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Huge Victory As EU Party Group Adopts Pirate Perspective On Copyright Monopoly

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Copyright Monopoly

Copyright Monopoly

The fifth largest party group in the European Parliament has adopted the Pirate Party positions on the copyright monopoly straight off the bat.

This is a huge victory for the pirate perspective. Just like the Greens needed time and effort in their time to explain their new and odd perspective, the pirate perspective of openness, transparency and accountability gradually gains its foothold. Now, the European Green group (of which the Swedish Pirate Party is a member) has adopted the Pirate Party’s perspective on culture completely. This expands the exposure area of the pirate perspective considerably.

(A primer on the European Parliament is that it is not composed of individual parties, but of party groups. The elected parties join together in groups. There are seven such groups in the European Parliament, and these groups act like individual parties would in a national parliament.)

These are the positions on the copyright monopoly that are now adopted by the Green party group:

  • It must be made absolutely clear that the copyright monopoly does not extend to what an ordinary person can do with ordinary equipment in their home and spare time; it regulates commercial, intent-to-profit activity only. Specifically, file sharing is always legal.
  • There must be exceptions that make it legal to create mashups and remixes. Quotation rights, like those that exist for text, must be extended to sound and video.
  • Digital Restrictions Management should preferably be outlawed, as it is a type of fraud nullifying consumer and citizen rights, but at least, it must always be legal to circumvent.
  • The baseline commercial copyright monopoly is shortened to a reasonable five years from publication, extendable to twenty years through registration of the work.
  • The public domain must be strengthened.

And a bonus unrelated to the copyright monopoly:

  • Net neutrality must be guaranteed.

This is a huge win for the pirate perspective on culture and knowledge and an advancement of our positions by miles and leagues. Also, I understand that more people in Parliament are interested in the newly-adopted perspective. This progress keeps on mirroring when the Green perspective entered politics 40 years ago.

We were elected to the European Parliament in 2009 with the promise of fostering understanding, endorsement, and adoption of the pirate perspective on society. This is the largest delivery on that promise to date.

Here is a link to the freshly-adopted position paper. The entire paper is worth reading, but the really interesting parts are paragraphs 23 to 26, 28, and 29, quoted below, with emphasis by me:

§23. Up until twenty years ago, copyright [monopoly] was hardly anything that concerned ordinary people. The rules about exclusivity on the production of copies where aimed at commercial actors, who had the means to, for example, print books or press records. Private citizens who wanted to copy a poem and send to their loved one, or copy a record to cassette and give it to a friend, did not have to worry about being in breach of copyright. In practice, anything you had the technical means to do as a normal person, you could do without risk of any punishment.

But today, copyright has evolved to a position where it imposes serious restrictions on what ordinary citizens can do in their everyday life. As technological progress has made it easier for ordinary people to enjoy and share culture, copyright legislation has moved in the opposite direction. We want to restore copyright to its origins, and make absolutely clear that it only regulates copying for commercial purposes. To share copies, or otherwise spread or make use of use somebody else’s copyrighted work, should never be prohibited if it is done non-commercially and without a profit motive. Peer-to-peer file sharing is an example of such an activity that should be legal.

§24. DRM is an acronym for “Digital Rights Management” or “Digital Restrictions Management”. The term is used to denote a number of different technologies that all aim to restrict consumers’ and citizens’ ability use and copy works, even when they have a legal right to do so. It must always be legal to circumvent DRM restrictions, and we should consider introducing a ban in the consumer rights legislation on DRM technologies that restrict legal uses of a work. There is no point in having our parliaments introduce a balanced and reasonable copyright legislation, if at the same time we allow the big multinational corporations to write their own laws, and enforce them through technical means.

§25. Much of today’s entertainment industry is built on the commercial exclusivity on copyrighted works. This, we want to preserve. But today’s protection times — life plus 70 years — are absurd. No investor would even look at a business case where the time-to-payback was that long. We want to shorten the protection time to something that is reasonable from both society’s and an investor’s point of view, and propose 20 years from publication.

§26. Today, works that are still in copyright but where it is impossible or difficult to locate the rights owner is a major problem. The majority of these works have little or no commercial value, but since they are still covered by copyright, they cannot be reused or distributed because there is nobody to ask for permission. Rights owners who want to continue to exercise their commercial exclusivity on work they already produced should register them within 5 years. This would greatly reduce the number of orphan works and facilitate diligent search.

§27. The problem of orphan works urgently needs to be solved. [...goes into details that don't originate in pirate policy, but aren't antithetical either...].

§28. From now, and within a time frame of 5 years after the production, registration of copyright work should be compulsory for authors to enjoy commercial exclusivity. This would greatly limit the existence [of] orphan works in the future.

