As H-dot Oettinger drafts Europe's new copyright laws – who's he been talking to?
He's not at home to Google ... that's strange
The European Commissioner overseeing the drafting of Europe’s new copyright law appears so far to mainly be listening to content creators as the process goes on.
Digi Commissioner Günther H-dot Oettinger held three recent “stakeholder” meetings to gather opinions as he draws up the legislation.
Despite requests from El Reg, the Commission would not reveal who attended the meetings on 30 January, 3 February and 19 February.
However, the Commish does publish weekly details of Commissioners’ one-on-one meetings, and a detailed scan through Oetti’s engagements since taking office in November shows who he has been talking to. An apparent bias towards German representatives is perhaps unsurprising given H-dot is not known for his linguistic skills.
On Monday, he met Deutsche Content Allianz, a conglomerate of German creative industries.
Tuesday was the turn of the Society of Audiovisual Authors, who also met Culture Commissioner Tibor Navracsics recently. Oettinger has also privately received CEOs of the European Publishers Group and attended the German Media Congress in Frankfurt.
Then, at the Creative Europe MEDIA conference, he chatted with the president of the International Federation of Film Distributors' Associations (FIAD), the chairman of Constantin Film, the CEO of Vue Entertainment, and the president of the European Film Academy.
His public records show he has only met one consumer group — BEUC, or the Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs, which acts as the umbrella group for its members, and represent them at European level. It investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on several areas, including digital rights. The British member of BEUC is Which?
Meanwhile, from the broadcasting side, Oettinger has met the European Broadcasting Union, a long-standing alliance of public media entities including the British public-service broadcasters ITV, Channel 4, S4C and the BBC.
The Pirate Party's MEP, Julia Reda, who has recently drawn up a parliamentary report on the functioning of the current copyright law, has only met him once — and she works just down the road ... and is German.
There's one obvious question: Why is Google, a critical player in these events, seemingly not involved (or not yet at least)?
Maybe Oetti’s statement about a “Google tax” less than a week after his appointment caused the colossal advertising company to abandon him as a lost cause.
Chocolate Factory reps have had meetings with Oettiger’s boss, Robo-Veep Andrus Ansip, former Estonian prime minister, and a man very much against geo-blocking (his term for what the authors call territoriality) as he reminds us on every public speaking occasion.
However, it's Oettinger who will draft the actual law. Watch this space. ®