Top Pirate Party Member Has DMCA Takedown Notices Issued In Her Name

from the thinking-it-through dept

Julia Schramm is one of the rising stars of the German Pirate Party: in April, when she was just 27 years old, she was elected to the national party’s executive committee. No surprise, then, that she is against copyright: in a podcast she described intellectual property as “disgusting” (original in German.) More surprising is that, despite this, she signed a contract with Knaus-Verlag, part of the publishing giant Random House group, to write a book. Perhaps the $130,000 advance had something to do with it.

The book is called “Click me: confessions of an Internet exhibitionist“, and sells for around $22 ($18 for the Kindle version), which seems a bit pricey for just 208 pages. That wouldn’t matter if the contents were of particularly high quality. Alas, it seems that many feel they are not: at the time of writing, the book has 10 one-star reviews on, some of which are pretty damning — “it’s really a shame about the trees that were cut down for this book” — just two five stars, and one three stars. The German magazine Der Spiegel called the book “a disaster.”

Schramm can probably live with the reviews (after all, she still has that $130,000 advance.) What’s slightly more problematic for her career as one of the top Pirates is the fact that just one day after the book appeared, her publisher sent a takedown request to a site that was hosting a, er, pirate copy — and in her name:

“This file is no longer available due to a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by Julia Schramm Autorin der Verlagsgruppe Random House.”

Given her background and stated views, some might say that’s pretty, well, disgusting….

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Comments on “Top Pirate Party Member Has DMCA Takedown Notices Issued In Her Name”

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Dionaea (profile) says:


The bimbo signed a publishing deal?! What the hell happened to self publishing?! She could have seen this coming a mile away. If you’re the leader of the pirate party one of the stupidest things you can do is get a publishing deal. It’s like being in league with the enemy, even more so if they inevitably start taking down the content you produced. Whether you consent to the takedowns doesn’t matter, you can’t get into a contract with an oldfashioned publisher and run a party which advocates more open access at the same time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: WTF?!

That is precisely what I thought.
On the other hand: It proves that she is pretty cheap to buy.

I guess that is good for her in the long run, if she can fend off this incidence! It is just good business to make people aware how to approach you and principles are only applicable as a platform to launch a career as a lifelong politician.
If someone cannot be bought there is something seriously wrong with them!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: WTF?!

shouldn’t be about the money, she should do it for the movement that shes trying to support by being in the Pirate Party. And maybe do one of the pay what you want for it or a donate type thing for people to support her. Stepped in to the line of fire and embrace piracy like we have been seeing some content creators recently.
Most recent article

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 WTF?!

“I’m not defending anything. I just think that on a purely financial basis she did the right thing for her. Nothing more, nothing less.”

What’s she appears to be doing is saying “do as I say, not do as I do”. Why should it be all good for her, and all suffering for everyone else? Why can’t she stand up like a big girl, release her book as an ebook for free, and sell the scarce like miniputt games or lottttts of t-shirts?

Nope. She supports piracy, but also is more than willing to sign into the copyright world and take the big advance money.

The Pirate Party needs to either show her the door, or accept that they will be labeled as being two faced about this stuff.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 WTF?!

She’s never going to be paid to write a book again and has effectively destroyed her future as a politician. Even looking purely in financial terms the best can be said is that it was right thing to do for short term gain.

Sad thing is so long as she’d been vocal about reforming copyright rather than it being disgusting, which is likely more in line with German PP policy, this really wouldn’t have been as much of an issue.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Given her background and stated views, some might say that's pretty, well, disgusting....

C’mon Glen, you know she has no controll over the take-down. She sold the rights.

Whats disgusting is them issuing the take-down under her name instead of Knaus-Verlag, or Random House group. They issued the take-down.

So a twenty-something year old girl made a mistake. Wow never in the history of man have we seen a person in their 20’s do something stupid.

Now this stupid little pirate party hit piece will give the trolls an excuse to say she is a hypocrite, etc.

Im sure you did your due diligence Glyn and tried to get her side of the story before you wrote this; Right?

The dude says:

Re: Given her background and stated views, some might say that's pretty, well, disgusting....

The problem is that she as a pirate party member, in fact as a visible figure, leading figure should have known better what would happen in such a case, and she isn’t that young anymore 27 (the book came out in 2012 if i am not wrong).
If this was done without her knowledge it just proves that she may not fit her position in the party

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Given her background and stated views, some might say that's pretty, well, disgusting....