§29. Today’s ever more restrictive copyright legislation and practice is a major obstacle to musicians, film makers, and other artists who want to create new works by reusing parts of existing works. We want to change this by introducing clear exceptions and limitations to allow remixes and parodies, as well as quotation rights for sound and audiovisual material modelled after the quotation rights that already exist for text.

Huge winnage. Let’s keep it up. People who are exposed to the pirate ideas and perspectives, and whose paycheck do not depend on the opposite, always connect the dots after some time of exposure. With this new large exposure area, and the recent successes by German Piratenpartei, I predict that understanding and endorsement of the pirate perspective will accelerate.

Read more: Anna Troberg (Swedish), Christian Engström (Swedish)

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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  1. [...] om ämnet: Rick Falkvinge Share this:TwitterFacebookDiggMerStumbleUponRedditE-postSkriv utLike this:GillaBli först att gilla [...]

  2. 2
    Spitz

    Oh, those Greens…Rick, I really like what you do and I share your views on many issues (including copyrights) but this ridiculous Green movement – lies about global warming and climate change, idea to impose global carbon tax on all of us, socialist perspectives on economy and business, pushing multiculturalism (cultural Marxism) on every European nation state and many other left ideas…Do we really wanna live in EUSSR?)))

    Let’s keep pirate movement away from other political partie’s craziness. What do you think, Rick?

    • 2.1
      Rick Falkvinge

      Diversity is a key tenet of pirate policy, as is evidence-based policymaking. Scientists are overwhelmingly in consensus that some sort of human-made climate change is happening.

      Facts are not supposed to be political. Decisions based on the facts, yes. But not the facts themselves.

      • 2.1.1
        Anne Onymous

        You deflected that misinformed fool / weak troll / paid disinformation agent sent here to discredit you like a true master, Rick.

        • Spitz

          Bravo Anne! Anybody arguing green/socialist paradigm is “misinformed tool”, “weak troll” and “paid agent”. You have pure communist approach to any other opinion you can not confront. Why not to start kill people with opposition opinion?…. why only bushing them right from the start?

          Oh God, and those people call themselves “liberators” )

        • Observer

          No, Spitz. You, specifically, are the troll. No need to (try do) deflect. Just suck it up and move on.

        • Messenger of Truth

          You make a convincing argument, my dear Spitz, but you neglect to mention that you are in fact a double agent working for the Bucharest Association which is a hidden organisation whose intention is to infiltrate every government in the world to bring about a new world order in which the people of this planet will be subjugated and decision-making will be based entirely on mystical readings of the migration patterns of sea turtles.

        • Aris Katsaris

          Rather hypocritical from you, since you are accusing absolutely everyone who disagrees with you as being a communist who wants to kill people. Which is amusing, since you’re the one who *falsely* has attempted to connect Marxism and the USSR, with everything that’s good in *Western* society — science, socialdemocratic controls in business, acceptance of diversity.

          In the USSR, there was Russian cultural domination — it was the *West* that promoted diversity.
          In USSR and China both, there’s exploitation of the workers — it’s the socialdemocratic *West* that truly supports worker rights.
          USSR and China both restricted movement of workers and citizens — it’s the European Union and Schengen that truly *enabled* movement of citizens and workers.

          One thing that should clue you in, is that right now, in the European continent, left-wing communist-fascists and right-wing nationalist-fascists are both allied against the European Union.

  3. [...] fortsätter vi att steg för steg vinna gehör för vår politik. Politik tar tid, men dagar som denna känns det att vi sakta men säkert gör [...]

  4. 3
    PiratGurra

    Läste just på Christians blogg. Sjukt bra!

  5. [...] även: Falkvinge, Christian Engström, och Anna Troberg. Like this:GillaBli först att gilla denna post. Posted [...]

  6. [...] erhalten. Bonus: Netzneutralität muss gesetzlich festgeschrieben werden. Arrrr! Lest selbst: falkvinge, grünes [...]

  7. 4
    Putte

    Congratulations.

    Remember to also support the Occupy Wall Street movement. If you don’t understand the rage among the 99% of the US population who are losers at the expense of the top 1% and Goldman Sachs, watch the excellent documentary film Inside Job, who won an Oscar for best documentary.

    When you watch this film you understand the extent of the criminal fraud conducted by the bosses at Goldman Sachs and the other ibanks together with corrupt politicians.

    Highly recommended.

    • 4.1
      PiratGurra

      Just like the dark ages. The state tax the poor, but the noblemen have privileges to be “bailed out” (financed by the poors taxes) when they fuck up.

  8. [...] erhalten. Bonus: Netzneutralität muss gesetzlich festgeschrieben werden. Arrrr! Lest selbst: falkvinge, grünes PDF Gefällt mir:LikeSei der Erste, dem dieser post [...]

  9. 5
    NameOfMyChoice

    I love listening to whatever song I want, wathing whatever movies I like and not paying one cent for this! I can hardly wait for the 3-D printers to make identical copies of those million-dollar paintings!… Screw the artists! – they dont’t need money anyay – they have love! aha ha ha ha…!

