is infringing and which isn't, but this should be the sort of thing that content holders should be working toward, rather than simply moving from disaster to disaster, smugly secure in the knowledge that filthy file sharers are getting content-blocked thousands of times a day. [...]

[Netzpolitik] Frankreich: Die Fusion des Internets

Frankreichs Premierminister Jean-Marc Ayrault kündigte in der letzten Woche die mögliche Zusammenlegung des Rundfunk- und Fernsehrats CSA mit dem Telekomregulierer ARCEP an. Einer der Hauptgründe sei, dass audiovisuelle Medieninhalte zunehmend über das Internet verbreitet und konsumiert werden. Konkrete Vorschläge für die Fusion sollen noch im November vorgelegt werden. [...]

Kritisiert wurde der Vorschlag der Zusammenlegung von CSA und ARCEP von Bürgerrechtlern und Verbraucherverbänden. Wir haben mit Jérémie Zimmermann, Sprecher der französischen Bürgerrechtsorganisation Quadrature du Net, gesprochen: [...]

« Die „Regulierung der Inhalte“ durch eine zentrale Stelle ist zum Scheitern verurteilt und ein großer Irrtum. Das Internet ist kein audiovisueller Mediendienst – Inhalte kommen nicht nur von Unternehmen sondern auch von unterschiedlichen Nutzern, von kommerziellen wie nicht-kommerziellen Akteuren. Das dezentrale Internet wie Kabelfernsehen zu regeln, ist ein erster Schritt in Richtung administrative Kontrolle der Netze und Zensur der Kommunikation. » [...]

[Techdirt] Copyright Enforcement Bots Seek And Destroy Hugo Awards

We have talked repeatedly of automated copyright enforcement, and how it often goes too far. [...] That is what happened to the Hugo Awards when it tried to live stream the awards ceremonies on Ustream. After airing footage of Neil Gaiman's award winning episode of Doctor Who, the show was flagged for infringement and pulled from the live stream -- right before Gaiman got to speak. [...]

By killing the broadcast of the show, Ustream's bots ruined a very special occasion for a number of creative individuals. It blocked access fans of science fiction had to see their favorite writers receive the awards their craft had made possible. Such award shows are something to celebrate, but because of over enforcement, this show has become nothing but another casualty in the war on copyright infringement. [...]

[TechCrunch] Ustream Apologizes For Shutting Down The Hugo Awards Livestream, Says It Will "Recalibrate"

Maybe you haven’t heard of the Hugo Awards, but to science fiction geeks, especially print science fiction geeks, they’re a big deal. [...]

Of course, not everyone can attend the convention, held this year in Chicago, but for those of us who couldn’t, we had a chance to follow along the ceremonies last night thanks to live video via Ustream [...]. Or at least, fans had a chance to watch the beginning of the ceremony, up until Neil Gaiman was accepting his award in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category. That’s when the broadcast shut off abruptly, and the account was supposedly “banned due to copyright infringement.” [...]

Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable has published a blog post apologizing for the incident. He says the company relies on a service called Vobile to monitor for infringing content, and yes, the system was automatically triggered by the show clips. [...]

[EFF] Hardware Hacker, Anti-ACTA Activist, and Groundbreaking Anonymity Group Win EFF Pioneer Awards

EFF to Honor Andrew (bunnie) Huang, Jérémie Zimmermann, and the Tor Project at San Francisco Ceremony. [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann is the co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an influential French advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. Zimmermann has been instrumental in the fight against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a far-reaching international treaty that would curtail many Internet freedoms in favor of extremist intellectual property protectionism. Zimmermann has worked tirelessly to spread the word about ACTA and the ways in which it would put a chokehold on Internet and digital rights. This July, after years of secretive negotiations, ACTA was defeated in the European Parliament. Zimmermann has also worked on numerous other technology policy topics, including freedom of expression, copyright, regulation of telecommunications, and online privacy. [...]

[RFI] French telecoms and broadcasting authorities to be merged (LQDN mediakit, transcription)

Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an internet users' rights watchdog urges French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to abandon a planned merger of telecoms and the broadcasting authorities which, he says, smells like censorship.

William Niba : Good morning. An organization protecting citizens' rights to the Internet has accused French Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of attempted censorship. The charge by La Quadrature du Net comes after Ayrault instructed three members of his government to study the possibility of merging the telecommunications regulatory authority, ARCEP, and the broadcasting watchdog, the conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel. The organization claims in a statement that such a scheme is incompatible with the fundamental principles of neutrality governing the Internet, and therefore, should be abandoned. Jérémie Zimmermann is cofounder and spokesperson for the citizens organization La Quadrature du Net, based here in Paris. Monsieur Zimmermann, good morning.

Jérémie Zimmermann : Good morning.

WN : Why are you so fired up against the Prime minister's plan ?

