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EU Parliament Group Opposes Long Copyrights and Oppressive DRM

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-not-easy-being-green dept.

EU 172

the_arrow writes "Apparently 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 Parliament, has officially adopted several of the Pirate Party's stances in a new position paper (PDF). The Greens say, 'the copyright monopoly does not extend to what an ordinary person can do with ordinary equipment in their home and spare time,' adding that a 20-year protection term is more reasonable than 70 years. They go on to say, 'Net Neutrality must be guaranteed,' and also mention DRM: '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.'"

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172 comments

juchu pirate party (2)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643404)

and there were some people who thought a "pirate party" is crazy and nobody will vote for them. The old saying is always true "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Well, for the Green Party they skipped the 3rd step.

Re:juchu pirate party (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643564)

The old saying is always true "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Well, for the Green Party they skipped the 3rd step.

Or they just fired a shot in that third step. Recall that this particular struggle is a very long way from the good guys winning. Sadly, the victories have so far been almost all on the side of darkness/evil/persecution, with extensions of terms to absurd extremes, proliferation of DRM, and legalized oppression requiring nothing more than a flimsy accusation.

Re:juchu pirate party (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643632)

True, but media conglomerates winning those battles may end up causing them to lose the war. The Pirate Party and its momentum are arguably due to backlash, and if Big Content hadn't been so oppressive, we likely wouldn't have had so much backlash.

Re:juchu pirate party (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644604)

If a party fights you by adopting your talking points in their position paper, then you've already won.

Re:juchu pirate party (1)

bongomanaic (755112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643648)

Green parties have been at the forefront of the fight against software patents and for digital rights in Europe since before the first Pirate Party was founded. It's just that they don't think it's the only important issue.

Re:juchu pirate party (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644014)

Which is the problem with Greens and this issue. Greens certainly think that free speech is neat, but there is always the possibility that they will deal away the issue for something that's more important to them, like, say, a ban on nuclear power or an EU tax on carbon or somesuch. The Pirate Party won't.

Re:juchu pirate party (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644224)

Or that they will just vote against their party's stance in copyright issues for no apparent reason, like Swedish Green MEP Isabella LÃvin did when she voted in favour of the Gallo report [techdirt.com] last year. Her fellow MEP from the Swedish Green party, Carl Schlyter, indicated that there had been a lot of pressure from lobbyists on that issue (but didn't explicitly mention LÃvin).

If a Green MEP had voted against their own party in an environmental issue it would almost certainly had made headlines. Now no one cared, and most of her voters probably still don't know about it even though the Greens in Sweden have used their stance against draconian copyright laws in the campaigns in the last few national and EU election cycles.

Re:juchu pirate party (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644254)

Her name is Isabella Lövin. Slashdot, please join the rest of the world in UTF-8 land.

Re:juchu pirate party (2)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644110)

Which is of course bullshit, because most of the time when they fight you they kill you or put you in jail.

It's a ploy! (2)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643406)

They're just trying to get Big Media to toss some cash their way.

Re:It's a ploy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643674)

They're just trying to get Big Media to toss some cash their way.

Most european countries finance political parties with public money.
That doesn't mean that lobbies can't exerce influence, but the playing field is much more level than what you find in the free US of A.

hey slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643420)

Hey Slashdot, me and a couple of my well-hung buddies were spitroasting your mom while your dad wanked his pathetic baby dick.

Heres the thing (2)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643482)

"getting it" and doing something about it are 2 different things. Poloticians can talk the talk, hardly do they ever walk the walk.

Twenty? Try 10 (3, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643518)

Art falls into 3 categories.

1. Masterpiece (Potter/Tolkien/Shakespeare/Jane Austen/Picasso etc.) These usually make a tone of money in the first 5 years - or don't make any till after the author is dead. In either case, there is no point in extending the length of the copyright. It won't affect the author significantly, either way.

2. Profitable, but not masterpieces. These make their money in the first year, and then fade out quick. By the 5th year, it is practically nothing. But they might do a sequel, which can extend profits. Still, 10 years after the first original work, it won't matter. Either the series has made someone very rich, or their new profits come from the new books, not the old ones.