    • 5.1
      PiratGurra

      Well if their future work have no value for you, suit yourself :o)

      Because that is all that still will have any value in the future: the service of producing NEW work, not profiting from old work ;o)

    • 5.2
      Fredrika

      @NameOfMyChoice October 7, 2011 – 22:47

      > “I love listening to whatever song I want, wathing whatever movies I like and not paying one cent for this!”

      That has always been free? Unless you play your media on a coin-operated media player, enjoying media has no cost associated with it.

      Maybe you’re confusing the act of enjoying media, with the act of buying physical goods or services? Those latter obviously has costs associated with themselves. Costs that any sane capitalist would try to minimize as much as possible, which is possible through among other ways manufacturing your own copies with your own physical property, through filesharing or home copying.

      Accessing copies of intellectual works for free has actually been possible for over 150 years, in libraries, which in turn, on a commercial scale and non-profit manner make copies available for free, without any consent from the author, or without him being privileged with any copyright related compensation for such use of his work.

      This is nothing new, this has been the norm in society for over a century, and such commercial scale use of intellectual works has now evolved to the next logical step, through filesharing, which is considered completely legitimate and morally acceptable in the public’s legal consciousness regarding what’s just. This is why filesharing obviously should cease to be forbidden, in those countries where it now is, which is far from all in the world.

      But to summarize, what you actually like, is something that has already been that way, since long before you were born.

      So the first part of your comment really hasn’t anything to do with the topic you’re commenting on.

      > “I can hardly wait for the 3-D printers to make identical copies of those million-dollar paintings!”

      You’re an art lover as well? Good for you, but that has nothing to do with the topic your commenting on.

      > “… Screw the artists!”

      Well obviously, if your talking about consensual sexual relations. It must be really hot to have sex with an artist you admire!!

      However, if you’re talking about the act of on a commercial scale and in a non-profit manner, accessing and making copies of intellectual works available, this in no way equal of screwing any artist? That debate was put to rest over a 150 years ago, so you can with good conscience access as much culture as you wish, knowing that nobody is being screwed, when you manufacture copies with your own physical property, that you own. Disregarding a monopoly’s intrusion into, i.e. theft of, your own physical property, for your own personal use, is obviously not screwing anybody else.

      So neither this part of your comment has anything to do with the topic your commenting on.

      > “they dont’t need money..”

      As long as society uses money as currency for necessities, everybody needs money. This however is the same for all people, regardless of if you’re an artist or not. That’s why everybody must try to get a paid job, where you perform an in advance contracted task, in return for pay, or if you’re an entrepreneur, you can try to take a risk and sell something that people might feel is worth the money.

      And if you’re the latter, an entrepreneur, and fail to sell something, you deserve no monetary reward on a free market, even if you of your own free will initially chose to invest money in your business. Sunk costs are sunk costs. The fact that you chose to spend them or your time does not equal that you have a right to get anything back.

      However, if you fail to either get a paid job, or sell something as an entrepreneur, the need for money is covered, since society has a social welfare system, and for retired citizens, we have the pension system.

      But this is not a copyright related issue, the copyright monopoly is not suppose to replace the welfare system or pension system.

      So again, this part of your comment has nothing to do with the topic you’re commenting on..

      > “..they have love!”

      Since people’s need for money is covered by welfare and pension, for those who can’t find a job or a working business model for their entrepreneurship, in addition to that, also having love, would be considered something good, right?

      > “..aha ha ha ha…!”

      I’m not sure how to interpret this seemingly sarcastic laughter of yours, but since absolutely nothing of your comment made any sense up to this point, or had anything to do with the topic you’re commenting on, i guess that’s not that strange. You’re just following your pattern of posting irrelevant misconceptions, which by the way is suspiciously similar to a troll’s pre-programmed pattern.

  10. [...] there are some politicians who get it. At least it seems that way after reading an entry on the blog of Rick Falkvinge (founder of the Swedish Pirate Party). He says the Green party group, fifth largest in the European [...]

  11. [...] there are some politicians who get it. At least it seems that way after reading an entry on the blog of Rick Falkvinge (founder of the Swedish Pirate Party). He says the Green party group, fifth largest in the European [...]

  12. 6
    notakook

    I’m a huge proponent of copyright reform but I’d support a party affiliated with this. On balance I prefer the current system to what you’re proposing.

    It must be made absolutely clear that the copyright monopoly does not extend to what an ordinary person can do with ordinary equipment in their home and spare time; it regulates commercial, intent-to-profit activity only. Specifically, file sharing is always legal.

    Nonsense, copyright covers distribution. If you’re distributing without a license, you’re infringing. Make file sharing “always legal” and major works will ship with end user contracts to prevent it.

