• Germany's news in English

Thousands hit streets to protest copyright law

The Local · 13 Feb 2012, 09:26

Published: 13 Feb 2012 09:26 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), designed by the United States and Japan and intended to unify copyright law internationally has provoked huge opposition across Europe as those opposed say it will limit freedom on the internet.

And although the German government delayed signing the agreement on Friday, that did not stop more than 18,000 people taking to the streets in Munich and around 10,000 in Berlin, with other smaller demonstrations held in more than 60 towns and cities across the country.

Matthias Spielkamp from the organisation iRights, which was involved in the demonstrations told the Frankfurter Runschau daily paper that the German government’s delay was just a tactic to try to avoid anger at ACTA.

“They want to wait for the decision of the European Parliament, in order not to burn their fingers for nothing,” he said.

Peter Altmeier, manager of Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union parliamentary party said on Monday he was sympathetic to the protesters. They had made clear that topics concerning the internet were, “discussed at very different speeds today,” and that politicians would do well to take them seriously.

“That is not to say that we will do without our own independent political assessment,” he added while speaking on the ARD television show Morgenmagazin.

Organisers said they were pleasantly surprised by the numbers of protesters, who also came out against the agreement in London, Dublin and Warsaw, the paper reported on Monday.

Story continues below…

The Local/DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:58 February 13, 2012 by murka
Curiously, the Office of Order (Ordnungsamt? :) in Stuttgart has verboten wearing the mask of Guy Fawkes.
18:30 February 13, 2012 by Bavaria Mike
Isn't this what GEMA is already doing but on a much higher scale? These control freaks take a piece of us away every year.
22:12 February 13, 2012 by ovalle3.14
GEMA must be laughing their asses off.
22:40 February 13, 2012 by murka
Often on youtube when a clip has some background music I can not watch it from a German IP, instead, there is a message about GEMA. DId they make youtube/google block everything preventively?

Looks like they have even more power than their MPAA et al in the U.S., who must send a take down notice for each individual video.

Luckily there is such thing as VPN.
00:17 February 14, 2012 by mmmaaattt
You must accept the fact that the USA is owned and managed by an oligarchy of elite families and large corporations. The corporations collect the income withholding tax each pay period for the goverment. Now what goverment is going to insult their commissioned partner in collecting that money each week? If a collection of large and well resourced media companies decide they want a new copyright law then they will damned well get it.
Today's headlines
Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd