IFPI: The Pirate Party Shouldn't Be Allowed To Hold Its Positions

from the fascinating dept

I haven’t been posting about the formation of local versions of The Pirate Party (a name I still hate) in places like the UK and Finland because I actually don’t think it’s that big a deal. However, Ville Valtasaari writes in and alerts us to the response of the IFPI to the formation of the party in Finland, which, oddly, seems to suggest that the IFPI doesn’t think The Pirate Party should be allowed support its own positions at all:

“We are absolutely against the idea that any political party can give their support to the idea of free use of protected content.”

Apparently freedom of political expression isn’t high on the list of things the old recording industry likes. I have no problem with the IFPI saying that they disagree with the reasons for The Pirate Party’s platform, but that’s not what’s being said here. The IFPI is claiming that no political party should be allowed to support such positions. Of course, the quote also totally misunderstands the party’s position, but that’s not much of a surprise.

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Comments on “IFPI: The Pirate Party Shouldn't Be Allowed To Hold Its Positions”

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36 Comments
Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Well...

It’s actually an interesting semantic argument, but the way they carefully worded it is actually probably all good. To examine more closely:

“We are absolutely against the idea that any political party can give their support to the idea of free use of PROTECTED content.”

To me, the key word in that sequence is “protected”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Pirate Party does not stand for free use of protected content. Rather, they stand for limiting the protections of such content.

This carefully worded statement actually probably doesn’t conflict with the Pirate Party in any way…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well...

“I think the ‘free use’ part is the operative one. The RIAA would like their members to be paid for every use, and would like to see Fair Use/Dealing go away.”

I see what you mean, but again, if it isn’t protected material then the entire statement by IFPI would not apply. So if the Pirate Party wanted to, say, eliminate copyright protection, this statement has nothing t do with that. It’s only talking about “support(ing) to the idea of free use of protected content”.

Richard says:

“We are absolutely against the idea that any political party can give their support to the idea of free use of protected content.”

And I am absolutely against the idea that anyone should be allowed to lobby for the extension of copyright terms and the re-protection of content that has passed into the public domain.

Sauce for the goose……

RD says:

Smoke and mirrors

“We are absolutely against the idea that any political party can give their support to the idea of free use of protected content.”

Wonderful strawman there, since no one in the other political parties supports it either. But they can say that and make it SEEM like thats what the other side represents, when in fact they never said any such thing. They know this too. Total manipulation, and not a surprise at all coming from the *IAA’s of the world. Where the truth wont fit their agenda, something invented and lies will do instead.

fogbugzd says:

Other side of the coin

The IFPI does not like giving protected content away for free. That is fair, and I don’t think many people would disagree.

On the other side of the coin, let’s look at what is going on with streaming audio. Let’s say that you want to set up an internet radio station to stream nothing but music that is not protected. You still have to pay, and most likely, you have to pay a LOT.

If the industry thinks that people should get free access to protected content, then it is only fair that the industry should not get to charge for unprotected content.

The music industry should also not get the right to restrict access to music that musicians want to give away purely for the joy of sharing their music (a real motive for some) or for those who want to promote their own music. However, keeping control of music distribution is what the RIAA, IFPI and others are really concerned about. They will do everything they can, including imposing industry taxes on any other form of music distribution just so that they can keep control.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Other side of the coin

“On the other side of the coin, let’s look at what is going on with streaming audio. Let’s say that you want to set up an internet radio station to stream nothing but music that is not protected. You still have to pay, and most likely, you have to pay a LOT.”

I would like evidence for this, where are the laws dictating this?

Richard says:

Re: Re: Other side of the coin

I’m pretty sure that you have the right to stream audio that you have the rights to and audio that has been released under cc licenses. Magnatune does just that – and I’m pretty certain that they don’t have to pay any third parties for the privilege.

If the US courts had not been really stupid about sound copyright then there would also be a substantial amount of public domain music that you could stream for free.

Anonymous Coward says:

This just proves the mentality some of those who want intellectual property to last forever. It’s not about what’s best for society and freedom of speech and advancing society, it’s about what’s best for special interest groups even if it comes at the cost of our freedom of speech and our freedom to start political parties and have candidates run that support what the people want. I don’t care if they’re against the idea of what the pirate party stands for, if the people want politicians that support the position of the pirate party trying to disallow them from running would be tyranny because it means that the special interest, not the public interest, gets to decide what constitutes and what does not constitute an acceptable candidate.

RD says:

Oh come now

“You still have to pay, and most likely, you have to pay a LOT.”

“I would like evidence for this, where are the laws dictating this?”