3. Not profitable. Not in 1 year, not in 10, not in 20, not in 70. NEVER profitable.

There is zero reason to extend copyrights past 10 years, let alone 20.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (4, Informative)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643590)

The proposal in the Swedish Pirate Party's program is 5 years from publication. I don't know why the Greens in the EP thought that they needed 20 years, but either way it's infinitely better than today's life + 70 years which is usually 3 or 4 generations from publication and is obviously insane.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643976)

Believe it or not, this is to follow a proposition originally made by Stallman. He said that one must be careful if you want to preserve free software while limiting copyright.

The proposal is therefore that an author gets a minimum of 5 years of exclusive commercial exploitation of his work but can get 10 or 20 years if he authorizes (from the start) derivative works under a free license.

In the absolute I think it is a good idea, and politically it gives room for negotiation, which is always a good thing. Anyway, even during the 5 years period, non-commercial filesharing would be perfectly legal.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644062)

Of course, a lot of Stallman's concerns and hypothetical were rooted in EULAs. While I often find myself in agreement with him, I think it's simpler to just make certain elements of EULAs unenforceable. Another alternative might be that copyright degrades over time. For example, you only get 5 years for the right to prevent derivative works, 10 years for outright copies.

GPL != EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644232)

Of course, a lot of Stallman's concerns and hypothetical were rooted in EULAs.

EULA is a license which allows you to use software.

GPL is a license which allows you to distribute software. It does not apply to the end-user.

Re:GPL != EULA (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644304)

That's not what I mean. Stallman said:

Proprietary software is restricted by EULAs, not just by copyright, and the users don't have the source code. Even if copyright permits noncommercial sharing, the EULA may forbid it.

I think this is addressed by not letting EULAs forbid this behavior in the first place.

Re:GPL != EULA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644306)

EULA is a license which allows you to use software.

Damn, the industry has you eating right out of their hand...

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (2)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644310)

That's not the proposal in the Greens' position paper [greens-efa.eu] though. It says that you need to register after five years if you want an extension (to 20 years, I assume). It doesn't mention any requirement to allow derivative works.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (2)

maharvey (785540) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643614)

Which one does Disney fall under?

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643654)

Disney would generally fall under masterpieces. They are already highly profitable within 5 years, so we don't need to give them more than 5 years to convince them that it's a worthwhile investment.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644150)

But then they won't have reason to pull things back out of the vault, shine 'em up, and put them on the latest media format! (Except, of course, that they're the only ones who have the masters, so at best anyone else doing it would be upconverting DVDs.)

I wonder how we could get them to release Song of the South. (I know it's not PC, but neither is Huckleberry Finn.)

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644256)

Except the new works would be covered under a new copyright. Also, a lot of the remasters look worse. I recall seeing a commercial for the Peter Pan remaster, and it made the animation tricks they used horribly transparent. And we have some stuff like Han shooting first.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643788)

Perhaps I am a minority here, but I see prolonged copyright protection is a good thing. I don't want my nurtured stuff to be sold on some thieves bazaar by hoarders and internet opportunists. Why would anybody be against copyright? What is the motivation against it? What is their plan? To release and disseminate our works for free under tenancy of untouchable server masters? A pirate world reigned by some advertisement fed vultures serving our hard work over the Internet?

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643960)

I don't want my nurtured stuff to be sold on some thieves bazaar by hoarders and internet opportunists.

And I want free ponies, doesn't mean the government should spend taxpayer money forcing confiscating and giving me them.

Why would anybody be against copyright?

They're not. They're for a more limited copyright. One which doesn't impose an unreasonable burden on the government and on society.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644040)

Perhaps I am a minority here, but I see prolonged copyright protection is a good thing. I don't want my nurtured stuff to be sold on some thieves bazaar by hoarders and internet opportunists. Why would anybody be against copyright? What is the motivation against it? What is their plan? To release and disseminate our works for free under tenancy of untouchable server masters? A pirate world reigned by some advertisement fed vultures serving our hard work over the Internet?

