[pp.int.general] [Cafe] levies

Carlos Ayala aiarakoa at yahoo.es
Tue Mar 25 01:02:49 CET 2008

----- Mensaje original ----
De: Amelia Andersdotter <teirdes at gmail.com>
Enviado: lunes, 24 de marzo, 2008 21:42:22
On 24/03/2008, Carlos Ayala <aiarakoa at yahoo.es> wrote:>
> > If we reach Strasbourg -and I believe we can, though it's an obviously hard goal to achieve-, what are we going to do
> > there? I think that, apart from introducing new issues in the political scenario, change the communitary laws that
> > oppose our ideas, our goals, our core issues; and 2001/29/EC is one of those laws. That directive allows levies to
> > exist, and if we want levies to not exist anymore, we need to change it properly ... provided that it's included in our
> > common goals; is it included?
> The parliament has very little power overall as it is today. But when the Pirate Parties are in the parliament, one of the
> long term goals should be complete reformation of all the current directives treating copyright. I think that there's
> consensus against all levies in the Pirate parties?

Would be glad if such consensus is confirmed :)

> > Because I believe it's not worthwhile investing time in finding out how to implement levies until we find out if we, as
> > a group, accept or reject private copying levies.
> The below text is mostly thoughts, and slightly strategical, I think. Don't identify me too much with them, I often
> change my opinions when I find a reason to.
> The levies do not necessarily need to treat private copying. I remarked you could very well see them as compensation
> for the lack of distributive control instead. So you'd be levying the fact that the artist can't control how/where
> distribution occurs, rather than the copying of a work from one person to another.

Whatever the limit of author's rights whose exercising you want to put a levy on, the question remains the same: does that action -whether you're talking about private copying or the non-lucrative distribution (nonetheless, two faces of the same issue, as P2P non-lucrative sharing of copyright is legal ... though not so clearly ... in Spain because of article 20.1 of Spanish IP law, which talks about public communication of copyrighted works), you are talking about actions that are part of the same interaction- cause losses to copyright holders that ought to be compensated?

If it is, ok, let's talk about it; if not, the rest is literature. We in PIRATA believe that, for non-lucrative uses, the answer is no.

> It's basically the same thing: levies will be the result. But it would be switching the debate from all the millions of
> private copies made every day, to just one thing: loss of distributive control.

Debate remains the same: is there any harm, any loss that ought to be compensated? No harm, no pay. Pretty simple. Unless you think -do you?- that non-lucrative filesharing poses a harm to copyright holders -harm that, by the way, must be reasoned- that should be compensated; the reasons for such believe, I think would be pretty interesting.

> It carries perhaps a risk. Anyone could feel inconvenienced from lack of distributive control, so it would perhaps
> become a legal problem in the future. However, no one could possibly claim that we need to filter or censor the web to
> protect copyrighted material, if we have already adopted a levy because all distributive control is lost once something
> goes online.
> It's like bartering.

Hope you're read this interview with Piratpartiet's Chairman Rick Falkvinge -article also quoted and developed in PPI's Berlin meeting last January-:

"The economic arguments are strong, but debatable. There are as manyreports as there are interests in copyright, and every report arrivesat a new conclusion. If you just shout and throw reports over thevolleyball net at the other team, it becomes a matter of credibility ofthe reports. When you switch to arguing civil liberties, you dropkick
that entire discussion [...] we know exactly where this road leads, for we have seen many walk itbefore us. And while each step can seem convincing, we know what the
endpoint is"

That's the point: privacy is out of question, this won't never be for us like we have to pay a price (levy) to keep our privacy safe. Never. It would be like RMOs & entertainment industry blackmailing, extorting us, wanting us to pay a price in exchange of keeping our rights & liberties safe. We have in Spain clear & present daily experiences about extorting and blackmailing, and what we ought to answer to such practices is NO.

