ELNM Topic 23: In Search of Middle Ground: Hybrid Approaches

To Do

  • Read at least Chapter 2 (which is a kind of short summary of the treatise) of The Case for Copyright Reform by Rick Falkvinge and Christian Engström. Write an opinion.

Only 20 years ago so-called ordinary people did not worry about the copyright laws, as they were more business problem because business people had got copy and distribute funds. Ordinary people did not thinking about violate copyrights while writing a poem to friend’s book or converted recording music. Today, the same ordinary people can much easier to enjoy and share the culture because of technological change, but the copyright has now begun to hinder it, limiting the opportunities for everyday life of citizens.

Swedish Pirate Party is convinced that the strict copyright laws are outdated and prevents future development. The Party does not want to eliminate the copyright, but reform: to maintain copyright for commercial purposes, but to allow all non-commercial activities of individuals (sharing, dissemination, copying, use) for free.

According to party the strict copyright threatens the fundamental rights of individuals, such as the right to freedom of communication, freedom of information, and even the right to a fair trial. It is difficult to verify whether a person get and send private letters or copyrighted material, and can not prevent private communication for example with your lawyer or a journalist. It is therefore necessary to establish correspondence supervision, which is impossible.

Today’s copyright law prevents or limits the creation of new and exciting cultural works, for example the music tracks on MySpace, remixes in YouTube, photo collages or other environments. Copyright does not allow create them legally. This prevents significantly musicians, filmmakers, and other artists who want to create new works using a previously created work of other authors. Pirate Party proposes to set clear limits and exemptions that allow remixes and parodies, as well as the use of quotations from the sound and audio materials.

The question may arise, how can creative people survive, if they do not get money of the use of their works. Pirate Party argues that this is political decision – politicians should find a way to implement a similar model as in business also in the field of culture. Economic statistics suggest now that this is not really a problem.

Copyright law must be either renewed or canceled, the Pirate Party declares in favor of reform. According to the party proposals are fully in line with the ideas expressed in the international debate and discussed thoroughly for at least ten years.

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