“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~Upton Sinclair
Summary: The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO’s violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO
As a frequent media critic (more evident/visible in my social media accounts than in this Web site), I have come across plenty of evidence of censorship and self-censorship in the European media. Some links about that are being shared daily (under, e.g., the “Censorship” category in our daily links). Techrights itself is subjected to site-wide censorship by the EPO right now. I experienced both censorship and self-censorship when I worked for a publisher one decade ago (my editor removed or watered down paragraphs of mine which were critical of an occasional sponsor, Microsoft). There are serious issues in the editorial/publication process that not many people are generally aware of. If one suspects that censorship takes place, it will often turn out to be the case (even if there is no admission as nobody likes to admit suppression of free speech). Even WIPR, which frequently covers EPO matters, did it some months ago (censorship of criticism of the EPO, due to pressure from management).
“Even WIPR, which frequently covers EPO matters, did it some months ago (censorship of criticism of the EPO, due to pressure from management).”Let’s face the reality of corporate media; in order to be financially viable someone must benefit financially, and it’s not always just the advertisers (to whom access to readers/audience is effectively sold). There is agenda to be delivered for some people’s financial gain (not just through advertising of products but of policy).
Germany’s media outlets are no exception to this problem. Take the European Union for instance. Germany benefits from it financially (weapons trade, austerity in Greece and various loans inside the EU come to mind), so it doesn’t wish to criticise it too much. I personally support the European Union and I even have a booklet in support of the European Union, given to me 17 years ago by the German Consulate.
“Much of the media supports the EPO by silence, i.e. by not covering all the negative stories coming out of the EPO.”Germany’s media is not likely to bash the European Union to the same degree that the British media sometimes does (just see what the Daily Mail has just published in its front page/cover). Germany is at the very heart of the European Union. It cannot criticise the US too harshly, either (see for example “European media writing pro-US stories under CIA pressure – German journo”). To cite this article from a very prominent media person (check his career profile), former CIA Director William Colby is quoted as saying that the “CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
As we’ve just noted, the EPO works for corporations, not for Europeans. It just has the word “European” in its name. It should thus be seen as unsurprising that the corporate media will typicaly be biased in favour of the EPO. Much of the media supports the EPO by silence, i.e. by not covering all the negative stories coming out of the EPO.
Here is what some readers told us yesterday:
We wanted to make a few observations in response to your recent posting about the article “Es kracht an allen Ecken und Enden” which appeared in the Münchner Merkur on 21 January.
The article is written by Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann, a Munich-based journalist who writes for the Münchner Merkur, a regional daily for Munich.
His articles are normally distributed and reproduced Germany-wide in other regional dailies such as the “Oberbayrisches Volksblatt”, “Frankfurter Rundschau”, Berliner Zeitung”, “Stuttgarter Zeitung”, “Badische Zeitung”, “Pfälzischer Merkur”, etc.
„Wie bei der Fifa oder in China“
Europäisches Patentamt: Kritik am Chef des Europäischen Patentamtes
Patentrecht: Patent auf Brokkoli
Der soziale Frieden ist zerstört
Verhältnisse wie im Überwachungsstaat
Großer Zoff beim Patentamt
Magenheim-Hörmann’s article about the EPO are well researched and of a superior journalistic quality to what one might normally expect in the regional press.
In recent times he has been giving far better and more penetrating coverage to EPO matters than any of the big German dailies, in particular the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung which seems to have gone completely silent.
What is curious about his most recent article is the fact that it only appeared in the paper version of the Münchner Merkur.
It is not available online on open access (although it seems that it can be found behind a paywall) and it doesn’t appear in any of the other regional dailies or at least it doesn’t seem to turn up in Google searches.
It’s almost as if somebody is trying to impede the circulation of the article.
Some speculation about this:
The latest article “Es kracht an allen Ecken und Enden” focuses on the social conflict at the EPO but in a byline it also mentions the recent “Monsanto melon” incident. The biotech patenting controversy seems to be generating a lot of grass-roots political protest in Germany and in neighboring countries such as Austria and Switzerland. Is it possible that somebody at a high political level is getting nervous about people making connections between the social conflict at the EPO and questionable management policies which seem to be aimed at encouraging biotech patenting ?
The deafening silence from the German media about recent EPO matters and the obvious reluctance of the German courts to question the EPO’s immunity are also suspicious.
On both fronts the response in Germany compares very unfavorably to that in the neighbouring Netherlands (the other main EPO host state) where both the press and the judiciary clearly have less inhibitions about subjecting the alleged abuses of EPO management to justifiable public scrutiny.
Here is an article published today in the UK press which explains how the German media is under strong political influence from the government. It seems reasonable to assume that this also applies to reporting about EPO matters.
In part 2 we are going to deal with further suspicious omissions (or suppressions) in reporting of EPO-related scandals. █
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable on persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ~George Bernard Shaw