Artists Worldwide, Time To Show Support For Liberties And The Pirate Party

Apparently, some older artists – those who are lucky enough to live off of monopolies from times past rather than actual production or performance – have come out in Germany opposing the Pirate Party there. I know that for every artist opposing monopoly reduction and civil liberties, at least ten artists are in favor of the pirate program. This is a time when we and the German Piratenpartei need visible artistic support.

The copyright monopoly lobby in Sweden tried this stunt, too. They would push forward ten artists in a highly visible op-ed in print media, decrying the portrayed evils of the Swedish Piratpartiet, and on top of that, having the audacity to claim they didn’t oppose us for their own sake, but for “the next generation of artists”. Of course, this was utter hogwash and bullshit, but we needed to show that it was utter hogwash and bullshit. So for every artist the copyright lobby put forward signing such an op-ed, we always responded with an op-ed of our own with at least double the number of artists from just that next generation – or triple or more. The lobby learned its lesson quickly. There was just no way the copyright monopoly lobby could outnumber the pirate support quantitively from the artists’ camp, and this was visible as daylight in the mainstream press.

This is the stunt we have to repeat right now for the German Piratenpartei, in light of the lobby trying the exact same thing in Germany. The future needs artists of all signs, types, genres and colors to display support for copyright monopoly reform and for civil liberties, and to do so openly, and right now.

One excellent example is Dan Bull in the UK who just released a torrent aiming for the top charts. Another perennial positive example is Nina Paley in the States.

Can we put up a website for this purpose, perhaps, to show artists’ support for the pirate platform in all kinds of ways (and let artists self-express their support)? Once people in general realize that the parasitic middlemen are not artists, and that they only speak in their own interest as middlemen, the narrative shifts completely.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Henri Tuhola

    “I consider it an untenable situation when musicians no longer dare to advocate publicly for their interests, simply because some people have gotten used to downloading everything for free from the Internet,”

    I do wonder.. Are they intentionally ignoring our argumentation against current state of copyright, or is this just a decoy of some sort?

    Antipiracy is an attack against humanity itself, stemming from interests of invidual “artists” or “producers”. Should you have a right to call yourself an artist if you don’t value art enough to make sure your works are preserved to future generations?

    Preventing copying in internet, even if just half of it, essentially makes it harder to share any piece of culture or knowledge we have. If there were a proper way to combat piracy we might not have any of the old masterpieces available anymore.

    This circus culminates to recent DMCA laws, that make it illegal to preserve things, because moving content to a new media has been criminalized. Happily this doesn’t prevent us from doing such horrible things as preserving and sharing culture.

    1. AeliusBlythe

      “Should you have a right to call yourself an artist if you don’t value art enough to make sure your works are preserved to future generations?”

      The problem is, I think, that most artists DO value art and DO want to preserve their work for future generations, but have been convinced (with little argument) that the powerful producers are their best hope. They throw money at problems and get things done so they look like the big, strong guys that you want on your side.

      Of course exactly why artists who suspect otherwise are obligated to speak up and break the delusion. It is not just their own work at stake but the art itself, the community of artists, which will also be abused and crippled by the archaic and technologically-incompetent producers who are great at throwing money around and getting things done but not so great at preserving art–unless you’re one of a handfull of household names.

      But even those who do suspect otherwise often seem reluctant to speak up, maybe because they still harbor the hope that they will one day be supported by these producers and they don’t want to burn their bridges.

      Good luck to the Pirates of Germany in finding artists that are not afraid to speak up.

  2. Raine is great site that both support to publish music for free with creative commons and lets you sell music for a price people choose themselves…

  3. Zacqary Adam Green

    Can we put up a website for this purpose, perhaps, to show artists’ support for the pirate platform in all kinds of ways (and let artists self-express their support)?

    I’ll do it. Any artists who want to have blurbs/interviews/whatever on it at launch, contact me at [email protected].

  4. Sarajiel

    I really hope that we get some successful German artist coming out to support the “Piratenpartei”.

    Especially ones that don’t make a living off public funds and subsidies like many of these serfs who spoke out against the pirates during the last weeks.

    However I doubt you will find many of those, because the big media conglomerates operating around here prefer selling successful U.S. music, films, TV series etc. instead of local artists.

    1. darkmatter

      Hint.. mass media is owned to a large extent by the same companies as who own immaterial “properties” of culture such as literature and music. Thus, many mass media has a self-preservation interest in not letting pirates and pirate artists through in the news.

      So the problem really lies in who is allowed to give you the view (or illusion) of what is “successful” or not. People satisfied with believing that traditional mass media is giving us a “just” view won’t even try to understand us. People who have read at least a few blogs and are more experienced with internet-“usage” however, still may.

  5. next_ghost

    I really want to see the copyright monopoly lobby try this here in Czech republic. Sure, we have a few burned-out stars who spew this crap everywhere all the time (one of them was the director of OSA, our local equivalent of ASCAP or GEMA). But the older singers who’re still popular talk like Pirates! I guess they still don’t want to have anything to do with the party but they sure do talk like its founding members. One of these guys is Karel Gott (the name should ring a bell in Germany too). This guy is over 70 years old, he’s been singing for over 50 years and he keeps winning our national award for the best singer almost every year. Seriously, he’s won 37 times out of 46 total years of the award’s history. And when this guy is asked about piracy and record sales by journalists, he says something like this: “Records? Bah, when you want to earn money, you have to perform live. So I don’t care about piracy.”

    1. next_ghost

      Oh, I almost forgot. If Karel Gott is really so popular in Germany as Czech media often claim, German Pirates should definitely have an interview with him.

      1. Squig


    2. DannyUfonek

      Don’t forget about Lucie Bílá, which says about the same thing as Karel Gott.

  6. Hoodoo

    The names?

    Where do I learn the names of these… errr… nice people? I listen to German music a lot and I want to be sure I don’t buy an album from them by mistake.

  7. Jan

    We could probably ask “Die Ärzte” for their opinion on the matter. They chosed to put all their songs of their new album on youtube for free. And that album just took number 1 in german charts.

  8. Pirate Party | Fusion Paranoia

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  9. Julia Coelli

    I think the earlier suggestion websites where people choose what to pay is perfectly valid. It will mean that artists get popular and rich not by corporate promotion but by their own evident skills. This also means, that with no set price for music, books, paintings and the like people who would otherwise not have access to them otherwise can get share them too. Even thinking of the wages, people aren’t selfish, if they care enough about the art they’ll be happy to contribute, honestly, most who download things illegally either don’t have other access or just can’t afford it, especially the younger generation. We need this. It’s time for a revolution.

  10. Alan

    MC Lars, one of my favorites, makes a point of being forward thinking about this. He was a lot of my introduction to the mindset. “Download This Song” is one of his hits, but he has a few other songs on the topic and often talks about this stuff outside of his music.

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