Protests against upload filters in the EU

Before anything else, if you haven’t watched this video about the proposed changes to the EU copyright law (savetheinternet.info for details), please do so now, I’ll wait:

And now on to the actual post:

Yesterday, the first “official” protest rally in Austria against article 13 of the proposed changes to copyright law in the EU took place in Graz. We met up near “Am Eisernen Tor” and then marched through Herrengasse and Sporgasse over the Schlossberg to Schlossbergplatz where a couple of speakers from Epicenter.works and some political parties were waiting for us.

View onto the Schlossbergplatz

View onto the Schlossbergplatz

Sadly, not that many people followed the call to the streets. While walking down the stairs to Schlossbergplatz I heard quite a few bystanders wondering what the fuzz was all about. Sadly, we had far too few flyers and other info material with us so handing out some info-sheets wasn’t an option. Luckily, I still had one flyer left so I could at least try to inform some people around me.

To be honest, I was quite surprised about the lack of knowledge around us regarding the proposed changes. Especiall, since they will affect not only what could be called “hard-core nerds” but also the masses that are on Instagram, Youtube etc. It feels like the marketing for this rally went down the completely wrong channels compared to what the #Fridays4Future movement achieved just 24 hours earlier.

It’s probably also not helping that organisations like Epicenter.works have a very strong presence on Twitter but are virtually invisible on Instagram. It doesn’t look much better if you look at hits for the #article13 tag over there. Only around 27.000 posts compared to more than 60.000.000 estimated videos on Youtube.

The event in Graz felt like a (failed?) test, though, for the rallies taking place in Innsbruck and Vienna next Saturday (23 March) alongside events being organized all over Europe. I just hope that we will be able to mobilize more people next week and create enough force to gain enough votes against the proposed changes on 26 March.

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