    There must be exceptions that make it legal to create mashups and remixes. Quotation rights, like those that exist for text, must be extended to sound and video.

    Derivative works are covered under copyright law for good reason.

    Digital Restrictions Management should preferably be outlawed, as it is a type of fraud nullifying consumer and citizen rights, but at least, it must always be legal to circumvent.

    Agree 100%.

    The baseline commercial copyright monopoly is shortened to a reasonable five years from publication, extendable to twenty years through registration of the work.

    We don’t need state involvement or compulsory registration. 20 years is good.

    The public domain must be strengthened.

    This is simply a side effect of sane copyright terms.

    • 6.1
      Scary Devil Monastery

      “Make file sharing “always legal” and major works will ship with end user contracts to prevent it.”

      Unfortunately the only thing an EULA can accomplish here is to void the warranty from the manufacturer’s behalf. Putting a text on an item does not abolish any general consumer rights as it is not considered a mutually agreed upon pro forma contract.

      To put it bluntly today every CD sold carries the implicit statement that making a copy of the work is illegal as agreed upon. Those words are so much smoke and mirrors as general consumer rights of “fair use” explicitly allows you to make such copies.

      Every work of media already ships with such a contract. That contract is from a legal point of view invalid.

      • 6.1.1
        notakook

        You need to learn the difference between a license and a contract.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          For one thing you cannot make a legal contract which excepts yourself from common rights accorded by law by the simple expedient of purchasing an article of vendor goods.

          I can somehow imagine sales being affected if people at the checkout are suddenly asked to provide proof of identity and sign a contract with small writing which is what would be required.

          No, I’m fully aware where the difference between license and contract lies. My contention is that you seem to lack this knowledge.

        • notakook

          For one thing you cannot make a legal contract which excepts yourself from common rights accorded by law by the simple expedient of purchasing an article of vendor goods.I could offer any conditions I like and those not preempted by legislation or statutory rights would be held as enforcable. I would agree that even the current copyright system is a much more friendly than the alternatives — this is exactly the point I’m making. Something else we can agree on if you understand the difference between licenses and contracts is that the typical EULA is a poor example of both.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          “I could offer any conditions I like and those not preempted by legislation or statutory rights would be held as enforcable. “

          We are in full agreement then. In order to change a purchase to a contract the way you described you would have to change a few of those statutory rights first. Something which would be rather difficult to do, many of those statutory rights being attached to prevent small-print provisions and “contracts” not mutually agreed upon.

          I still don’t see the point of doing that. People by and large ignore copyright protection within contemporary legislation. If that legislation were to be amended you’d try to get copyright functional through a modified EULA which people would keep ignoring to approximately the same extent?

          Copyright, as is, causes far greater harm than good to society as a whole, and is far more easily exploited as a weapon for a corporation to use against a single creator than the other way around. It’s use in commercial copyright conflicts is dubious at best.

          At the same time the noncommercial infringement aspect isn’t enforceable at all without some truly draconian measures affecting all of society, which is what the pirate party has realized, what the greens have come to realize and what the liberals are currently looking at closely.

          I think it’s unlikely that copyright the way it is interpreted today is going to survive it’s head-on encounter with modern mass-communication. If you want to tack on equally meaningless purchase/license contracts to purveyed goods this would be your option as a supplier but honestly the only outcome I see is more overhead generated on your part.

          Which was my contention from the start.

        • notakook

          many of those statutory rights being attached to prevent small-print provisions and “contracts” not mutually agreed upon.If there’s consideration, there’s mutual agreement.

    • 6.2

      “Make file sharing “always legal” and major works will ship with end user contracts to prevent it.”

      If file sharing were always legal, any such terms in a contract would presumably be void.

      It would also be possible to make to make copyright contingent on the absence of any additional restrictions, so anybody adding an EULA would be deemed to have opted out of copyright and could only take action against someone they could show had entered into a licencing agreement.

      • 6.2.1
        notakook

        A license, as in an EULA is required to be a contract in order to cover usage. Shrink wrap, click through licensing fails to satisfy most legal definitions of a contract. The Creative Commons and software licenses (GPL, BSD, MIT) are on much safer ground as they license recipients to redistribute works and merely set out the requirements for doing so. Licenses are not contracts, they require no consideration.

        How exactly do you guys propose to stop contracts being used once you’ve effectively destroyed copyright protection for digital works? How do you propose to outlaw contracts in the sale and supply of goods? The position espoused here and adopted by the greens is as extreme as that promoted by the old copyright cartels. What I would support is a fair and balanced system, where regional price gouging is verboten and the price for everyone is what the market will bear.

        • ForskarGurra

          Well it might be difficult to stop people from writing contracts. I don’t know how to do that. Maybe it will be difficult.