Copyright is a kind of social contract between creators and society. You want to create and not be burdended by the thought of your work falling into the public domain after x years ? Go live in a cave with the savages. Problem solved. Copyright is not a one way sign to eternal profit.
We can debate on the length of copyright, but one thing is sure, copyright should never extend beyond the death of the author/artist/musician/etc...

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (3, Interesting)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644140)

For most people on here, the issue isn't the existence of copyright - not even the summary states that. The issue is the fact that, in America and apparently the EU, most works copyrighted in our lifetimes will not enter the public domain until the overwhelming majority of us are dead. In America, the copyright laws have essentially ensured that the songs I hear on the radio today won't enter the public domain until my grandchildren are due for retirement.

Ideally, the working principle of copyrights should enable the author to recoup their time and monetary investments in a work, and then provide a platform upon which subsequent works can be based. If copyright worked the way it is supposed to, sampling in the style of Timbaland (roughly one old song sampled per new song) wouldn't be the norm; sampling as originally started with the Beastie Boys and De La Soul in the late 1980's and early 1990's would have continued throughout the decade (interesting article on sampling here: http://clearance13-8.com/AShortClearanceHistory.htm [clearance13-8.com]). That article discusses the fact that the budgets for sampling royalties for many of those records far exceeded the recording budgets, because everyone and their cousin wanted a slice of the album sales because a five second sample of a song recorded 30 years prior was being used.

The general consensus here, as much as I can group it together, is that copyright isn't *bad*, it's simply being abused. As a mobile DJ, my clients don't owe me money every time they watch their wedding video, nor would I expect them to. No one is saying that it's bad for your "nurtured stuff" to be protected and earn you a living. What is generally held with disdain is the fact that it's kept that way for decades past the point where the original work has earned the creators a profit, and THAT is what is being fought against.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644142)

I don't mind copyright. What I do mind is that my tax money is used to protect your profit.
Disallow people to copy your work all you want, just don't spend my money doing it.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644204)

Why would anybody be against copyright?

In Against Intellectual Monopoly, economists Michele Boldrin and David Levine make a case against copyrights. Read it here. [dklevine.com]

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (4, Insightful)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644364)

I have no problem with the author, editor, proofreader, typesetter, et al getting paid for their effort. What I do have a problem with is stuff that was good enough for me to enjoy, but not good enough to stay in print forever, _ceasing_to_exist_ when the printed copies of (e.g.) Analog from the 1970s have all rotted away. The publisher probably won't believe enough people will pay for the Adventures of Ferdinand Feghoot to reprint them commercially (and they're probably right), but nobody else can reprint them at all... leaving the only copies of this stuff on pulp paper.

H. G. Wells's work seems to be some of the most recent stuff that's in public domain without the author explicitly saying so. With Disney trying to protect Steamboat Willie forever, I don't see that changing. So from now on (almost certainly for the rest of my life, at least) there will be essentially two bodies of work that can be gotten: reprints of stuff older than about 1920, and whatever is currently for sale. That's it. And that's not fine. That's not "Progress in the Useful Arts" in my book.

So while I understand why you as an author want your rights protected, and I'm happy to keep you fed and housed and producing new work if it's any good, I'm not happy enough to keep your grandchildren fed and housed off your work that I'm willing to watch the good-but-not-fantastic stuff just vanish.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644406)

H. G. Wells's work seems to be some of the most recent stuff that's in public domain without the author explicitly saying so.

Under current law, the works of H.G. Wells won't enter the public domain in the EU until 2017.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643808)

I'd go so far as to say there's no reason to have copyright for ANY number of years.

The discrete value of a copy of information is zero. [slashdot.org]

Business models need to change to cope with a technology that is far, far more deeply revolutionary than the invention of the printing press ever was; after all, for all it's percieved game-changing nature, the Gutenberg press, and all that came after it, merely puts information on paper, just like the scribes before it.

Interestingly, without changing business model to access-control-by-production (as opposed to the "current" -- now functionally obsolete -- access-control-by-individual-copy), producers faced with shortened copyright terms may not have as much money on hand to produce new works, since all the funding for new works comes from people paying for otherwise worthless copies of previous works. Hopefully there'll be a smooth transitional phase where works shift from "funded by production company" -> "funded partially by production company and partially by audience" -> "funded by audience."

