[pp.int.general] Fwd: <nettime> Richard Stallman: How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software

Andrew Robinson a.robinson at pirateparty.org.uk
Wed Jul 29 11:03:42 CEST 2009

>> But, the Bern Convention requires that the copyrights are granted
>> without the need of formaly registering the work. So, that makes me
>> think that requiring deposit of source code in order to copyright it
>> would be incompatible with the Bern Convention.
>> Almost all countries in the world have signed this convention.

As a movement, we can't be afraid of the Berne Convention. Our
objective of reforming copyright law to deal with the realities of the
digital age will inevitably bring us into conflict with Berne, since
Berne specifies a minimum copyright duration of life plus 50 years.

Because file-sharing, the duplication of cultural works for a unit
cost of zero and even the very concept of 'software' were unimaginable
when the Berne convention was written over 100 years ago, it's
obviously unreasonable to expect Berne to have anything useful to say
about these matters.

> And you furthermore have the problem that you had to force any software
> company to deliver any release and any patch...

No force is required, if a software company doesn't deliver, that
version would not be granted copyright, and therefore it would fall
into the public domain, where it can be commercially exploited by

Personally, I think that granting a longer copyright term for works
that are released under a 'giving' licence such as creative commons or
the GPL is a very sensible idea, for the following reason: The purpose
of copyright law is to strike a fair balance between encouraging the
creation of cultural works by granting a limited monopoly on their
exploitation and the need for the public to be able to participate in
culture. Therefore, if an author is willing to reduce the *strength*
of their monopoly, then the *duration* can fairly be extended in order
for the same fair balance to be maintained.

- Andrew Robinson, Pirate Party UK

More information about the pp.international.general mailing list