          But I suppose the “consumers” who are still dissatisfied with the situation will try and get to the content creators and to pay them directly and encourage them to put their works online. If that was to happen then distribution services and content creation could be made separate – independent of each other. You may pay a service provider for a service, when the money go directly to service provider and none to the content creators, and then the customers could selectively support the content creators they like and pay for the service of those creators to create more for them. No copyright costs for the distributors and no distribution cost for content creators. Seems like a win-win-win situation to me.

          Oh, well yeah EULA is maybe once you’ve bought something and not beforehand.. hehe I’m no lawyer, so I don’t know the specifics. Thanks for pointing that out. =)

  13. 7
    notakooknotakook

    Sorry, “I’d not support a party…”. Egregious proposals such as these are not a realistic goal. If copyright licensing were denied me, I would require purchasers sign a contract. This would be more easily enforced and one sided than current copyright legislation.

    • 7.1
      Scary Devil Monastery

      “I would require purchasers sign a contract.”

      You’d require a signed and sworn official contract for any user who wanted to buy a media file? Because it is not possible in the legal sense to make such a contract a valid part of a transaction – see my excerpt on the EULA above.

      Copyright is nothing other than information control under another name. Whether it’s an old-style communist trying to prevent regime dissidence from spreading or a private interest trying to prevent a media file from spreading makes very little difference as to how the issue must be enforced – by use of tools completely incompatible with many of our most basic civil rights.

      If the ability of a creator to enforce the copyright of his works falls as a result of basic civil liberties being upheld then there is no choice at all, really.

      • 7.1.1
        notakook

        incompatible with many of our most basic civil rights.Please consult articles 15, 16 and 17 of the EU charter of fundamental rights and explain what I’ve obviously missed. You seem to be confusing these issues with article 11 and yes, copyright has origins in censorship just as the technology we take for granted had its origins in war. Using modern technology doesn’t make one a warmonger any more than employing copyright makes one pro-censorship.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          Basically in order to even detect and verify copyright infringement your scope of investigation becomes for all intents and purposes infinite.

          Hence you end up with any system able to enforce copyright also becoming a tool of information control – which in turn makes it incompatible with several of those articles you refer to.

          I think you are confusing an issue here – if copyright is to be meaningful then copyright must be enforceable. As that enforcement cannot happen while the citizenry retains their rights to communicate unsurveilled anyone arguing pro-copyright de facto becomes either an advocate of meaningless legislation or an advocate of censorship.

          If you are trying to be an advocate of personal freedoms and copyright then i humbly must advise that the two stances are irreconcilable in practice unless you believe copyright to be an ideologically correct stance to be observed without legal enforcement.

        • notakook

          Basically in order to even detect and verify copyright infringement your scope of investigation becomes for all intents and purposes infinite.I’m not discussing copyright but what happens should the Greens abolish it by enacting the P2P proposal above.

          Hence you end up with any system able to enforce copyright also becoming a tool of information control – which in turn makes it incompatible with several of those articles you refer to.Other articles are incompatible with that too, you’re not calling for medical records or credit card details to be made public are you? These aren’t freedom of expression or censorship issues any more than copyright is.
          I think you are confusing an issue here – if copyright is to be meaningful then copyright must be enforceable. As that enforcement cannot happen while the citizenry retains their rights to communicate unsurveilled anyone arguing pro-copyright de facto becomes either an advocate of meaningless legislation or an advocate of censorship.Glad you settled that for me, how is warmongering working out for you:P

          If you are trying to be an advocate of personal freedoms and copyright then i humbly must advise that the two stances are irreconcilable in practice unless you believe copyright to be an ideologically correct stance to be observed without legal enforcement.Legal enforcement of civil matters does not unduely impinge upon your personal liberty.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          “Legal enforcement of civil matters does not unduely impinge upon your personal liberty.”

          It does when the only real method of enforcement is mass surveillance and the abolishment of the right of privacy altogether. We still have no magical tools capable of separating one type of information from another without actually scanning through the content.

          That’s not warmongering but reality. Especially given the amount of legislation aimed at various forms of information control – IPRED, IPRED2, and ACTA or DLD. All of whom are ostensibly about enforcing immaterial property and all of whom do in fact try to impinge on every common civil liberty associated with right of privacy.

          That’s not comparable to medical records or credit card details. But I do agree that anyone who actually published his or her credit card number or medical record doesn’t have very many realistic complaints coming when someone takes advantage of that information. Information control can be achieved only in one way – secrecy.

          Now, when someone tries to take away my right to communicate with another person in privacy that is acceptable only when a prosecutor has made such a demand based on evidence indicating serious criminal intent or after a trial by judge and jury.

          All of the above treaties actually attempt to abolish said rights én másse, for every citizen in the european union.
          There is no ideologically convenient fence to sit on here, except from very deep within a platonic fold entirely disassociated from reality.

