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With Shades of Obama's 2012 Campaign, Internet Politics Appears in German Elections

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 2 2013

"Elli" goes to Pre-K at Age 2.

The whole world watched the 2012 presidential elections in the United States and saw a wired campaign where the web was both tool and topic, a means to political ends and a subject of politics in itself. As Germany prepares to elect a new government, candidates and political parties are taking stances and strategies with shades of the American 2012 campaign, from Obama for America's use of the web to the slow rise of Internet policy as an important campaign issue. Read More

German Law to Set Licensing Fees for News in Web Search an Election-Year Political Football

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, March 26 2013

A German effort to reform the business of news has done little more than generate a few headlines of its own — placing Internet policy in one of Europe's cornerstone economies at the mercy of election-year politics. Read More

German Parliament Passes News Licensing Law, but Its Future is Unclear

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, March 1 2013

Protest against licensing law in Berlin (Flickr)

The German Parliament has passed a watered-down version of a government-sponsored proposal that could require some search engines and news aggregators to pay a license fee to republish news content. The bill now goes to the upper house of parliament. And even if it takes effect, it remains unclear how much power and meaning such a law aimed at applying German copyright law to Germany-based websites and services can have given the global nature of the World Wide Web. Read More

WeGov

A Russian Meteor, Press Freedom, and the "New Westphalian Web"

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 26 2013

When a meteor appeared over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, it did more than shatter windows and turn heads. The blast — and videos of the meteor taken by the many Russians who carry cameras as protection against more pedestrian hazards like car accidents or corrupt public officials — also rained shrapnel over the debate around music, TV and movie intellectual property in the digital age, linking it once again with questions about what press freedom means in what many think is, or should be, a borderless Internet. Read More

In Germany, Pursuit of Plagiarism Now Extends to Lawmakers Lifting Words from Lobbyists

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 12 2013

German freelance journalist, TV moderator and blogger Richard Gutjahr worked together with Open Data City, a team of journalistic open data designers, to create LobbyPlag, a platform that examines similarities between proposals by lobbyists and amendments to the General Data Protection Regulation proposed by EU Committee members. Read More

In Germany, American-Style Dark Money Politics Means a Blog With Anonymous Backers

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 6 2013

When Americans today think of Citizens United, Super PACs and controversial outside spending, they might think of the Colbert Super PAC or TV ads that are financed by shady donors. But in Germany, things work a little different. A group of supporters of Peer Steinbrück, the Social Democratic candidate for chancellor, says they're bringing modern American "political communications" to the German elections — anonymous donors, independent expenditures ... and a blog. Read More

WeGov

Israel Has Two Pirate Parties That Hate Each Other

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 30 2013

In a 21st century digital echo of Monty Python's Life of Brian, Israel, a country of just over 7 million, has two Pirate Parties. One is called Pirate Party Israel and the other the Israel Pirate Party. Neither party recognizes the legitimacy of the other; nor do their founders have anything positive to say about one another. Read More

WeGov

After the Hype, What's Next for the German Pirate Party?

BY Jon Worth | Friday, January 18 2013

German Pirate Party supporters at 2009 demonstration (credit: Piraten/Flickr)

The German Pirate Party's poll numbers have declined significantly since the early days. This is partly due to infighting, but analysts believe the party still has an opportunity to get its act together and make an impact in the upcoming elections. Read More

In Opposition to German News License Fee Proposal, Google Maps Its Supporters

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 17 2013

Google has gathered over 100,000 active supporters against a German proposal that would require news aggregators, like the search giant, to pay a license fee for indexing news articles. As proof, the company has offered — what else — a Google map. Read More

Hashtags and Robots.txt: How German Parliament Debates Internet Policy

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, November 30 2012

The German Parliament on Thursday held its first debate about a government-proposed law that could force search engines and other online news aggregators to pay a license fee to news publishers for displaying snippets of online news articles.

During this first round of debate, scheduled Thursday at 10:40 p.m., Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration and its allies defended the law as harmless to freedom of expression and a necessary step to regulate an increasingly vital Internet. Opponents questioned the unforeseen consequences that might result and criticized the coalition government's record on Internet policy, joining Google and some allies who have sought in recent weeks to build public opposition to the law.

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