Join 3,438 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Pirate party
June 20, 2006 5:30 AM   Subscribe

The Pirate Party^ has become a significant voice in Swedish politics, partly due to the illegal raids on the Pirate Bay^ and The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyrån)^ (which spawned both). Other Swedish political parties are now adding copyright reforms to their platforms. The party's leader Rickard Falkvinge^ gave an intelligent compelling interview "today".
Note: Virtually all major content industries today are the result of large scale piracy or flagrant patent infringement, including the American publishing industry, Hollywood, radio, and the music industry. And the anti-piracy side has essentially no historical evidence supporting its position.
posted by jeffburdges (40 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Advocacy posts do not do well here, even though you will probably find an audience sympathetic to the political cause. See also.
posted by Mr. Six at 5:35 AM on June 20, 2006


Advocacy is fine by me. Good post, jeffburdges.
posted by Jairus at 5:42 AM on June 20, 2006


mmm... footnotes.
posted by GuyZero at 6:09 AM on June 20, 2006


That's Falkvinge? Wow, last week I sat next right next to him at a cafe in the sun too shy to ask where he got his cool pirate-cap from. Small world!
posted by dabitch at 6:16 AM on June 20, 2006


This must be a really bold and contraversial move for Swedish politicians, given the massive and world-renowned Swedish recording and film industries.

Don't get me wrong, I oppose the RIAA and MPAA as much as any sane person should. Still, you can't pretend that this is purely coincidental.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:27 AM on June 20, 2006


...world-renowned Swedish recording and film industries.

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, earnest or honest here. *taps glass on the acme® sarcas-o-meter*
posted by dabitch at 6:37 AM on June 20, 2006


The Pirate Party of the United States
posted by empath at 6:39 AM on June 20, 2006


Sarcastic. I don't doubt that there is worthwhile music and film made by the Swedes, but I doubt that it brings in the same amount of money as the American music and film industries.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:41 AM on June 20, 2006


Just because Hollywood makes a lot of money at it don't make it right.
posted by rks404 at 6:43 AM on June 20, 2006


rks404, I think Afroblanco is saying (though I'm not sure) that it is precisely because Sweden doesn't make a lot of money at it that they can do the right thing.
posted by Bugbread at 6:46 AM on June 20, 2006


I like that notation for Wikipedia links.
posted by waxbanks at 6:46 AM on June 20, 2006


bugbread is correct. Any American politician who would take such an anticopyright stance would quickly lose much of their campaign funding, and would quickly come under fire from many politicians who are currently on the take from Hollywood/music industry types.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:13 AM on June 20, 2006


See, Swedish politicians don't get funded like that, so even if the Swedish recording and film industry employs many more per capita than Hollywood does over in the states (this is a wild guess, but I seriously think you guys underestimate how much pop culture crap Sweden produces.), private funding peeps couldn't stop a politician from doing their thing.

None of this means I agree with the pirate party though.
/end silly derail.
posted by dabitch at 7:21 AM on June 20, 2006


I second waxbank's approval of the notation for Wikipedia (or similar) links. Hope it catches on.
posted by bumpkin at 7:35 AM on June 20, 2006


A History of Copyright in the United States^
1834: Wheaton v. Peters

The case arose from a dispute between the official reporter of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Richard Peters, and the previous reporter, Henry Wheaton. Peters began publishing "Condensed Reports" of cases decided during Wheaton's tenure and Wheaton sued. The case went before the U.S. Supreme Court. Peters argued that Wheaton had failed to properly obtain copyright, while Wheaton argued that authors were entitled to perpetual property rights in their works.

Justice McLean delivered the majority decision, stating that "since the statute of 8 Anne, the literary property of an author in his works can only be asserted under the statute. . . . That an author, at common law, has a property in his manuscript, and may obtain redress against any one who deprives him of it, or by improperly obtaining a copy endeavours to realise a profit by its publication cannot be doubted; but this is a very different right from that which asserts a perpetual and exclusive property in the future publication of the work, after the author shall have published it to the world."

