Book Launch: The Case for Copyright Reform
Today at the European Parliament, Christian Engström, Pirate MEP, and co-author +Rick Falkvinge, founder of The Pirate Party, released their new book; The Case for Copyright Reform. The book examines why copyright reform is not only necessary and sustainable, but also how it will benefit both content creators and the public.

I've had a quick read and I think their book does a good job in summarizing the issue in an easy format. "Europe needs to set a new direction in copyright policy, and needs to do it urgently, and the good news is that we can", Christian Engström writes. "The copyright laws must either be reformed or abolished outright. The Pirate Party advocates the reform alternative."

»A constructive alternative to the controversial ACTA agreement is needed
"It is impossible to enforce the ban against non-commercial file sharing without infringing on fundamental human rights. [...] The only way to even try to limit file sharing is to remove the right to private communication. In the last decade, this is [exactly] the direction that copyright enforcement legislation has moved in, under pressure from big business lobbyists who see their monopolies under threat. We need to reverse this trend to safeguard fundamental rights."

»No contradiction between file sharing and culture
"[We] want a society where culture flourishes, and where artists and creative people have a chance to make a living as cultural workers. Household spending on culture and entertainment is increasing year by year. If we spend less money on buying CDs, we spend more on something else, such as going to live concerts. This is great news for artists. An artist will typically get 5-7% of the revenues from a CD, but 50% of the revenues from a concert. The record companies lose out, but this is only because they are no longer adding any value."

»Change is inevitable (no change there)
"It [may] become more difficult to make money within some parts of the cultural sector, but if so, it will become easier in some others – including new ones, that we have not even imagined so far. As long as the total household spending on culture continues to be on the same level or rising, nobody can claim that artists in general will have anything to lose from a reformed copyright."

»The six-step propsal
The book proposes six major steps for copyright reform, the same steps The Pirate Party is advocating, and which the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has adopted as its group position:

1. Moral rights unchanged - "Give credit where credit is due".
2. Free non-commercial sharing.
3. 20 years of commercial monopoly [rather than 70 years or indefinite].
4. Registration after 5 years [to solve the orphan works problem].
5. Free sampling.
6. A ban on DRM.

»Sharing is caring
"The Pirate Party has a clear and positive agenda to end criminalization of the young generation, and provide the foundation for a diverse and sustainable cultural sector in the Internet age. We invite all political groups to copy our ideas."
Download it free (what did you expect?) here:

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