Ásta Helgadóttir @asta_fish MSc in the Internet @oiioxford | Former Member of Parliament @Althingi | 50% dogs | 50% copyright | 100% feminist | On the lookout for the next step in life | Mar. 04, 2019 3 min read

1850: German Press publishers want #copyright of news because the newly arrived technology of the telegram is ruining their business model. It is rejected. THREAD 1/26

1886: German Press Publishers want news to be covered by copyright in the Berne convention. It is rejected, and Ccopyright exception for news is established. 2/26

1908: German Press Publishers want to limit the possibility of reproduction of news by #copyright in the Berlin meeting for the Berne convention. It is rejected, as copyright is intended for inherently creative production. 3/26

1908: The Berlin conference thus reiterates their 1886 distinction of creative production and non-creative information and news with regards to #copyright protection. 4/26

1925: The conference of industrial property in the Hague rejects a proposal to make news industrial property, citing the decision of the Berne convention. #copyright 5/26

Seventy-five yeras of trying to make some intellectual property protection of news had failed. Trying to cover news by #copyright seemed to be hopeless. 6/26

1920s: The wireless technology threatens the established German Press Publishers. The fact that any owner of a wireless could listen to the news! Blasphemy. #copyright 7/26

1920s: "News Theft" explodes in Germany. The big press publishers are astonished by the fact that people are not willing to pay a hefty fee to buy their printed material. 8/26

1927: The Gremans lobby for a resolution within Leage of Nations giving unpublished news #coppyright protection, governmental news in the public domain, but published news were up to each national authority. 9/26

1928: The German ministry propose a law to protect news of the day and miscellaneous information with intellectual property at home. "vermischte Nachrichten tatsächlichen Inhalts und Tagesneuigkeiten" #copyright 10/26

1928: The emergence of the radio was one of the biggest reasons int he German's new News law as it undermined the news industry. #copyright. 11/26

1928-1933: The debate of the new German press law continues but is never realized because the ascension of the Nazi government and new press control laws made it redundant. 12/26

1948: The Brussels meeting on the Berne Convention emphasizes the importance of news not being covered by #copyright protection as access to news is necessary for democracy. 13/26

1965: The New West-German #copyright law was similar to the Weimar republic's 1927 protection of news. #copyright 14/26

1967: The Stockholm Conference on the Berne Convention reiterate yet again that news and miscellaneous information should not be subjected to #copyright. 15/26

2013: The German government introduces a new ancillary #copyright for press publisher's online in the spirit of the 1927 proposal. It is generally considered a failure. 16/26

2015: The Spanish government introduces a new un-waivable ancillary #copyright for press publishers. Google News de-lists Spanish news. Smaller publishers are struggling disproportionately more than the big. 17/26

2016: The EU #copyright directive proposes a new EU-wide ancillary #copyright for press publisher's - effectively creating a #linktax on news. #article11 18/26

2019: The EU #Copyright reform is almost over and we will end up with a very German perspective and notion on the importance of news: It is for the big press to make more revenue. To create information monopolies. 19/26

A related #copyright for press publishers has been proposed internationally again and again - and REJECTED again and again because access to news and information is more valuable for society and news are not artistic creations. 20/26

Now, we will soon get a related #copyright that will give press publishers more control over the flow of information and dissemination of news online. 21/26

The reason: Digital disruption and the need to protect investment. The same reason as was proposed in 1850, 1886, 1908, 1925, 1948, 1967. And yet the press has survived all this. #copyright 22/26

This is a historical overview on how the German press publisher's lobby has for a century and a half lobbied consistently for a monopoly over news and information #copyright 23/26

And now, in 2019, their wettest dream will come true.
Information is power: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell 1984 #copyright #article11 24/26

Sources: Tworek, Heidi J. S. 2014. “Journalistic Statesmanship: Protecting the Press in Weimar Germany and Abroad.” German History 32(4):559–78. 25/26

Sources: The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works from 1886 to 1986, published by The International Bureau of Intellectual Property, Geneva 1986. 26/26


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