Im sure you did your due diligence Glyn and tried to get her side of the story before you wrote this; Right?

That would be nice. But you see, he’s just pointing the inconsistency here. It’s worth following the story to see what happens next. I do agree that we make mistakes (and you don’t need to be in your 20’s to make some pretty dumb ones) but I disagree this is a pirate party hit piece.

Also, if the tolls come troll we actually have ammunition against them. TD also criticizes the pirates. I know, I know TD never condoned piracy but rather what they often do is to suggest new ways of facing it instead of criminalizing your entire population but a direct critic is something the trolls can’t possibly twist. Can they?

techflaws (profile) says:

Re: Given her background and stated views, some might say that's pretty, well, disgusting....

Her side of the story? Like this?

– “I’m not against copyright, I’m against the term copyright, cause it’s loaded!”

– “It was to be expected. Now the angry mob* is raging against me”.

* her term for anyone who uttered criticism of her book.

That position? Yeah, makes the whole story look really thought through.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If the price is right you can buy or sell anything or anyone. Some are not so interested in money, but everyone can be persuaded by the right kind and/or amount of leverage(tm)!

Selling yourself is all anyone do in a capitalistic society!

It is like peeing in the bath: Most men do it and those who deny it are doing it more than the rest!

Mike Masnick at least has the gut to admit who has leveraged him for certain services to show where the some of the potential conflict of interest occur. You don’t…

Anonymous Coward says:

Wow, this is possibly one of the most damning pieces when it comes to the whole Pirate Party movement. Why would one of their leaders even consider signing a book deal and taking an advance, knowing that the work would be copyright as a result?

This is the basic stuff. It’s not like she signed a deal without knowing or anything. $120,000 doesn’t just pop up out of the ground from people planning to give your stuff away for free.

It shows a healthy dose of “do as I say, not do as I do”. It makes you wonder how many other Pirate Party members are profiting from the old system privately, while calling it out publicly?

Thanks Glyn, you just ruined Mike’s week.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The pirate party, at lest in the UK (not read up on the Germans policy) espouses reform of copyright not it’s abolition. As such I do not see a problem with members of that party using copyright so long as they do so with in the bounds they’d like to see in reform, such as pledging the copyrighted work to the public domain in the term they think should be set.

So to look at this and say “she can’t use copyright and be a PP member” is silly and unhelpful. The issue here is that she’s gone against her publicly stated personal beliefs which means that as a member of that party people can rightly no longer trust her to do what she says.

It’s not an indictment of the party it’s self but of one member. How the party and their members react to this that is what the movement should be judged on.

Hypocrisy of politicians is only relevant to their party when it means going against policies and laws they are pushing for. Which depending on the German PP may or may not be the case here.

Seegras (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re on the spot.

And besides, all the pirate parties have somehow different views. Ours (the Swiss one) stands in for
– copyright lasting 14 years from publication
– every work the state finances must be public domain
– no third-party and additional rights for broadcasters
– no liability for transmitting entities
– no data retention laws
– no mandatory collecting societies, and no mandatory inclusion of the whole body of works for members of such a society.
– strong fair use
– DRM must be illegal
– private copies must be legal

We’ve got quite a nice paper on that, in German, tough:
The German Pirate Party would better have copied that one (it’s CC-BY, so they could legally) 😉

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Seems pretty much in line with the British Party. I’m about to start research on that party with a view to joining it in the near future. I’ve always been worried I’d be disturbingly good as a politician so I thought I’d start dipping my toes in to the water of a party who’s main drive is something I can agree with… in a none hypocritical way 🙂

Anonymous Cowherd says:

Oh look, publisher sending out takedown notices without asking the author…what else is new?

If someone wanted to pay me $130,000 for writing some crap nobody wants to read, I’d take it. Pretty much everyone would. This wasn’t a book that had anything to do with pirate ideology. I’d object to my name used in a takedown notice, but I wouldn’t call it hypocritical, much less “disgusting,” to sell a bad book for good money if someone wants to buy.

Squig (profile) says:

This interview clears some aspects of this up (in German):

And this blog post brings up some other, different perspective (in German, too):

As regards the pricing: that is pretty normal for Germany, books are massively more expensive here than in the US/UK, and E-books haven’t really taken off here because they are bound to the same pricing laws as physical books (which is kinda stupid, but at least kept more independent bookshops in business than you have elsewhere, which in itself is also stupid, but on a more understandable level I guess).

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