Probably not, though.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644082)

"I'd go so far as to say there's no reason to have copyright for ANY number of years."
False, or -1 you don't get it.

W/O copyright, how many people would have published the Harry Potter books? How many would have given the author a single cent?

You're argument is why the middle man will go away.

It will never be funded by the audience, it will be funded buy the author.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644208)

Data seems to suggest that authors often do better without a copyright system. Royalties are in practice a false hope that non-superstars will never see any significant money from. Lump sums are generally better. We have data from Germany and England when the former had no effective copyright and the latter did. Germany had lots of books printed cheaply, with the authors getting decent lump sum payments, because their concern was to sell as many copies as they could before competitors had a chance to. England sold fewer books at higher margins, and led authors on with the allure of royalties.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644554)

False, or -1 you don't get it.

Incorrect.

W/O copyright, how many people would have published the Harry Potter books? How many would have given the author a single cent?

You say that like you know the answer to that question. It's cute.

You're argument is why the middle man will go away.

No, my argument is why copyright can't work anymore, unless we break or illegalize nearly every computer. The disappearence of producers in a market where production capacity is ubiquitous and production cost is infitessmal is just a side effect.

It will never be funded by the audience

False, or -1 you don't get it.

It's happening right now, here and there. Not at all difficult to research.

Increasing use of this model is inevitable.

You're welcome to join the rest of us in the future any time you like.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644760)

No, my argument is why copyright can't work anymore, unless we break or illegalize nearly every computer. The disappearence of producers in a market where production capacity is ubiquitous and production cost is infitessmal is just a side effect.

And we should legalize child pornography (it's on computers!) and legalize money counterfeiting, too because you can't make every copy machine illegal. I just love how people who use this argument are really just rewording the old "might makes right" argument - you can't stop us, therefore we're right.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644928)

And we should legalize child pornography (it's on computers!) and legalize money counterfeiting, too because you can't make every copy machine illegal.

This has nothing to do with anything I wrote. Why did you write it?

"Copyright depends on the access limitations inherent to physical media. Those limitations do not exist for digital media. They cannot be made to exist for digital media."

Seriously, answer this question if you can: what does the previous sentence have to do with child pornography?

Counterfeiting is inherently physical. All the limitations of physical media apply; each piece is unique and potentially traceable, and there is no inherent means of production (that is to say, you don't need to make two or three copies of a dollar bill every single time you use one). You simply cannot photocopy a dollar and get another dollar. The opposite is true of digital information; you cannot make a copy of a file and get anything BUT an identical copy that cannot be differentiated in any way from the original, unless instead of copying you (copy+introduce changes). You are REQUIRED to make copies of digital files in order to even look at them.

I just love how people who use this argument are really just rewording the old "might makes right" argument - you can't stop us, therefore we're right.

You didn't even read my argument, not even one time. You have no idea what I'm talking about. How can you love anything about it?

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643848)

Harry Potter is a masterpiece? When did that happen?

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643952)

in keeping with his theme of mentioning authors by (mostly) surname, we can only assume he is speaking of
alexandra potter [wikipedia.org], not that no-talent hack rowling.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644032)

Mathematically, 14 years it the optimal time.

And you are pretty naive about the publishing industry. Sometimes as book won't find a market for years.

You also ignore the new economy where the long tails is, effective, infinite.
Which means books that didn't mkae money* and got buried will ba available for years.

Potter, masterpiece? please. It's an enjoyable series, but the story is simple, and the dialog is often like listening to kids talk like what they think an an adult would talk like as a kid.

Potter is an interesting example in that the first book is still make a lot of money for the author. and will for quite some time.

However, the issue isn't money, it's culture. With Potter, she has made so much money, they having the first book go into public domain will not harm her. remember , the reason we have copyright they way we have it was the 'widow' argument.... which was effectively the 'think of the children' argument 200 years ago.
It was about the poor widow not starving to death because her husband dies and she can't make any money.
Many of the founding fathers didn't want copyright because of it's abuse in Europe. F only the mandated a length. sigh.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644308)

Masterpiece (Potter/Tolkien/Shakespeare/Jane Austen/Picasso etc.)