JZ : Well, first of all, this a project that has been resurfacing like a sea monster, every now and then, for years and it dates back from the previous right-wing government. The problem is we have two very different authorities : the CSA, that is a centralised authority that orders centralised broadcast channels to emit or not to emit, that sets labels on the broadcasts, signals suitable for the young ones or not, etc. and that counts, for instance, the speechtime for candidates during an election. It is an actor deciding of what can be emitted on centralised unidirectional channels that are the media of the 20th century. When we talk of the Internet, of course there are videos on the Internet, but it's not only that. Internet is about the sharing of knowledge, it's about access to culture, it's about democratic participation, it's about innovation and entrepreneurship. Internet, before all, is a universal communication tool. When content is published on the Internet, it's not a centralised commercial actor, it can be anyone. We are talking here of a global, a universal communication tool. So imagining just one second that the very same control mechanism and enforcement mechanism, regulation mechanism that we applied in the 20th century to the centralised broadcast networks, imagining that this could work on a free open decentralised Internet, is nonsensical. It is bound to fail and it is bound to be extremely dangerous for fundamental freedoms online because it can only amount, in the end, to giving this audiovisual authority censorship powers over the Internet

WN : There's got to be some policing of cybercriminals and there should be laws governing the use and abuse of the Internet, at least.

JZ : Of course. On the Internet, everyone is responsible for their action, like in the physical world, there is no difference. But the red herring that is used here to justify this merging is that all the so-called connected TV is coming down to our living-rooms. Of course, there will be some tv sets connected to the Internet sometime soon, but it's not the tv that connects to the Internet it is a computer. It is an Internet terminal that also allows to view the traditionnal tv channels.

WN : So you don't buy the idea by the digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin that the merging is aimed at facilitating French creativity, the funding of creativity and in line with France's distinctive cultural policy ?

JZ : I don't believe that first of all because this merging was planned years ago also becasue the CSA is notoriously close to the big broadcast companies that are themselves very close to those entertainement industries who keep pushing for a tougher and tougher copyright enforcement that always come to an attempt to harm our of fundamental freedoms like the French Hadopi, like SOPA and PIPA in the US, like the ACTA treaty that we defeated in the European Parliament.

WN : You're a strong critic of the Hadopi laws introduced by former president Nicolas Sarkozy's government. If you were forced to use Hadopi as your working document, what would you take out and what would you keep ?

JZ : I think I would scrap it as a whole because Hadopi is the wrong solution to a wrong problem. Hadopi is an instrument in the war against sharing that says that sharing the works you love with people who love the same works as you do is morally wrong and costs the authors and cultural diversity and so on. Three years after it was enacted, in early 2011, Hadopi demonstrated in its very own study that people who share files online are also people wo buy more who spend more for culture than people who do not share. By the very same definition that broadcasting music on the radio doesn't kill the music industry like believed in the early 20h century, like the blank cassette tapes that didn't kill te music industry like believed in the 80s, like the VHS tapes didn't kill the movie industry and so on, and so on... Sharing files on the Internet not only doesn't kill this industry, but also enables fantastic cultural diversity, enables access to culture for everyone and has just become a natural cultural practice for millions of individuals across the globe. So Ayrault government once again should scrap hadopi as a whole and courageously reform copyright to make sharing between individuals and not for profit, legal and then we can think of new mutualised ways of funging creation in the digital age.

WN : Jérémie Zimmermann cofounder and spokesperson of the global internet watchdog La Quadrature du Net, on the line from downtown Paris. Mister Zimmermann, thank you so much for speaking to Radio France International.

JZ : My pleasure.


[RFI] French telecoms and broadcasting authorities to be merged

Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an internet users' rights watchdog urges French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to abandon a planned merger of telecoms and the broadcasting authorities which, he says, smells like censorship.

[BoingBoing] LEAKED! TPP: the Son of ACTA will oblige America and other countries to throw out privacy, free speech and due process for easier copyright enforcement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the son of ACTA, a secretive copyright and trade treaty being negotiated by the Pacific Rim nations, including the USA and Canada. As with ACTA, the secretive negotiation process means that the treaty's provisions represent an extremist corporate agenda where due process, privacy and free expression are tossed out the window in favor of streamlined copyright enforcement. If this passes, America will have a trade obligation to implement all the worst stuff in SOPA, and then some.

[Guardian] The fight for control of the internet has become critical

If plans to put cyberspace under a secretive UN agency go through, states' censoring of the web will be globally enshrined [...]

If this succeeds, this will be an important boost to states' plans to censor the web and to use it to monitor citizens. Virtually all governments are at it. Some are much worse than others. The introduction last month of a law in Russia creating a blacklist of websites that contain "extremist" content was merely the latest example of an alarming trend. Authoritarian states have long seen cyberspace as the ultimate threat to their source of power. [...]

The internationalisation of the internet is inevitable, and good. The question is not which countries are in charge, but where the power resides within countries. Control is always the first instinct of the state. The ITU summit in December marks just the start of the battle between those who wish to keep the internet (relatively) free and those who will do everything in their power to reverse the process.

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