[pp.int.general] Christian Engstrom on FT on July 7

JaRrr jarrr at pirateparty.be
Sun Jul 19 16:48:47 CEST 2009



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Nicolas Sahlqvist 
  To: Pirate Parties International -- General Talk 
  Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2009 3:47 PM
  Subject: Re: [pp.int.general] Christian Engstrom on FT on July 7

  Excellent text, but where was it published on the 7th of July, URL?

  - Nicolas

  On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 1:35 PM, Alex Foti <alex.foti at gmail.com> wrote:

    for archive-minded pirates. ciao, lx

    Copyright laws threaten our online freedom
    By Christian Engström

    Published: July 7 2009 18:10 | Last updated: July 7 2009 18:10

    If you search for Elvis Presley in Wikipedia, you will find a lot of
    text and a few pictures that have been cleared for distribution. But
    you will find no music and no film clips, due to copyright
    restrictions. What we think of as our common cultural heritage is not
    “ours” at all.

    On MySpace and YouTube, creative people post audio and video remixes
    for others to enjoy, until they are replaced by take-down notices
    handed out by big film and record companies. Technology opens up
    possibilities; copyright law shuts them down.

    Curb on content threatens France Telecom - Jul-07E-retailers find big
    brands hard to touch - Jul-07This was never the intent. Copyright was
    meant to encourage culture, not restrict it. This is reason enough for
    reform. But the current regime has even more damaging effects. In
    order to uphold copyright laws, governments are beginning to restrict
    our right to communicate with each other in private, without being

    File-sharing occurs whenever one individual sends a file to another.
    The only way to even try to limit this process is to monitor all
    communication between ordinary people. Despite the crackdown on
    Napster, Kazaa and other peer-to-peer services over the past decade,
    the volume of file-sharing has grown exponentially. Even if the
    authorities closed down all other possibilities, people could still
    send copyrighted files as attachments to e-mails or through private
    networks. If people start doing that, should we give the government
    the right to monitor all mail and all encrypted networks? Whenever
    there are ways of communicating in private, they will be used to share
    copyrighted material. If you want to stop people doing this, you must
    remove the right to communicate in private. There is no other option.
    Society has to make a choice.

    The world is at a crossroads. The internet and new information
    technologies are so powerful that no matter what we do, society will
    change. But the direction has not been decided.

    The technology could be used to create a Big Brother society beyond
    our nightmares, where governments and corporations monitor every
    detail of our lives. In the former East Germany, the government needed
    tens of thousands of employees to keep track of the citizens using
    typewriters, pencils and index cards. Today a computer can do the same
    thing a million times faster, at the push of a button. There are many
    politicians who want to push that button.

    The same technology could instead be used to create a society that
    embraces spontaneity, collaboration and diversity. Where the citizens
    are no longer passive consumers being fed information and culture
    through one-way media, but are instead active participants
    collaborating on a journey into the future.

    The internet it still in its infancy, but already we see fantastic
    things appearing as if by magic. Take Linux, the free computer
    operating system, or Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Witness the
    participatory culture of MySpace and YouTube, or the growth of the
    Pirate Bay, which makes the world’s culture easily available to
    anybody with an internet connection. But where technology opens up new
    possibilities, our intellectual property laws do their best to
    restrict them. Linux is held back by patents, the rest of the examples
    by copyright.

    The public increasingly recognises the need for reform. That was why
    Piratpartiet – the Pirate party – won 7.1 per cent of the popular vote
    in Sweden in the European Union elections. This gave us a seat in the
    European parliament for the first time.

    Our manifesto is to reform copyright laws and gradually abolish the
    patent system. We oppose mass surveillance and censorship on the net,
    as in the rest of society. We want to make the EU more democratic and
    transparent. This is our entire platform.

    We intend to devote all our time and energy to protecting the
    fundamental civil liberties on the net and elsewhere. Seven per cent
    of Swedish voters agreed with us that it makes sense to put other
    political differences aside in order to ensure this.

    Political decisions taken over the next five years are likely to set
    the course we take into the information society, and will affect the
    lives of millions for many years into the future. Will we let our
    fears lead us towards a dystopian Big Brother state, or will we have
    the courage and wisdom to choose an exciting future in a free and open

    The information revolution is happening here and now. It is up to us
    to decide what future we want.

    The writer is the Pirate party’s member of the European parliament
    Pirate Parties International - General Talk
    pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net


  Pirate Parties International - General Talk
  pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
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