Potter, masterpiece? please. It's an enjoyable series, but the story is simple, and the dialog is often like listening to kids talk like what they think an an adult would talk like as a kid.

You twant, he's not talking about Harry Potter, but about the master author Stephen Potter [wikipedia.org], who indeed is on the level of Tolstoy (misspelled as Tolkien) and Shakespeare.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644448)

You also ignore the new economy where the long tails is, effective, infinite

Unfortunately, the new economy also renders the long tail effectively valueless.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644104)

Putting Potter next to Shakespeare makes literature majors cry. Sure, Potter isn't bad, but DAMN.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644652)

Of course it make sense, since almost all works belong to some publisher. A company can "live" for 50 or 100 years or more. Then it's quite different:

1. Masterpiece, ton of money in first 5 years, more money with the "long tail" in following years - or no money, then it's in some safe or storage room and after the dead of the author it's like described earlier. The more the copyright term the better, to get the "long tail" profits, and exclusion of competition (think of the Beatles, Mickey Mouse, etc).

A long copyright term makes only sense if we talk about the publishers.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644918)

Um... no.

Publishers have even more resources than single authors and have a broader reach. If they can't sell a particular book well in twenty years, well, I don't see how another thirty is going to make it better. If it does sell well then twenty years is about time for everyone to have a copy if the publisher has done their work well and made boatloads of cash in the process but you can only sell so many copies of a book before everyone has one or two copies. Even after the copyright is done they are a good book maker and can likely still sell loads of reprints over time but the main rush is gone.

Twenty years is a nice good maximum copyright for publishing a book. Maybe twenty five. Movie rights might be something that is worth something longer given how movie makers love redoing old movies but not the book itself.

Re:Twenty? Try 10 (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644796)

I'm going to suggest that everyone in here is forgetting about secondary rights. A masterpiece book makes a lot of money in the first few years. Ten years later, somebody gets around to making a movie version. The author of the original book deserves to get royalties from that. It isn't fair to allow freeloading by a major industry off the hard work of an individual, as would be the case if copyright durations were so absurdly short.

Copyright durations should be 14 years, with the option to extend for a second 14. Anything shorter and content creators will be exploited by big corporations. You know, as in, "Why would I pay you royalties for your story when I can just keep that submission instead of shredding it, and publish it in ten years for free?"

misleading title (-1, Troll)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643520)

LOL "Politicians" who get it, then it turns out to be an article about the "founder of the pirate party". Well, a chuckle is always good on a Friday afternoon I suppose!

Re:misleading title (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643572)

Perhaps you should actually read the summary. The founder of the pirate party is talking about something much larger green party has taken a position on.

Re:misleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643608)

The pirate party is a member of the Green group in the EP. The group as a whole has adopted the position described.

Re:misleading title (3, Insightful)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643612)

No, the article is about the copyright policies adopted by the Green group with 56 elected representatives in the highest legislative body of the European Union. Which happen to coincide to a large degree with the copyright policies of the Swedish Pirate Party, probably because they have a MEP who is a member of the Green group.

Re:misleading title (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643864)

And it is worth noting that the Scottish National Party are part of the Green group, and they are the party of government in Scotland. However copyrights are a reserved matter for the Westminster Parliament, so it doesn't help Scotland that much.

Having said that, the Liberal Democrats, part of the coalition government in Westminster and part of the Liberal group in Europe which is the third largest party there, have very favourable views on the Digital Economy Act that was passed by the previous administration here.

Re:misleading title (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644050)

Which happen to coincide to a large degree with the copyright policies of the Swedish Pirate Party, probably because they have a MEP who is a member of the Green group.

It should be noted that the Greens were already fairly critical and that is why the Pirate Party joined it rather than be an independent, but I'm glad to see they're moving in the Pirate Party's direction. For all those that don't know the EP though, it has 736 representatives so the Greens in total are 7.5%, obviously fighting most for their green policies. They're a long way from changing EU politics, but hopefully they can at least be the critical voice.

