EU hires AFP for Copyright Directive

At the end of February, the EU Parliament released a bizarre video “explaining” the Copyright Directive, a controversial and sweeping internet regulation that has inspired more opposition than anything else in EU history.

The video was bananas: almost a parody of pro-Directive talking points that had long been debunked, blended with conspiracy theories about the role of “outsiders” (including me!) in the debate. These conspiracy theories keep getting repeated, and debunked.

You can learn a lot about what your opponents are up to based on what they accuse you of: the Parliament and its corporate allies claim that the anti-Copyright Directive movement is driven by corporate lobbyists, working in the shadows and laundering their influence through front groups: it turns out that there are massive corporate expenditures behind the debate over the Directive, and it’s almost all coming from the pro-Directive side.

That also turns out to be the case with the Parliament’s conspiracy video: MEP Julia Reda used Parliamentary privilege to force the Parliament to explain how this video came to be, and the answer won’t surprise you: it was made by AFP, the giant French media company, who have been lobbying heavily for the Directive.

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