Piratenpartei accessing to Berne?
January 29, 2015 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Piratenpartei MEP Julia Reda’s draft report on copyright (pdf) has been heavily criticized by former Swedish Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdotter (previously).
posted by jeffburdges (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Techdirt has a more positive take.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:51 AM on January 29, 2015

You mean "acceding"?
posted by ocschwar at 10:41 AM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

So, I understand that there are a lot of issues surrounding regionalism and issues of sovereignty in general in the EU. It seems that Andersdotter is both more radical minded, which - ok, difference on opinion what's needed, but further...

That bit at the end, it sounds anti-... Well - Anti-Federalist in the old school US 1776 Federalists debate (i.e. strong central government/rules). She's upset that instead of allowing decentralized states to have looser rules, that Reda calls for a universal stance across Europe, yes? And, well... In particular the Anti-German sentiment that we saw a lot of the past few years during the Greece Crisis... Mentioning these other States by name (Brussels/Germany)... I think Brussles is in reference less to the country and more the "Federal"/Central rule, but it's perceived that Germany is dominant in Europe and hence, that Germany has more of a say than weaker countries, using the power of Brussels, to enforce such things against the wishes of these weaker countries, yes?

Between this, and what seems to me a desire for more substantive and radical change RIGHT NOW (or at least a desire to create a space for change), she sees this move as both a move against a sovereignty that would allow for more freedom, while also being an issue that, like many on the Left in the US did with Obama - sees this as a weak, moderate sellout.

That instead of opening doors and room to grow, this is shutting doors by putting specific limits in place, now...

I think her concern is more that these limits would end up being a baseline to expand and attack copyright, so that instead of being an opening to attack copyright/IP issues down the line and, ideally, reduce the power of the pro-IP factions in the future from even what it has now... this proposal is setting the current situation as the baseline against which all future progress is measured, and the concern then is that we won't be able to gain more freedom than what we currently have. Instead, this IS the ultimate level of freedom and any hope for the future is to maintain the current situation as a line in the sand.

I'm guessing Reda sees this as an opportunity to establish a firm limit on the future expansion, and so that this is "good enough" (in a sort of Obama-style compromise way - you know... perfect, enemy, good, all that).

Andersdotter, then, seems to be more radical in approach and desirous of a strategic approach that will allow for an increase of freedom and more ground to attack IP in the future, and that this, while not necessarily a rout, is certainly a sort of capitulation to the current state of affairs. And that innovative and future creativity that can arise by ending copyright maximalism is being stifled prematurely (i.e. "she doesn't even mention remixing, which even the EU mentions in their policies"). So she sees her as, if not an intentional sellout, still doing the bidding of larger centralized forces.

And having a coherent set of principles to manipulate via a centralized set of rules means that the IP-Colonizers (I kinda shudder typing that, but it's the best sort of corollary I can come up with off the top of my head -- perhaps 'IP-Imperialists' would be a better term) can swoop in and demand changes to one single point of attack (the central authority) which will then be distributed across the nodes, and the nodes have no way to resist, whereas a more federalist (Bakunin style) approach would let the nodes/states be able to make it more difficult by having a patchwork of rules that have to be dealt with one at a time.

I see an interesting analysis here that can be seen with Free Trade Agreements (in particular multi-bloc agreements) vs the bilateral agreements that force the imperialist system to negotiate inefficiently and have to do a lot more to get its way. By centralizing via multi-bloc agreements (FTAA/NAFTA/GATT, etc...) it makes it easier for the dominant force to make the lesser forces acquiesce, and in the process removing more localized opposition and preventing them from having much of a voice.

So with these concerns, I see the following that means the PPs are going to have to come to terms with in Europe if they are going to advance:

1) National PPs as members of the EU, and what each Party sees as the best good in terms of what they bring to the table. Do different PPs have different stances? Is there a unified EU PP that has a consistent stance? How do various national PPs feel about each other. Andersdotter's writing leads me to believe that there are fractures right now along certain national lines, and a resentment towards Germany, at the very least, if not other national parties.

2) It's clear that Reda sees the EU as an opportunity to provide some sort of limit to a IP-Maximalism (i.e. limit to life+50 years vs life+70 in other regions), and some might see that as moderate. Andersdotter, on the other hand, sees the limit, not to IP-Maximalism, but to reversing the tide. And, a concern, that I think, rightly, exists, and that is to say that we can say this sets a limit now, but what happens when the Maximalist forces chip away at these limits. By establishing this as a baseline, we will have people saying "Oh, but see, you already have enough - this is as radical as we need to get... we don't need to reduce restrictions even further." So it's a sort of attack on the future.

In the end, I think the various national PPs are going to have to come to terms with not just copyright laws, but their approach to government and political views in general. I think this sort of indicates a general weakness to PP. I'm all for copyright/IP reform in the aim of allowing greater rights to individuals and removing corporate power. But having that as the only focus, and not having a deeper understanding of just what your stance is towards power and the structures of governance itself, you're going to end up with various people claiming to be for IP reform, but in the end they're going to have different views of what reform means, what the goal should be (minimizing future damage/establishing a baseline, or a reversal to the current system as it already exists...) And how to attain these goals, and how to respect the autonomy of locales, and in particular, how does national/regional autonomy play into this game.

There's clearly some resentment happening and some psychological undertones here that are deeper than just copyright issues, and if the PPs don't address this, they are going to remain, at best, fractured and conflictual with each other, and at worst, some subset of the party (or parties) will end up being "sellouts" and pervert the very ideals of the party (I am not saying that's what Reda is doing; but it's certainly clear that there is some subset of the PP partisans who do feel this is happening in some way).

If I were a member of the PP, I'd call for some conferences ASAP of all the national parties to come together and hash some of this out, because if they can't come to an understanding in some way, there's going to be severe ramifications for the movement down the line, and that would be very very very disappointing.
posted by symbioid at 12:59 PM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

Just on the issue of Berne's life + 50 years :  

There is a huge difference between a law that says "copyright terms [may not exceed / must be exactly / must be at least] the Berne treaty's life+50 years". I doubt Andersdotter would complain so much if this explicitly said "may not exceed".

Intrinsically, legislation errors towards a "must be at least" interpretation, as we've seen with state level copyright bullshit in the U.S. Afaik Reda has no language that penalizes member states from exceeding Berne.

Worse, even if there were language that said "exactly" that complicates ever reversing Berne by enshrining it in E.U. law.

We need language that chips away at Berne by making the WIPO unable to enforce it in Europe, limiting it to infringement by corporations, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:44 AM on January 30, 2015

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