Re:misleading title (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644450)

Being independent was never an option, since committee positions, speaking time and other resources in the EP are mainly allotted to party groups, not individual MEPs. There is an "independent" party group of otherwise unaffiliated parties, but it consists mainly of racists and loons that no one else want to have in their group.

The plans of the Pirate Party, as they were announced before the last election, were to negotiate with any of the serious party groups and join the one that made them the best offer in terms of resources and positions. As far as I understand they were in negotiations with both the Greens and the liberal group ALDE, and apparently the Greens made the best offer.

Since then, it's been increasingly clear that it probably was the best choice politically as well. ALDE often joins the conservative groups in voting for more draconian copyright laws, more surveillance and so on.

Re:misleading title (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644654)

That the Pirate Party was willing to negotiate was clear, it wasn't all that clear how well received they'd be. The groups mostly mirror traditional party blocks and PP didn't really fit in any of those. A lot of the mainstream press and probably representatives considered it to be one of the "loons" based on the name alone. If nobody wanted to give them time from the group, being in the group would be pointless. ALDE didn't offer much of anything from what I remember, about on par with just being an independent. Luckily they didn't have to make that choice, because the Greens and PP got along well.

There are a few in every government. (1)

Loopy (41728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643592)

The problem is that there are more in every government that can be (and are) bought by the media conglomerates.

Re:There are a few in every government. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643676)

Not every government is as corrupt as the US government.

In some places here in the 1st world it tends to work better than in the cesspit you call a country.

Re:There are a few in every government. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643888)

I know you are just trolling, but the EU isn't perfect either.

The EU *Parliament* is actually pretty decent overall, but parts of the EU government are really rotten and corrupt. Imho, the problem parts are more on the executive side, meaning the Commission and particularly the lobbyist-infested parts of the Commission that provide support materials for the rest of the system.

In the US the problem goes much deeper, with pretty much all the politicians receiving unlimited campaign funds from private interests, and with the government being less fragmented than the EU and more removed from the states/constituents that should be represented, it's harder for the people's voices to be heard...

Re:There are a few in every government. (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643904)

The European parliament is definitely not "pretty decent overall". The members of the large party groups (the two conservative ones and the social democratic one) are just as bought as the commission and the national governments. For some reason the lobbyists just don't bother that much with the smaller party groups.

Re:There are a few in every government. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644362)

oh yeah? Where? Certainly not in the EU. Pretty much every major nation has been involved in backing software patents, copyright cartels, internet censorship, or in the case of Sweden blatant caving and corruption by the US gov't.

Is your nation signing on with the ACTA? If so, its time to wake up.

LOL, no (1)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643634)

It "must always be legal to circumvent DRM"? And copyright terms should be slashed by 70%? No thx.

I wonder if the comparatively weak global demand for any entertainment media coming out of the EU helps explain the hostility to American IP principles? :)

Re:LOL, no (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643762)

I wonder if the comparatively weak global demand for any entertainment media coming out of the EU helps explain the hostility to American IP principles? :)

No but common sense does.

Re:LOL, no (4, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643842)

American IP principles? That's a good one. The US had much weaker laws than most of Europe for over a century (Berne convention was 1886, and the US joined in 1988, and we didn't really pass Europe up until the DMCA in 1996). During that period, global demand for US entertainment media rose dramatically. Perhaps some Europeans were paying attention and realized if they had a more permissive culture, they might get their own Hollywood.

Re:LOL, no (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644396)

Not only that, but Hollywood started as a pirate operation. You know all those people wanting to make movies, why did they choose to go to california instead of staying on the east coast? For the weather ? No, they went to the west coast to get out of reach from Edisons' patents. Isn't it ironic, that the pirate industry par excellence is giving lessons of morality to the entire world. Fuck Hollywood, they are a cancer to society. Edison should have sued the hell out of them, and if not he should have sent his thugs to fix things.

