Finnish Copyright Monopoly Reform Initiative Needs 20k More Signatures

Electronic Frontier Finland needs your help in calling attention to a copyright monopoly reform initiative in Finland. It has 29,125 signatures, and it needs to get to 50,000 by July 26. If successful, the reform proposal will be raised in the Finnish Parliament.

The petition, or a citizens’ initiative, doesn’t call for the endgoal reforms like full-out legalization and encouragement of sharing culture and knowledge, but rather, it sets modest goals that are short-term achievable: remove the worst abuses of copyright monopoly law, strengthen fair use and satire protection, and above all, pull things in the right direction. The copyright industry has taken a century of patience to get to where we are today, and if we can undo that in a decade or two, that’s good (and doable). But even a long journey needs to be taken one step at a time, and above all, with a clear sense of direction.

As it stands, the citizens’ initiative has 29,125 signatures. It needs 50,000 – from Finns! – to make it to the Finnish Parliament, the Eduskunta.

Two things are notable here: First, this petition is not like the U.S. White House petitions where the President’s staff responds with something witty, nonsensical, or dismissive. This is a petition that will be brought up in the legislative branch by law if it reaches its goal – not the executive branch.

Second, the petition succeeding doesn’t mean that it becomes law; just that it will be brought up in Parliament as a law proposal. But it does send a clear message to lawmakers in Finland about what gets votes, which is one of the fastest and most effective ways to shift policy in any country. Politicians will bend over backwards and abandon all ideals in exchange for votes. Equally notable, of course, is that a failure of the petition would send the opposite message.

Please distribute this to your Finnish friends, colleagues, and activists to get that last push of 20k more signatures in the last three weeks to go.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot.

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Discussion

  1. Jiri Keronen

    Thank you for spreading the message.

    Even though the citizens’ iniative isn’t good as instruments of direct democracy, it’s still something and we should use every tool in our possession to further a more sensical society.

  2. Thanks

    Only broblem with our citizens’ initiative’s is that almost everyone I know does not care about politics… If dimwits want to censorship us, we bypass them way faster than they can abuse new laws/tradetreaties. Yes I try, always to educate but intelligent persons almost always have natural distrust to anything that relates to our ‘Eduskunta’ .
    We learn all the time, and unfortunately even I kinda agree with them. History, even past decade helps a lot…

    Humans, sighs deeply

  3. Anonymous

    i sincerely hope that the Finnish people sign this petition. they have little idea of what the restrictions will be, what the demands from the entertainment industries and they collection agencies will be but they can be assured, they will not be good! at the least, anyone ‘caught’ file sharing will be judged as guilty from the word go, and unless able to afford to pay for legal representation will be found guilty just on the accusation! their homes will be invaded at all hours, their home computer equipment will be confiscated (and destroyed) by people working for those industries, even though they will probably be accompanied by the police. you have the chance here to make things better and different. for God’s sake take it! if you dont, regardless of how bad you may think things are at the moment, believe me, they will get far worse!!

  4. Mikko Rauhala

    Again, thanks for the support. I’ll note that with tomorrow being the final signing day, things are looking pretty good after a crazy final spurt. The verified electronic signatures are over 49k, which with paper ones that should take the total over 52k, hopefully more (there’s apparently papers to be properly tallied…). I’ll feel better if the electric signatures alone get over 50k during tomorrow since they’re harder to weasel out of on technicalities and obscure handwriting, but there seems to be a decent margin for error already, again with the assumption that most of any potential problems of acceptance will be with the paper ones.

    1. Mikko Rauhala

      Update: With 27 minutes to go, we reached 50000 pre-approved electronic support ballots. The rest should now be just gravy.

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