The P2P issue never leaves debates or news – In The City music conference held in Manchester, England saw its first day kicking off with a panel dedicated entirely to this topic.
The Pirate Party not only attended the conference but it put forward 5 copyright law reforms it sees fit for the current state of affairs:
“First, we want to reduce it to commercial use only,” said Rick Falkvinge founder and chairman of the Swedish Pirate Party, pointing out that file sharing should only be criminalized when it involves commercial purposes.
The proposals went on as follows:
We want to limit the length of copyright to five years from the day of publication. We want to limit the online technical measures, the purpose of which is to strip consumers of their legal rights. We want to specifically allow remixes and rehashes and encourage the mash-up culture, which today is illegal. We want to strongly keep the right of attribution – that is the artist’s right to be associated with his or her work.
Of course, critics of the new proposals have promptly manifested their opposition – Patrick Rackow, CEO of the British Academy of songwriters, composers and authors (BASCA), argued that five year copyright limit would mean a disaster for content creators as their chances for a fair income would be endangered.
“The Pirate Party seems to claim to support creativity and support creators, but what they appear to want is to completely undermine any chance that they have of making a living,” said Rackow.
Another proposal, although not voiced for the first time, came from Jon Webster of the UK Music Manager’s Forum, who believes it’s the government’s duty to step in and enforce some licensing solutions since neither the entertainment industry nor ISPs seem able to launch feasible voluntary licensing agreements on their own.
“We in the MMF would like to see rights’ holders start to take risks to license more services and to make services that mimic illegal P2P,” he said. “[We are] not afraid of compulsory or statutory licensing should all the other methods fail.”
On one hand we have the Swedish Pirate Party which won 7.13% of the Swedish vote in this year’s European Parliament elections, (translated as 2 seats in the EP), who seem very serious about their copyright reform and, on the other side we have copyright groups like BASCA that have failed to propose an improved business model to suit the current needs of the consumer and protect the artists interests at the same time.