Re:LOL, no (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644476)

Maybe it's somewhere down there on the list of reasons, but I doubt it'd even make the top ten. Lot more languages, lot more different cultures and once you cross that border it's a "foreign film". Some countries go a little better together like Scandinavia but there's us, the English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and then some with dubs of varying quality losing a lot of lip sync and intonation. Hollywood is the exception in penetrating most of Europe, not the norm. I would say it's due to two things. One, by already having the entire US market most Hollywood movies have solid budgets and look good. Pretty much everything breaking new ground in special effects has been from the US. The other is the gun crazy culture the US has making for good action movies, that other countries can watch without caring much for a bad dub. I just don't see any country in Europe making anything like Rambo or Terminator.

You can still see this in music, apart from the international superstars singing in English I got no clue what's popular in France or Germany or Spain or Italy or Finland right now. When I visit Germany they've barely heard of a Norwegian artist and I've barely heard one or two of theirs. Huge, huge domestic artists are complete nobodies one or two states over, by US standards. While I'm pretty sure a guy from California will have a lot more in common with what's popular in New York, Texas and Florida. If they go to cinemas they're likely to have much the same movies. The only movies youÂre likely to find everywhere here are those from Hollywood....

So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't? (-1, Troll)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643700)

is that their vision of the future there? Hey I'm all for liberating media from DRM, as long as you paid for the content. Aside from the absurdity of their stance on property ownership, let's all just keep in mind content creators make money, which pays taxes, which keeps the government running. I don't expect the government to curb that revenue any time soon just so a few jerks with expensive equipment can sit around rippin DVD's and blurays all day.

Re:So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643766)

Content creatores make content, big media makes money, big media evades taxes.

Re:So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't (1)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643852)

I'm sure I'm feeding a troll here, but ... my interpretation is ...

Their stance is that both the public (consumers in your statement above) and creators have rights. Creators' exclusive rights should not be for an absurdly-long period, but if a particular property proves to be profitable the creator has the option to extend their exclusive rights for a nominal cost. In any case all rights revert to the public within approximately one generation.

To me this seems like a very realistic and sensible way to handle copyright.

Re:So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643920)

Do your creative endeavors require eternal copyright to be profitable? I would love if people could use my 20 year old code, for me that was a mix of perl and c with a lot of assembler for odd processors/platforms. Creators have the rights they were artificially given by copyright law pre printing press there were no real protections. You always have the choice to not publish or only publish to a select clientele. It's not property it was artificially made into something resembling property by act of law. DRM is poised to destroy our common culture, were unable to run applications from 25 years ago in some cases already. None of this is going to particularly impact revenue. If anything a shorter length of copyright is a reason to create more rather than sitting on ones laurels.

Re:So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644136)

You wrote Perl 20 years ago? wow. I assume you also own a Delorian that can get up to 88 mph?

That was the snide remark I was going to reply with, then I realized, SHIT I wrote Perl 20 years ago. I can't believe it's been 20 years. Shit.

Now get off my Primordial Soup.

Re:So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643926)

I didn't read the article, but where do you get the creators don't have rights from?

From the legal DRM circumvention? Which is, I buy a CD, I rip the CD and store it on my PC. Not the I go to TPB and download the CD. Remember the word legal.
Or from only getting paid for your work for 20 years after? Can you point me to any artist that after 20 years still gets paid from his work but didn't already earn enough money on it before that 20 years was over? And I am talking about revenue from CD sales, not from live performance.

Re:So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643966)

The creators (or rather publishers) have far more rights than they ever should have to begin with. The systems in place have been abused to the point that we won't see half the things from our childhood enter the public domain in our lifetimes. DRM makes everything a pain in the ass and they know damn well they aren't stopping piracy but instead making it a hassle for normal people to use their devices the way they see fit. These practices need to be shot down now. To say that content owners are being granted NO rights is ridiculous. They're being regulated back to sane levels again where they can no longer be hostile assholes to their customers.

Re:So in EU, consumers have rights, creators don't (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644352)

Even if it did stop some pirates, I still don't think it would be worth it. There are likely few implementations that can actually stop any pirates whilst not creating a hassle for actual customers.

Now if it could just translate across the pond... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643726)

If we could just get *SOME* politicians here in the states to understand that... It's a shame the entertainment industry has so many of them in their pockets...

* The US of A, the best government that money can buy....

