Copyright or Right to Copy?

In amongst all the flag waving and chest beating following the EU election was the news that the Pirate Party has won at least one seat in the EU parliament. This lead to a flurry of lame nautical puns in various newspaper headings “Ahoy! Pirate Party gets berth in European Parliament” for example.

It’s a relatively new party, started in 2006 and getting a huge publicity boost based on the conviction in the Pirate Bay case in Sweden. In the days following the verdict around 9000 people joined the party, making it the largest in Sweden.

The Pirate Party has a fairly narrow platform, their three stated goals are;

  • reform of copyright law
  • abolish the patent system
  • respect for the right to privacy

The first has a particular relevance to online communications, where theft of content is frequent and difficult to combat.

The Pirate Party wants to reduce the term of copyright to five years, and argues that the current long copyright terms stifle creativity and only support corporate value. I have my doubts about this so decided to do some digging. Continue reading “Copyright or Right to Copy?”