The decision struck a decisive blow against the notion of copyright as a perpetual natural right, and the utilitarian view of copyright embodied in the U.S. Constitution prevailed, i.e., "that patents and copyrights are exclusive rights of limited duration, granted in order to serve the public interest in promoting the creation and dissemination of new works."
Gotta make room for the next generation.

(Third on the ^ notation: good idea, JB!)
posted by cenoxo at 7:43 AM on June 20, 2006


I don't doubt that there is worthwhile music and film made by the Swedes, but I doubt that it brings in the same amount of money as the American music and film industries.

I believe that behind the U.S. and U.K., Sweden is the world's number three exporter of recorded music. It's not because of artists alone, but Swedish production studios are world class. A lot of "foreign" artists (such as Madonna) have at one time recorded and produced their stuff in Sweden.

And the anti-piracy side has essentially no historical evidence supporting its position.

It is really necessary for Swedish theatres to stop charging admission and go bankrupt so that you can have an exact figure of the losses?
posted by three blind mice at 7:45 AM on June 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Not to mention the unfortunate player piano roll manufacturers.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:50 AM on June 20, 2006


Exactly what three blind mice said. Also, don't forget that all of Britney's best selling hits were written by Swedes. My humblest apologies to the world for the mosnter we helpd create.
posted by dabitch at 8:19 AM on June 20, 2006


Exactly what sonofsamiam said.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 8:25 AM on June 20, 2006


That interview was interesting, but isn't wiki a bit of an odd format for publishing interviews? You obviously don't want anyone to edit it...
posted by reklaw at 8:39 AM on June 20, 2006


It is really necessary for Swedish theatres to stop charging admission and go bankrupt so that you can have an exact figure of the losses?

No, but a lad can dream, can't he?
posted by illovich at 8:41 AM on June 20, 2006


Interesting. Apologies for my lack of knowledge about the Swedish music industry.

What about movies, though? Also, what about software? People trade lots of software on The Pirate Bay.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:52 AM on June 20, 2006


Also, what about software? People trade lots of software on The Pirate Bay.

How is that relevant, really? If people start trading fetish porn on The Pirate's Bay, can you really expect the Swedish Fetish Porn industry to be some kind of financial weather baloon? The Pirate's Bay is a global site.
posted by Jairus at 9:13 AM on June 20, 2006


MeTa.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 9:14 AM on June 20, 2006


waxbanks, I seriously considered using the last letter of the word instead, but descided on this as I was feeling very normal today. I'll likely try last letter when I'm feeling more insane.

btw, I was been smacked once for using too many pedia links so I knew we needed some notations. Of course, I still managed to burry the one new thing: the interview.

reklaw, I soo almost went and corrected Falkvinge's english grammar before I realised it might be inappropriate, or even vandalism. But you know about wikisource right?

tbm, I linklessly recall that there are existance "proofs" of release models which insure that the artist get the "real market value", but that won't be good news for Hollywood. And home downloads won't displace theaters any time soon, it ain't called the big screen for nothing.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:15 AM on June 20, 2006


I hate carets.
posted by kaemaril at 9:30 AM on June 20, 2006


What about movies, though?

Ingmar Bergman is like a one-man movie industry all by his lonesome.
posted by maxreax at 9:55 AM on June 20, 2006


I take exception to this editorial FPP note: Virtually all major content industries today are the result of large scale piracy or flagrant patent infringement, including the American publishing industry, Hollywood, radio, and the music industry. And the anti-piracy side has essentially no historical evidence supporting its position.

It just ain't true. Technological shifts in content delivery have indeed involved debate and re-assessments of public policy, but they have been held within the context of the law. Congress, the Supreme Court, and other government bodies did indeed change regulation to take into account sometimes controversal new capabilities, but it wasn't the case that Hollywood or radio acted illegally for years as "pirates" in the sense used in the FPP.

