We’ve recently reported how a German Pirate Party had won Berlin’s state elections; recent events show that their success didn’t stop there. A fresh from the oven poll shows that the Pirates would easily win seats in the German Parliament if federal elections were held today.
The party was founded back in 2006 and followed the example of their older brother – The Swedish Pirate Party. Germany’s Black Flaggers plead for the shortening of the duration of copyright protection and the right to share noncommercial digital works. They also agree on the need for a better privacy protection, on limiting the patent system, on eradicating data retention laws and cut-short government surveillance legislation as well as legalizing marijuana and making city metros and buses free.
The poll we’ve mentioned before was undertaken by RTL and news magazine Stern and says that 7% of the surveyed people would definitely vote for the Pirates if elections were held this day, thus placing the party on par with the socialist Left party.
Although the German Pirate Party was inspired by their Swedish homologues, they’re attitude towards the entertainment industry is less hostile. For example, the Scandinavian group decided to host Pirate Bay on its own server after their former ISP dropped down on them and forced them offline.
Ben de Biel, spokesperson for the German Pirates, said that this is not what they would do.
“The dumbest thing you could do is make a legally questionable decision that could lead to a very negative result,” he said.
He also said that the group is concerned with the monopoly set by the entertaining industry and pin-points the fact that the party’s focus is not set on propaganda vis-à-vis illegal downloading.
Mr. Ben, who’s also a Berlin club owner and photographer, explains that the party’s position on issues of copying, file-sharing and noncommercial use of digital works is closely related to its goal of free transfer of information from scientific research and technology that benefits on the funds of taxpayers. He adds that government’s funding in science and medicine usually benefits private companies more than society and that they hope to change that.
Shed no fear, he addresses to the entertaining industry.
“We are not a leftist party. We think pragmatically. We have companies of our own and, like filmmakers, we create content that we also want to sell and make a living from.”
The local industry reactions were thus far positive.
“I have not really heard any representative of the Pirate Party condone illegal piracy of copyrighted material,” says Martin Moszkowicz, head of film and TV at Constantin Film.
“Part of the party’s program is to change copyright and intellectual property laws into a so-called ‘modern knowledge society.’ I am personally curious how that (would) actually work and what business models the party has in mind — but so far I have not heard anything constructive.”
Senator Entertainment CEO Helge Sasse said:
“I’m not of the opinion that the Pirate Party people really want films to be illegally copied under the current law,” Sasse says. “If that were the case, our view would be that that is simply not possible, and we would take action against it.”
De Biel highlights the inability of the entertainment industry to adapt with the new market tendencies and new technologies, fact that has only helped with the expansion of piracy.
“It’s a situation that has developed because the music and film industries were not quick enough to understand where the market was going. We don’t want people not earning money for their work. We want to make things more transparent. We may end up destroying some business models when people realize that there are other ways of doing business. Ultimately the customer will decide.”