        • notakook

          There is no ideologically convenient fence to sit on here, except from very deep within a platonic fold entirely disassociated from reality.A straw man to accuse me of being detached from reality?None of these privacy intrusions would ever have been permitted if people didn’t engage in copyright infringement en-masse. There’s no requirement to use DPI, anybody distributing publicly can be tracked down without inspecting traffic at the ISP. We both know that copyright infringement is unconnected to these issues, it’s simply a convienient scapegoat and alibi for such measures to be introduced.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          @notakook
          “A straw man to accuse me of being detached from reality?None of these privacy intrusions would ever have been permitted if people didn’t engage in copyright infringement en-masse.”

          No straw man was intended. Just a forceful clarification that copyright cannot coexist with personal freedoms. The “dissasociation to reality” was meant to clarify that unenforceable copyright in effect is no copyright whereas enforceable copyright must rest on the ability of the judiciary and/or private interests to bypass basic personal privacy.

          The other sentence in your anwer does contain a straw man however – whether people engage in copyright infringement én másse or not it is still not acceptable to abolish or circumvent privacy on any scale at all.

          I’d say we have a few hundred years worth of history claiming emphatically that such intrusions into the privacy of ordinary people have only ever been accepted during wartime or in nations under decidedly undemocratic leadership. Even if every person in a country engages in copyright infringement or not it still isn’t a good excuse to circumvent civil liberties we take for granted under the UN statutory rights or the EU constitution.

          Naturally IP protection and enforcement in itself is not enough to warrant such intrusion. It is, however, a convenient bandwagon for everyone interested in information control. Which sadly is nearly every major actor. From China wanting better control over what dissidents say and think to US neocons wanting to “make a stand” against potential terrorism, through EU bureaucracy wanting full insight into the citizenry…all the way down to Berlusconi and Sarkoszy wanting to keep the blogosphere shut up about their private foibles.

          The difference is that pro-copyright organizations can blither about such intrusion as acceptable in the media where no politician would dare be the first to bring it up.

    • 7.2

      Copyright can be enforced against anybody.

      Your signed agreement would only be effective against those who have signed one.

      The scope of your approach would be far more restricted.

      • 7.2.1
        notakook

        Not really, watermarking digital media files so the watermark survives transcoding is easy. Hollywood started doing this with screeners a few years back. Combined with a contract, the original purchaser is on the hook should their copy end up on P2P networks. They would have already accepted liability.

        I’d prefer a copyright law where the rights holder retains the distribution monopoly.

        • ForskarGurra

          “Not really, watermarking digital media files so the watermark survives transcoding is easy.”

          Well, we’ll see about that. ;)

          “Combined with a contract, the original purchaser is on the hook should their copy end up on P2P networks.”

          Well that assumes it doesn’t leak from the “start” from the inside – and that you can actually manage to retain copyright laws in all countries of interest. May not be so easy if you take a glance at the more progressive political movements in the EU for instance. Not even speaking about the piracy situation in Asia…

        • notakook

          if you take a glance at the more progressive political movements in the EU for instanceOnline distributors being under no obligation to renumerate content creators from advertising profits is not a progression. This is a regression to the worst, most exploitative era of the entertainment industries.

        • ForskarGurra

          Well, the world is obviously going through an effectivization in immaterial business which is on the same scale as the industrial revolution was to physically produced goods. If you make that comparison and look at file sharing as the immaterial equivalent of “factories” for material goods, it is really a progressive movement.

          Although most certainly in most eras of technological and societal development, we have had conservative forces wanting to stop the new, more cost-efficient ways to do things – usually the elite from the previous era, desperately trying to retain control over their market. If we would have let those guys “win” with their conservative agendas, protecting their old, innefficient businesses back in the 1900s and 1800s, then how would our world look today?

        • notakook

          The conservative forces in this case would be the big movie studios and the reminents of the recording industry. The P2P provision above would simply hand the effective distribution monopoly to newer industries. Competing with Google is already difficult enough and let’s not forget it is the unintended consequence of the DMCA (safe harbour) which permits this.

          Compulsory music licensing and that hideous broadcast right proposal are all attempts to subvert copyright control from creators. With the pirate party proposal too, it’s the people doing the work that end up being exploited by others. It’s quite offensive, if I create a work then I and I alone should be able to control how that work is distributed or commercially exploited. Why are all these proposals so inequitable… are the people making them prepared to work for free?

        • ForskarGurra

          Well I suppose I didn’t quite understand that the “contract” part was in the “worst-case” where copyright legislation would be abolished? That in those countries, services could still be run with having to sign an EULA which effectively states the same things as your favourite copyright legislation would imply?

        • notakook

          Not an EULA though, a legally valid contract signed before purchase ;)

          It’s not an idealogical position, it’s the practical economic aspect of working hard to create something. The costs of making short films or being in a band are significant, very few people do more than cover their costs and fewer still are in a position to do this work for free. Ultimately, I see the outcome of permitting unlicensed digital distribution as counterproductive for everyone (except Google).

