Categorized | News, Opinion


This 1709 blog dedicated to copyright cites and translates the ideas/platform of the German Pirate Party on copyright:

This morning, (May 21) the Piratenpartei published what they deem the ten most important issues that should be addressed in reforming the current copyright law (here). As it is only available in German, I have translated (and somewhat summarised) them below:

1) The term of protection shall be shortened to 10 years post mortem auctoris. Among other things, this would alleviate the orphan works problem.
2) Authors’ shall receive stronger rights vis-à-vis right holders: authors shall regain their rights faster in case of non-exploitation and exclusive licences shall be limited to a maximum term of 25 years.
3) Beyond the initial purchase price, institutions of public education shall not be required to pay for using copyright works.
4) Libraries shall be entitled to store works in digital archives; free access for educational purposes shall be guaranteed.
5) The right to make private copies shall be defined and guaranteed; the creation of “remixes” and “mashups” shall be facilitated. Technological protection measures and digital rights management shall be abolished.
6) Basically the same as 2): reform of copyright contract law.
7) Private, direct, non-commercial file sharing and the passing on of works shall be de-criminalised.
8) New business models shall be developed (for instance “micropayment”, crowd funding, levies). Authors shall receive equitable remuneration but data protection must be guaranteed; mutual trust and new distribution channels are essential.
9) The practice of sending warning letters to private individuals (asking them to cease and desist from infringing copyright and to pay the incurred attorneys’ fees) shall be stopped; in order to have free WLAN networks, the concept of “Störerhaftung” (“disturbance liability” – secondary liability for someone else’s infringement due to a breach of duty care) shall be abolished.
10) Copyright law shall meet the expectations of contemporary “media savvy” users and shall not restrict creative uses.

I do not agree with all that.  I would agree with shortening copyright periods and clarity for fair use.  Bloggers who cite items without an admission fee should have an inference of fair use.  Some file-sharing similar to an Open Office system should be allowed.  Innocent infringement should never be criminal.  I would allow free use of characters like say Encyclopedia Brown with payments afterwards to the original author as long as the reference is reasonably true to the original intent of the author or is respectful to that character.  (Keep in mind I could right now parody Encyclopedia Brown legally but not respectfully use the character to advance it in a creative way!  I need permission to do that!)  NO $199.00 for a new Microsoft Office when I can pay nothing for Open Office!  (That may be an antitrust question but the Pirates might consider that, too.)

But the Pirates will have to take on the EU to accomplish their issues

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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