Please be kidding. Seriously. You cant with a straight face doubt that statement. At least in the USA, there are performance collection societies that are allowed, by law, to collect even if you are NOT a member of them, even if you WANT to give your music away for free. If you want to stream, you have to pay a big license fee PLUS per-song/user fees NO MATTER THE CONTENT. Let me repeat that. You pay REGARDLESS of the content, regardless if the content is PD, CC, copyright, not copyright, or even if the rights holder has given his open consent to use his music for free. The “station” pays, regardless. The collection societies collect, regardless. Someone could specifically tell them not to collect on material they own the copyright too…and they STILL get to collect on it. Most other countries’ collection societies work similar (PRS, ASCAP, etc).

zenasprime (profile) says:

Re: Oh come now

this is not actually the case. You can stream all the CC and PD content you want without paying any money to the collection agencies. Only if you wish to stream music that does not fall under the umbrella of CC or PD do you have to pay royalties. Also, if you are an artist and do not wish for royalties to be collected in your name, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you do release your music using CC or into the PD AND the radio station playing your music must make sure that they DO NOT report your music in their royalty lists to the collection agencies. Personally, I believe that the NO OPT OUT feature built into this plan is totally rediculous but I’m pretty sure someone sold it as “PROTECTION” for artists even though in reality it’s a racket to make money for nothing.

I’ve spoken with a representative from Sound Exchange for a good bit about my concerns with them “collecting royalties” on music that I’ve released using the CC as well as payments for streaming CC only internet radio. I have no reason to believe that they were misrepresending the facts but it does seem that the above is true.

If you want to fight the system, you, as a musician and recording artist, are still free to step outside of it and do your own thing. The one stumbling block, however, are the increasing interference by the powers to criminalize and make difficult performing in a live setting outside the system. Corporations like Clear Channel are buying out venues left and right and paying for laws which make performances outside of their venues either very expensive to the venue owners or simply illegal. I know that in Philadelphia, if you are not part of teh established venue cabal, law enforcement will arrest you, take your equipment (or just destroy it), and very simply make life hard on you. Sad but true.

So while everyone is busy being distracted by one side of the issue, the evil doers are sneaking around the flanks to cut off all other alternatives.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Oh come now

and of course then they feed you lies. They tell you that indie artists don’t exist because it’s not profitable for them to continue on their own when the real reason they don’t exist and are not well known is because special interest groups have destroyed them the means of distributing their music without them. It’s really sad. It’s all based on lies, the RIAA, FDA, FCC, all of these agencies are extortion agencies that do nothing but feed us lie after lie after lie. and the people buy it hook line and sinker. I just don’t see why Americans and people in general are so gullible. I wish it weren’t so. People need to wake up and stop being gullible. We need more people like the ones on Techdirt, the fact is that the average person is gullible and believe whatever mainstream media feeds him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Oh come now

“and paying for laws which make performances outside of their venues either very expensive to the venue owners or simply illegal.”

Can you please provide what laws these are. It’s not that I don’t believe you but I think it would do us good for everyone to know what laws you are referring to. What incidents are you referring to, are there any specific cases. It would be nice if some blogger investigative journalist looked into this. The public needs to know. Then again, it seems unlikely the public will do anything to stop it. It’s been publicly known by everyone that taxi cab medallions limit taxi competition and it should be common sense that the reason has nothing to do with any good intentions. Yet people just allow it to happen. We simply don’t care, we’re too apathetic and we allow our system to turn into tyranny. It’s really sad, just don’t know what to do anymore. Our whole political election is a scam. Everything about this nation is a scam. and the people seem helpless to fix it.

Bettawrekonize says:

Re: Re: Oh come now

I think one of the biggest problems in this nation is the legal authority given to unelected officials (ie: the FCC, FDA, FTC, etc…). By unelected I mean appointed, as in not elected directly by the people. I think even judges should be elected and elections should be held more frequently. Presidential elections should perhaps take place every 2 years but I think presidents should be allowed to stay in office for longer than 8 years, perhaps 10 years if the people elect them 5 times in a row. Perhaps even longer if the people continue to elect the same person.

At the same time we need more election integrity. Read my posts here

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090608/2201455173.shtml

Jerry Leichter (profile) says:

Translation?

It’s amazing how much attention can be applied to the exact wording of a statement that is either a translation, or was made in English by someone for whom English is not his mother tongue. “”We are absolutely against the idea that any political party can give their support to the idea of free use of protected content.” Read that again. Does it sound like colloquial English to you? The whole sentence structure isn’t “natural” for English.

The use of verbs like “can”, which have complex and subtle meanings, is exactly the kind of thing that trips up non-native speakers. The “permission” aspect of “can” is not the primary one; in fact, in most contexts, one would prefer “may” for permission and “can” for “possibility”. But he can’t possibly me that it’s *impossible* for the Pirate Party to hold such positions, since they manifestly do.

I can’t tell you what Arto Alaspaeae actually meant. I wasn’t there, I can’t ask him. I certainly believe he strongly disagrees with everything the Pirate Party stands for. But I doubt he was trying to dictate what positions they should be *allowed* to take.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Translation?

“The “permission” aspect of “can” is not the primary one; in fact, in most contexts, one would prefer “may” for permission and “can” for “possibility”. But he can’t possibly me that it’s *impossible* for the Pirate Party to hold such positions, since they manifestly do.”

If I hold a position and the government kills me then it becomes impossible for me to hold that position. So he can, indeed, mean that it’s impossible. If the government shuts down a political party that holds a specific position or disallows it to form then it indeed is IMPOSSIBLE for a party to hold such a position. So he could have meant that and it is probably exactly what he meant.

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