It is just propaganda to claim that the case of Pirate Bay or whatever is identical to the development of every other industry, and silly that the Pirate Party's claims are being linked to so credibly. We can argue about what policy should be without having to make stuff up in support.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:08 AM on June 20, 2006


Yes it is: the American publishing industry really does owe much of its early growth to piracy of British books. And its clear patent infringement in the case of Hollywood: Edison's patents expired before they were practically enforceable in CA. I'm also under the impression that the phonograph hole existed for a decade. Plus, when congress has intervened (modern stuff) they never alllowed the content provider to set their own price.

But basically all historical evidence favors telling the big old guy to screw off and adapt/die. And moving towards a more nimble economy.

As for you objection to that link, I ought to mention that I miss-attributed it: It was published in Wired by Lessig. Not that these people are any less respectable than Lessig, but I suspect that fixing the attribution may clear matters up more quickly.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:41 AM on June 20, 2006


Listening to music and watching movies are fun; watching your spouse or child survive a major illness is even more amusing.

The strange and emerging convergence of natural and artificial nanotechnology (cells on chips) will make violating drug copyrights nearly as accessible as violating DVD copyrights is now, and multiply the incentives for piracy by thousands of times.
posted by jamjam at 11:25 AM on June 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yes it is: the American publishing industry really does owe much of its early growth to piracy of British books.

See also The Pirates of Penzance.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:50 AM on June 20, 2006


The computer music industry has already benefited greatly from piracy. Pretty much all the music I listen too on my mp3 player is pirated. That doesn’t mean that it would be best for the future of the entertainment industry if that were allowed to go on forever.

I just personally feel that the restrictions that they are trying to impose (all this DRM, making it illegal to sell devices without DRM, etc) would be far worse then losing our content industry. Who really needs to see duce bigallow 3: going gay?
posted by delmoi at 11:57 AM on June 20, 2006


Alternative Deuce Bigalow 3 subtitles, from google:

Deuce Bigalow 3: Memoirs of a Gigolo
Deuce Bigalow 3: Time-Whore!
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:01 PM on June 20, 2006


The electronic music industry (as in, techno et al) also revels in piracy, in the sense of samples. Admittedly, it isn't founded on them (you could take most samples out and the tunes would still work), but the amount of unauthorized sampling in electronic music is mind boggling.

Of course, when you get to the big beat subgenre, then, yes, the whole thing is founded on piracy, because it would cost more than a budding artist to pay to get sample clearance, and when your drum line is sampled, your melody is sampled, your bass is sampled, your vocals are sampled, and all the other parts of the song are sampled, without the samples you're left with a CD of silence.
posted by Bugbread at 12:28 PM on June 20, 2006


It just ain't true. Technological shifts in content delivery have indeed involved debate and re-assessments of public policy, but they have been held within the context of the law.

Perhaps you should research the history of the west coast film industry before you comment. One of the main reasons the industry thrived on the west coast was because it moved there to avoid being stopped by edison's patent for moving picture machines.
posted by odinsdream at 12:42 PM on June 20, 2006


^^^^^^^^^^
posted by runkelfinker at 1:03 PM on June 20, 2006


It is really necessary for Swedish theatres to stop charging admission and go bankrupt so that you can have an exact figure of the losses?
If the principles outlined in the party manifesto (at least, in the English version) were carried out, it would only be the Swedish theatres which are dependent upon revenues from films that are more than five years old that would be bankrupted.
posted by XMLicious at 3:38 PM on June 20, 2006


rukelfinker wins.
posted by raedyn at 4:32 PM on June 20, 2006


bugbread:The electronic music industry (as in, techno et al) also revels in piracy, in the sense of samples.

Incidentially, what happened to that site where you could find out what movie was sampled in what electronic tunes?
QuoteDB I think it was called.
posted by spazzm at 8:19 PM on June 20, 2006


Arrr, they're driving me nuts.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:52 PM on June 20, 2006


« Older Surveillance Nation....  |  Personality, Ideology and Bush... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments