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.