Extorting? Blackmailing? Oh please Carlos do not overreact ... Far from overreacting, I'm just describing reality. Because I'm not the one who has raised the stakes, was the chairman of Sony-BMG Spain -thus, not exactly John Doe- who stated the following (text in Spanish, I'm going to translate a relevant quotation):

"There are two futures: one, in France they've done a law with Sarkozy,that's doing that when people download things from a P2P, their robbing the intellectual property (sic), they give you a warning, they shut your internet connection down for a month, and after the second warning they shut your internet connection down for life, that one choice; y the second one, it's stupendous, you are not forbidding and you are not coercing people, is about from money earned by Ceremoni...Telefónica (sic) in exchange of others robbing us (sic) ... forget levies, I'm against levies, against all ... I'm absolutely against all that stuff, no ... from money earned by Telefónica, not earned for internet users to study, no ... I mean, there are statistics that say that 80 % is used to download films and albums ... that money would be shared with those who have the right to: artists, producers, authos, music producers ... then there is no problem, and people still pay
 the same for their DSL connections, simply instead of taking all the profit the same ones, it's taken by the ones who have the right to, is a stupendous solution"

He says "forget levies" when describe charging internet connections, we say "white, liquid and bottled: milk"; he says "people still pay the same for their DSL", I say that, apart from Telefónica, the rest of Spanish ISPs are in red and wouldn't be able to bear the levies we are talking about without falling in bankruptcy, so they would move the extra cost to internet connections' prices -the same that happens when actual 0'60 € levies are charged on DVDs (levies equal or higher than actual prices, so it's impossible to sell DVDs without forcing us, the final customers, to be the real debtors)-; 

Sony-BMG chairman says tons of lies, also slanders -to internet users, he calls all P2P users robbers- and several offences -to some people who dare to counter his lies- in that interview; slandering, offencing, blackmailing ... I don't how is it called in other places, I undoubtably call it: cockily, coarsely posing a direct threat against citizens. How are you -not just Amelia, all of you- going to react against it?

> > As I also commented before, your guessings will find an answer after reading about our ideology:
> I don't disagree with the ideology, neither of Partido Pirata nor Piratpartiet. I was merely trying to state that there are
> several different approaches you could take to levies. Personally, I find the one I've kept in this e-mail the _least_
> appealing. It feels counter-intuitive to put levies on broadband because it's like strangling its development.

All such approaches need to start from a common starting point: is there any loss to be compensated? The rest, as I commented before, is just literature. Semantics are essential in language: there is no room for compensation if there is nothing to be compensated.

> But like above, if anything should at all be compensated, it's _not_ the fact that private copies are made, but that the
> artist/copyright holder _loses the right to control distribution_. And if we get into the European Parliament next year,
> we'll probably have to keep an open mind for rhetorical ways to by-pass the current private-copying hysteria.

I worked as salesman in a real estate agency -well I was more like a mediator, a negotiator between parts in conflict (the seller and the buyer)-; the first rule was fight until death for a deal; the second rule was deal is not always possible.

Deal is not always possible? What a crappy mediator you are! Do you believe it? Would you give up everything to make possible a deal? Or is there a limit which, after surpassing it, one yells enough, stands and leaves the round table? I prefer the second version, the one described by Falkvinge in the interview I quoted before: "when you switch to arguing civil liberties, you dropkick
that entire discussion"

Some issues come to be unnegotiable; civil liberties are one of those issues; the very basis of civil law -compensating only things to be compensated- is another one. Does the Sarkozy-Olivennes-like solution match both requirements? No? Then there isn't anything else to discuss about. Yes? Ok let's going to hear how can it be ...

... so that how I see it, that's how PIRATA sees it -"we reject the formulas of indiscriminate compensatory remuneration, also called canon, of private copies", "it is our goal that the fight against delinquency and terrorism is in
agreement with the rights and liberties recognized in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, with strong attention to those
related to presumption of innocence, privacy and freedom of speech"-. How do all of you see it? Regards

                                                                                        Carlos Ayala
                                                                                         ( AIarakoa )

                                                                 Partido Pirata National Board's Chairman

P.S.: Hope my speech results passionate to you, rather than harsh, Amelia; don't want to bother you. It's simply that everytime I remember Carlos López -Sony-BMG Spain Chairman-, Pedro Farré -SGAE (Spanish biggest RMO) spokesperson- and all such sort of people's words, my heart beats louder, and my indignations grows stronger.

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