Review: “The Case for Copyright Reform” by Christian Engström and Rick Falkvinge.

Christian Engström, MEP, and Rick Falkvinge are two names all Pirates should be familiar with. For the unacquainted – Engström is one of the two Pirate Members of the European Parliament, and Falkvinge is the founder of the Pirate Party movement. The Swedish copyright reformists have written what could well be the most succinct argument for reform, and a detailed explanation for why the Pirate Party exists that rivals any other literature I have come across. The Case for Copyright Reform (2012) is available for free online, and is in the public domain.

In The Case for Copyright Reform, they don’t waste time on any long-winded introductions. In two short pages the authors get straight to the point – file-sharing must be legal to uphold privacy, file-sharing can co-exist with professional creators, and file-sharing will not destroy our culture. Chapter 2 reinforces the notion that the Pirate Party is not anti-copyright. It explains the key elements of the Pirate Platform in regard to copyright: (1) moral rights unchanged, (2) free non-commercial sharing, (3) 20 years of commercial monopoly, (4) registration after 5 years, (5) free sampling, and (6) a ban on DRM.

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Review: “No Safe Harbor” by the United States Pirate Party.

I finished the United States Pirate Party’s No Safe Harbor yesterday, and was impressed by both its scope and its quality. I purchased the paperback from Amazon, and had it shipped to Australia for just under AU$20 all up. It is also available in several formats for free download (the traffic was so enormous that they had to shift sites), with a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

No Safe Harbor is divided into three sections that deal with the Pirate Party Movement’s three key policy areas – institutional transparency and accountability, the right to privacy, and intellectual property reform – in an attempt to explain the aims and policies of particularly the USPP. Generally, however, the essays it contains can be applied to almost every Pirate Party globally, and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get a grasp on the issues that Pirate Parties are trying to make a stand on.

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