by Glyn Moody

Filed Under:
copyright, germany, pirate party

German Pirate Party Makes Some Shockingly Unshocking Proposals For Copyright Reform

from the is-that-it? dept

As Techdirt has reported, after a year of amazing successes, the German Pirate Party is going through something of a bad patch at the moment. One reason is that it seems to spend more time squabbling in public than on crafting policy documents that will win over the public. That makes the recent appearance of proposals for copyright reform particularly significant.

To be fair, one reason for the delay in producing them is that the Pirate Party has been involved in a major series of consultations with artists and publishers (original in German). These are also described at some length in a new brochure (pdf in German), whose last third consists of examples of new business models that seek to exploit rather than fight the shift to digital -- none of which will come as any surprise to readers of Techdirt. More interesting is the section detailing of the Pirate Party's core ideas for copyright reform, which aim to strike "a fair balance between creators and users" according to the text, and include the following proposals:

No online surveillance, blocking technologies or data retention

The reduction of the term of copyright

Legalization of DRM circumvention tools

More rights for creators when negotiating with publishers

Legalization of free, non-commercial copying of all creative works online

Digital archives for libraries

Exemption of educational establishments from copyright licensing fees

Open access to all publicly-funded academic work and broadcasting

Legalization of open wifi networks
It's a pretty restrained list, although it will doubtless be met with howls of disapproval from the usual suspects. Whether it's enough to win the German Pirate Party more favor with voters, especially the younger ones that are its heartland, remains to be seen. Moreover, now comes the even trickier task of drawing up a coherent political program for topics outside the world of copyright, where there is far less consensus about what -- if anything -- the Pirates are fighting for.

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  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), 5 Oct 2012 @ 7:37am

    It's a sane approach. I never expected any surprises here. What would surprise me is if they went nuclear and called for total abolishment of IP laws.

    They are going through an existential crisis. I think deep inside they never really believed they'd go as far as they did so now it's time to clean up the mess and make clear plans to move forward.

    They are young, they have yet to make many mistakes before the end. But I'm sure they'll do wonderfully.

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