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          notakook, you do realize that ofr all intents and purposes copyright in practice will ALWAYS be a weapon for large industries to leverage against the actual creators?

          That’s how it pans out in practice which is why the current industry can usually “steal” works from creators or abuse them for commercial aspects with relative impunity.

          The CRIA lawsuit in Canada is an exception, not a rule, where creators were indeed awarded a pittance against the rampant abuse of some 300000 titles for 20 years performed by the media industry.

        • notakook

          notakook, you do realize that ofr all intents and purposes copyright in practice will ALWAYS be a weapon for large industries to leverage against the actual creators?Scary Devil Monastery, that wasn’t it. Traditionally the larger corporates controlled the distribution channel. Now we have P2P yet proponents want to kill copyright instead of proactively engaging artists and consumers in a more equitable system. The pirateparty take a market failure and rather than helping turn it to the advantage of recording artists (traditionally they’ve been more exploited than the unionized movie and broadcast industries) they campaign to destroy control over the distribution of creative works.Who is working for the man here, the corporates or the pirateparty? I’m having a hard time telling the outcome of either ideology apart. Do tell, what is the pirate party stance on the moral rights of authors?

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          @notakook

          “Do tell, what is the pirate party stance on the moral rights of authors?”

          Short on time, will get back to you. Meanwhile google Paulo Coelho pirate.

          That author gets it very well. And although I can’t speak for all pirates, both I and a great many of them do possess bought copies of “free” artists.

          Generally speaking, anyone you’re likely to encounter here has no problems paying in order to support arists. A physical book is a bookshelf ornament, as is a collector’s CD set.

          Our official stance is that copyright is irreparably broken as is.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          Transcoding certainly. The only thing watermarking may accomplish is to guarantee that what you hold is an authentic copy. This is completely irrelevant where non-commercial infringement is concerned.

          However, watermarking needs to be of a certain standard in order to be usable at all, and that means it can be easily removed as well as long as any effort is made to do so.

          Which basically makes it the same as any .exe file found in a cracked version TPB in order to run unlicensed software or even legitimate software which someone wants to run from hard drive.

          Sanitizing is not SOP for media files – yet. Watermarking may make it so.

  14. [...] Green/EFA group in the European Parliament has adopted Pirate policies on file sharing and DRM: namely that non-commercial file sharing should be legal, and it should be [...]

  15. 8
    anon

    Rick,

    Could you please disable the Project Honeypot code on your webserver, which is sometimes preventing Tor users from reading your site? I’d understand restrictions on anonymous posting, but I think reading political information anonymously is an important right, and I don’t see how preventing people “with viruses” from reading your site helps anyone.

    Here’s an example of the message I see:
    JavaScript must be enabled to use this page.

    What happened?
    Your computer or another computer on your network is compromised with a virus.

    Your IP: 79.172.193.89

  16. 9
    Anders


    Legal enforcement of civil matters does not unduely
    impinge upon your personal liberty.

    What is unduly?
    Copyright enforcement is about much more than enforcement of civil claims aginst direct infringers.

    Copyright enforcement means third party liability, internet disconnection and delegating evidence gathering to private organizations.

    Under the New zealand copyright law a complaint is conclusive proof of infringement.

    In no other area of the law are civil claimants given such extraordinary powers.

    And in no other area of the law is it argued that an accusation equals proof and that the accused must prove his innocence.

    • 9.1
      notakook

      In no other area of the law are civil claimants given such extraordinary powers.The situation in NZ is clearly indefensible, as are all attempts by large, arrogant corporates to legally bully and extort unreasonable punative damages from consumers. I never claimed to support this nonsense and I don’t. If by third party liability you mean vicarious liability, then I think ISPs should be dumb pipes (common carrier).

  17. 10
    Anders B

    How exactly do you guys propose to stop contracts being used once you’ve effectively destroyed copyright protection for digital works?

    If a creator wants to put consumer unfriendly terms in a contract, I personally think it’s his choice, and the state should to a large extend enforce it against the other party.

    However, the creator who are now the copyright holder should only be permitted to enforce the contract against the party having consented to the contract.

    This means that there can’t be no liability or obligation for any third party who is not a party to the contract.

    A file hosting service and internet service provider is not a party to the contract and should therefore not be demanded to do anything for the rights holder.

    The benefit of such a change is that enforcement and its attenuated costs becomes a dispute between the creator and the consumer.

    It would de facto legalize file sharing and most noncommercial infringement since enforcing the contract would have to be individually considered against each user who in order to be liable must have given his consent.

    You can’t sue a milllion but if you really want to try, It should be your judgment call.

    However, it should never be the business of the state to provide copyright holders with a special legal
    protection such as blanket bans on DRM circumvention, three strikes, or stringent third party liability.

