EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Admits That 'Piracy' Has Created The Market That Legislators Did Not

from the knocking-down-barriers dept

I’ve been reading the excellent book, Property Outlaws, which I’ll write more about when I’m done, but it’s main thesis is that oftentimes, people violating certain restrictions — such as on copyright or civil rights — actually are helping to refine the law in those areas by highlighting problems with the existing laws. Basically, it builds on the idea that people taking a stand are more able to change and to fix highly dynamic areas of law more efficiently than slow moving bureaucrats. Along those lines, it appears that the EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, is recognizing that unauthorized file sharing actually has been useful in building a single market, where politicians and bureaucrats have been unable to do so:

“We have effectively allowed illegal file-sharing to set up a single market where our usual policy channels have failed…. While the internet is borderless, Europe’s online markets are not. It is often easier to buy something from a US website than online from the country next-door in Europe. Often you cannot buy it at all within Europe… Consumers can buy CDs in every shop but are often unable to buy music online across the EU because rights are licensed on a national basis. No wonder the US market for online music is five times bigger than Europe’s.”

Of course, she’s saying this in an effort to pass the EU “digital agenda,” which tries to make it easier to do licenses across the EU, rather than having to do individual licenses in each country. And, with that, she does go on to complain about various aspects of unauthorized file sharing, but it’s nice to at least see a recognition that such forms of infringement are often useful in breaking down the barriers that bureaucrats are too slow to manage.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Admits That 'Piracy' Has Created The Market That Legislators Did Not”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“heroin and crack dealers have done the same thing. lets all sing their praises too.”

Well, not quite. See, the problem with crack dealers is that their product licenses don’t last long enough, making cross-border licensing issues rather moot. But I’ll tell you what, if I could find a crack dealer selling crack w/a perpetual high license, I’d love to see it force fed to you so you could be reduced to a state of drooling nonsense, incapable of typing….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: You are so sad

“an illegal market place of crack or stolen content is the same thing”

They are obviously not the same thing, otherwise they would be called the same thing – Duh.

I assume your flippant reference to “stolen content” is in reference to copyright infringement, and therefore I add that one is a felony and the other not. You are being ridiculous stating they are the same.

robin (profile) says:

market failures

isn’t this point quite similar to matt mason’s proposition that historically “pirates” are those who are just quicker to find and exploit failures in an existing marketplace (i.e. web of economic relationships)?

the pirate’s dilemma:


there was a nice quote and hint form th enew leader

he said its nice that liberal democrats and he will get along basically for the good for the country


liberal democrats just sold out the principals for some power sharing in the cabinet.

YOU wont see proportional representation which gives more power to the people

you wont see the digital economy bill reprieved
you wont see action against blackmailing law firms

we the people should a button that attacks a taser to these fucktards, ZAP majority says BAAAAAD lil MP

Anonymous Yellow Belly says:

Resistance is NOT futile!

Civil disobedience has always marked the very beginning of great change to come. It starts off as a small, but very intense fire that slowly grows and cannot easily be put out. The copyright industry, in their greed and infinite wisdom, chose to cross a line they really shouldn’t have. As a result, civilians chose to cross a line of their own in response, their numbers continuing to build despite the ever growing threat of dire consequences (bankruptcy, jail time, etc). Sometimes civil disobedience is the only recourse the public has when their government fails to listen. Any government that disregards the very people whom allow it to exist should pay greater heed to history. Rosa Parks, while 100% valid as an example, is but only one lesson of many history has to teach. Like Michael Moore stated in his recent documentary “Capitalism: A Love Story”, it always boils down to the wealthy 1% versus the 99% of whom the rest of us comprise. I think it isn’t too much of a stretch to predict that over the next decade or so, governments will find themselves reminded more and more often which end of the leash it is they are on, and whom is truly holding the other end. Deep pockets and a silver tongue can only get you so far. Once the villagers are on to you, it’s all torches and pitchforks from thereon out.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...