- Material property = You can`t take my CD without my permission.
- Intellectual property = You can`t copy my CD without my permission.
- Reproduction monopoly = You can`t copy your CD without my permission.
“The right is to property. The privilege is to monopoly.
“The right is natural. The privilege is unnatural, unethical, and now ineffective.
“End the privilege. Cease the monopoly. Abolish copyright.”
Also on July 7, in an OpEd published in RevolutionRadio.org, Contract Central and other similar online publications, but originally in the Financial Times, “Copyright was meant to encourage culture, not restrict it,” writes the Pirate Party’s Christian EngstrÃ¶m, 46, from Nacka in Stockholm, due take his seat in the EU parliament this autumn.
“This is reason enough for reform,” he says, going on »»»
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 monitored.
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 society?
“The information revolution is happening here and now,” says EngstrÃ¶m, adding:
“It is up to us to decide what future we want.”
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Who TF is MC Double Def DP? – Who TF is MC Double Def DP?, July 7, 2009
RevolutionRadio.org – Copyright laws threaten our online freedom, July 7, 2009
Contract Central – Copyright laws threaten our online freedom, July 7, 2009
Financial Times – Copyright laws threaten our online freedom, July 7, 2009
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