    • 10.1
      notakook

      However, the creator who are now the copyright holder should only be permitted to enforce the contract against the party having consented to the contract.That’s how contracts work but remember this was my proposed solution should P2P be legalised. Who as a party to a contract in which they are personally liable for damages would take the chance of their copy appearing on a file sharing network?

      • 10.1.1
        Scary Devil Monastery

        One minor thing, as you actually seem keen on debating – “P2P” in itself simply refers to a technical protocol used for rapid information transfer between a group of clients (“peers”).

        That protocol is at the heart of most streaming applications, online game updates, OS and third-party application update systems and of course for private peer-to-peer exchanges of files which may or may not be copyrighted.

        What I believe you want to express is “…should non-commercial file-sharing of copyrighted works be legalised. “.
        In reality although bittorrent (p2p technology) is big a case could be made that most copyright infringement takes place through NNTP or IRC protocols (Usenet and messenger services respectively).

        Saying “should p2p be legalized” is a bit like asking whether wheels should be legal when you are discussing speeding violations.

        • notakook

          You’re right. I’m using the term P2P here in context of the proposal above, of course I’m not talking about legalising (the already legal) distribution of copyright works under permissive license… that would be stupid.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          My apologies for the nitpicking. Numerous “legal advisors” in, among other nations, France, have actually been arguing about P2P being “illegal”, and there is a hefty drive for making actual technology protocols capable of circumventing copyright illegal as well.

          The ACTA proposal and the original DMCA of the US being sterling cases of idiocy taken two steps too far in disallowing knowledge and infrastructure technology.

          That being the case a lot of pirates today are overly sensitive to the use of technical terminology and law in arguments. :)

  18. 11
    PiratGurra

    http://tinyurl.com/5wb5wzg <– Here's a contribution to start bashing that stone-aged economically inefficient, censor-friendly, journal-monopoly of scientific papers.

    Please spread the word to all of your scientist friends! Please help seed even if you don't intend to read or contribute ;)

  19. [...] While some try to write off the Pirate Party’s positions on things because of its name (and I still believe its name limits the party’s effectiveness), it appears that more and more people are recognizing that its positions on things like copyright aren’t particularly extreme, but rather are quite reasonable in this day and age. Along those lines, the EU Green Party group has adopted the Pirate Party’s positions on copyright as its own: [...]

  20. [...] Pirate Party’s position on DRM, now adopted by the Green group of the European Union [...]

  21. [...] privato.Il documento, scaricabile qui e di cui riporta alcuni stralci lo stesso Falkvinge sul suo Blog, mette nero su bianco alcuni principi importanti:Deve essere assolutamente chiaro che il monopolio [...]

  22. 12
    Rune K. Svendsen

    In my opinion, banning DRM is both completely unnecessary and an unjustified intervention by the state into the privacy of citizens. If I, as a company or a person, wish to protect data from being copied I should have every right to do so; and if someone wants to buy this product **with its protection scheme clearly described before purchase**, who is the state to say that he and I can’t do this?

    Companies using DRM are shooting themselves in the foot; there is no reason the state should prevent them from doing this; and as a proponent of personal freedom, the pirate movement should not advocate taking away anyone’s right to use DRM, or my right to purchase a product that uses it.

    Coming home with a product that is DRM-restricted and finding out about it then, is of course an entirely different matter. The full price of the product should be refundable, if the person buying the item has not been informed, before purchase, that she is buying a product that is protected by DRM.

  23. [...] der Schutzfrist auf 10 Jahre nach dem Tod des Urhebers vorgeschlagen. Damit liegen wir nicht nur hinter unserer eigenen EU-Fraktion (20 Jahre nach Erstveröffentlichung) zurück, wir hatten uns eigentlich 2010 schon darauf [...]

  24. [...] The Green Group adopted the Pirate Party’s program on copyright and file sharing this fall, October 2011. The principal points of this policy are [...]

  25. 13
    Taisenki

    I agree copyright needs to change. But it needs to favour not only the public, but the ORIGINAL owners of a piece of work too.

    $29 seems to go against that. Although it isn’t detailed on how it would handle a situation. It suggests that the original owner of a piece of work could gain nothing whilst someone who alters a single beat, adds an extra image, changes the audio or any other small to moderate editing is legitimately entitled to all of the gain.

    The problem is big corporations, publishing industries, the marketing and advertising department trying to justify they are worth more than musicians, animators, video game makers, TV producers…We should be rewarding the people who make content for us to enjoy. Not trying to lump them in with people trying to justify their entitlement to large cash money!

  26. 14

    The link you give to the position paper is broken. Could you please update it? Here is a copy: http://minus.com/lXYeaNAYe8Kdc

  27. [...] The proposed solution is realistic and politically doable – not to mention that it has been picked up by the entire Green group in the European [...]

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