[pp.int.general] Germany news summary

Helmut Pozimski helmutpozimski at web.de
Sun Nov 25 22:34:34 CET 2007

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In the last few days a lot of things that are relevant for pirates
happened in Germany. I'm going to sum up just the most important ones.

The law on data retention has been passed a few days ago. We and the
Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (a group of NGOs protesting
against data retention) held some demonstrations and pickets against
it but it didn't help. Some of the representatives form the social
democratic party SPD (it is neither social nor democratic) voted for
it and declared that they were against it afterwards. They sad it was
no problem because the Federal Constitution Court is going to stop the
law anyway. Though we also hope so it is a weak excuse and shows again
how little they care about the constitution when something is declared
as important in the "war against terrorism".

We knew it just before the data retention directive had been passed on
EU level. Surprise, surprise, it has nothing to do with terrorism at
all! At least that's what the expert for inner affairs of the social
democratic party told and he must know it, doesn't he? The law now
needs to be reviewed by the federal council which is composed of the
representatives of the different states. It is likely to be approved
but it wouldn't matter if not because the federal council has no veto
right against it. To make the law valid it needs to be countersigned
by the federal president and published in the official gazette. Some
people already asked him not to sign it but most likely he will do it

Another law is coming into force at the end of the year. Its a
revision of our current Copyright (it's the Urheberrecht which is a
bit different from the concept of copyright but to keep it simple I'll
just write Copyright) and it makes downloading of copyrighted material
illegal. Until now it was a bit of a gray zone and only uploading was

Together with the data retention this is a really nice set of tools
for the media Industry. But that's not enough for the federal council.
The data retention law now says that the data must be handed over to
the law enforcement agencys to peruse crimes committed by
communication. Our politicians were lying about it all the time
telling it's just for the pursuing of "serious crimes such as
terrorism". Now the federal council which was always in favor of the
media industry seems to have read the journal officiell and wants to
force providers to hand over the data of file sharers directly to the
media Industry to enable them to sue file sharers directly without the
need of law enforcement agencys. While this is not surprising it
clearly shows even to the most stupid people that data retention has
nothing to do with terrorism. We hope this won't go into the law.

But there were also some good news. There were around 400 people
protesting in Cologne under the motto "freedom is security" against
data retention and other surveillance laws which brought us some

The pirates in Hesse managed to get more than the 1000 signatures they
needed and will hopefully allowed to take part in the next regional
elections. As far as I know this is the second time a pirate party
takes part in an election. The pirates of lower Saxony unfortunately
failed to get their 2000 signatures. Now Hamburg has time to collect
1000 signatures until the end of the year. They already have nearly
400 so they will hopefully make it to the elections next year.

I think that's enough for now and I hope I didn't forget anything

Best Regards

Helmut aka Hospak
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