DRM -or- LAW (3, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643900)

IMO, the law on DRM should be this: you can protect your property with DRM or you can protect your property with copyright law but not both. If you elect to protect your property with DRM, you can still seek injunctions or collect real damages but you are no longer eligible for statutory damages under copyright law.

Re:DRM -or- LAW (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644454)

This is an interesting proposition. It basically means that if you're going to use DRM, it's you're own damn fault if it doesn't work and gets copied anyways. Then since it doesn't actually work, they'll stop using it so that they can collect statutory damages again. People still get screwed for torrenting etc, but now at least we can copy in peace for legal purposes.

Until they try mass threats to random people trying to convince them that copying CDs to their iPod was illegal, and sue cloud music servies out of existence. Nope, still don't see it doing much.

Copyright steals our public domain (5, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644022)

Never forget that. Long copyright steals our public domain.

Before digital distribution, 5-7 years was considered an adequate amount of time to monopolize an idea. You'd think that number would go down with faster distribution because the creator could get it out there faster.

Re:Copyright steals our public domain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644196)

Long copyright steals our public domain.

All copyright steals from the public domain and freedom. However, we've decided to make a trade. Trade our freedom to encourage artists. It seems everyone forgot this was a tradeoff, not a right to own fake property.

Re:Copyright steals our public domain (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644938)

It's a case of too little or too much medicine for creativity. Too little does nothing to promote creativity and too much kills it.

Re:Copyright steals our public domain (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644372)

You obviously just want free stuff...

My Sweet Lord (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644440)

I just want the right to create without the incumbent publishers breathing down my neck claiming that my work is a "non-literal copy" of a mainstream publisher's work. Do you remember what happened to George Harrison with his song "My Sweet Lord" (Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music)?

Re:Copyright steals our public domain (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644800)

Before digital distribution, 5-7 years was considered an adequate amount of time to monopolize an idea.

Do you have a source? Because copyright lengths were getting longer a long time before digital distribution. And, as I recall, the very first time someone asked for copyright (he was an author in Venice asking the government for exclusive rights to print his book as that he could get adequately compensated for his hard work), he was granted a term of 10 years. I've *never* heard of 5-7 years as being "considered adequate".

This is just a small group, not enough to pass it (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644168)

It's nice to see some support, however, this is just a small group within the parliament that shares those beliefs. Still a long way off from enough support to become law.

Some thing needs to be done about abandonware (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644274)

and other old stuff that you can no longer buy other then used and or having to hunt the barging bins.

Let say you want a older game or app and there is no store that has it that can be found easily. Now amazon marketplace and or ebay does not count as they used copys and there is the issues with e-bay scams as well.

Now why should have to drive store to store and hunt for older games when it is alot easier to just download them off a torrent or a abandonware website?

also what about lost games and software where the rights seem to be in a black hole of who owns the rights to it right now.

Re:Some thing needs to be done about abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644414)

> also what about lost games and software where the rights seem to be in a black hole of who owns the rights to it right now.

This is actually addressed, if it is older then 5 years, and nobody registers it for an extension (for 20 years), it moves to the public domain by default.

Count-back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644358)

Don't forget as much as the extending of copyright terms angers the public, the reduction angers the so-called "creators".

How about we reduce copyright to 40 years, and then reduce this by 5 years every 5 years until it is 20, 15 or 10 - whatever the consensus will be? This would mean anything created today would keep its 40 year protection (this doesn't reset the clock on older works, 1970 and older is public domain immediately); and newer works would slowly get less lengthy protection.

The Pirate Party must be pissed (0)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644600)

Wow, the Pirate Party must be pissed that they can't take everything they want. Twenty years is way too long to wait for copyright to expire - based on many of the pirate comments I read about how "information wants to be free" and how the top pirated movies are always one that were released within the last year. Personally, I'm fine with a 20 year copyright, but I can't imagine why any pirate would be.

Re:The Pirate Party must be pissed (0)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37644702)

Correction: the article states "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."

So, file sharing would be legal and the 20-year copyright doesn't apply to it? That's some bullshit crazy talk. Why even have a copyright at all? If we ditched copyright entirely and allowed people to sell copyrighted work, they'd quickly get undermined by people giving it away for free. So, the 20-year copyright is worthless .
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