Reform of file sharing law

Proposer
Autumn-Leah
State

Rejected

Vote Score

-2

Age

1360 days


@Autumn-Leah edited communications.md - over 3 years ago

ISPs may give users the option to apply content filters on their connections, and even enable them by default if they wish, but filter lists must be openly published, and subject to review and appeal through OFCOM.

The sharing of files will be protected under freedom of speech rights and "piracy" will no longer be illegal. However, profiting from file-sharing of content that you do not own the rights to will remain an illegal activity, as the sharing of speech and culture does not necessitate the ability to profit from it.

Net Neutrality

Enshrine net neutrality in law, protecting the fundamental principle of the free and open web. Internet Service Providers should treat all network data equally, without restriction or throttling based on the type of content, the content provider, or any other criterion. The appropriate regulatory body (currently OFCOM) would be responsible for enforcing this policy and dealing with breaches.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 3 years ago

Is this better dealt with as a reform of copyright? Because, basically, you would be changing copyright to only apply where a profit is being made. I understand the motivation, but I think that there are wider implications here that are best dealt with explicitly.

As an example, but if I took someone's music, burned CDs (like it's 1997) and sold it at the cost of the reproduction, thereby not making a profit, I wouldn't have breached copyright.

@Autumn-Leah edited communications.md - over 3 years ago

ISPs may give users the option to apply content filters on their connections, and even enable them by default if they wish, but filter lists must be openly published, and subject to review and appeal through OFCOM.

The sharing of files will be protected under freedom of speech rights and "piracy" will no longer be illegal. However, recieving any form of compensation, including that which does not amount to a profit, from the file-sharing or copying of content that you do not own the rights to will remain an illegal activity, within the legal exceptions of other legislation, as the sharing of speech and culture does not necessitate the ability to profit from it.

Net Neutrality

Enshrine net neutrality in law, protecting the fundamental principle of the free and open web. Internet Service Providers should treat all network data equally, without restriction or throttling based on the type of content, the content provider, or any other criterion. The appropriate regulatory body (currently OFCOM) would be responsible for enforcing this policy and dealing with breaches.

Enshrine net neutrality in law, protecting the fundamental principle of the free and open web. Internet Service Providers should treat all network data equally, without restriction or throttling based on the type of content, the content provider, or any other criterion. The appropriate regulatory body (currently OFCOM) would be responsible for enforcing this policy and dealing with breaches.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

Changed it in accordance with your issue. Thanks for the feedback!

Floppy

@Floppy - over 3 years ago

Nice one. Let me propose another argumentative question (hopefully constructive). If this was the case, could the BBC download a movie off the Pirate Bay or similar, then broadcast it? They wouldn't be receiving compensation in return (apart from maybe in a very roundabout way via the license fee funding the entire organisation), and so would be able to do that under this rule?

Just trying to work through the full implications of a change this large to copyright :)

If there are any evidence links that back this up as a method of copyright reform, I'd be happy to read them.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 3 years ago

Oh, perhaps there's another way. There's a difference between decriminalisation and legalisation. Could this framed as decriminalisation, so that people who do it don't end up with a criminal record, rather than full legalisation and effective removal of copyright? After all, I don't think you intend to remove copyright completely; some protection for creators is a good thing. I think you just mean to make sure people don't end up ruining their lives over some downloaded movies. It would leave room for civil actions over large-scale copyright claims, like broadcast, etc.

It's tricky, and of course I am not an intellectual property expert in any way.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

The BBC can't broadcast because they're saving their own money by replacing the content that would otherwise be there, incentivising people towards the license fee because anything could be broadcast, and paying the people who'd broadcast it, meaning they'd make profit off of the pirated work; meaning the workers would be criminals and the BBC would be a criminal organisation under the proposal I made.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

Copyright is useless and shouldn't exist imo (and I may propose its repeal as a policy at some point) but that isn't the intent of the policy above, it's just so that people can torrent things they can't afford to buy, or don't want to buy, in favour of different methods of earning money for the artist (gigs, donations, patrons, minimum value pwyw, no minimum value pwyw, etc.). Industry exploitation isn't something I support and neither are record labels (Sony Music Entertainment or Vivendi, who own Universal Music Group), large umbrella companies of film companies (think Warner Bros. or Disney), and they both perpetuate each other. Musical, filmographical, and photographical meritocracy > artists being exploited for their skills, being promo'd to death to kill the opportunities of others, and then seeing hardly any profits unless it's a big gig with long hours (think James Bond, Game of Thrones, and Pirates of the Caribbean), or they're stupidly famous (Michael Jackson, AC/DC, and Elton John).

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

Well given the edited policy, in practice what would be the difference between decriminalising piracy and legalising it? Either way pirates get to pirate.

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - over 3 years ago

I think I agree ideologically, but not pragmatically.

  1. You will have well moneyed interests lobbying against you (and we will anyway, because of the '40+40' proposal).
  2. You will be in contravention of the Berne Convention, and struggle more with that from a legal standpoint than perhaps '40+40' would.
  3. I'm not sure I agree that "copyright is useless". I'm not sure I disagree with it either. I'm on the fence, the main reason being that if consumers wanted to punish the companies or artists who enforce copyright then they could easily do so. Nobody forces me to listen to ke$ha or to watch Aladdin 3. I can go ahead and claim ignorance to both. Hell I've got playlists of independent artists and public domain stuff. If I really wanted to punish these groups for taking away my rights to distribution, I could do that - we all can. If copyright were a matter of such inconvenience then that's what we'd all do.

Edit: Here's one thing we can probably agree on - non-profit file sharing should probably come under civil and not criminal law.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

@Xyleneb 1) Well aware of that

2) Well aware of that too

3) Copyright is useless because it doesn't protect the artist economically like it was supposed to, it protects the label, the CEO, the production company, the dance company, the people who get to sell the stuff and only give the artist 5%, regardless of how long you let them keep the copyright for, if copyright exists as a transferable right, this will be the case, even if you make every artistic company in the whole of the UK a co-operative where everyone gets an equal share, the companies will move to who knows where and import their product, or stick it on the internet.

Not only that, but it defeats the point of art in the first place. Art is a cultural medium, you can't own it just as much as you can't own the english language. You can own the art in a physical sense but you can't own or privatise the cultural and psychological impact and message of the art, you can only limit it or destroy it, not own it. As the point of art is always to mean something, limiting that message limits the point of the work itself, thus, copyright can go die in a very dark hole.

Just because you can resist the exploitation of both consumer and artist, it doesn't mean that the statement that they're being exploited and that the means of exploitation is bullshit is necessarily false or ignore-able (ignorable?...idk), you can't just say "we personally have the means to resist capitalism with agorist or communal living, this must mean that capitalism isn't exploitative/wage slavery isn't real/[insert dumb statement about the invalidity of marxist and/or communist thought here]"

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - over 3 years ago

  1. Well aware of that

But I'd be worried about your proposal giving them ammunition, where 40+40 leaves them little to complain about.

  1. Well aware of that too

Same point here really, except you'll then have to host a debate about leaving the world trade organization.

  1. [insert dumb statement about the invalidity of marxist and/or communist thought here]"

Yeah I could do that but the arguments aren't of the same scale. If you want to abandon record labels, you can do it. Akala did it. Sure he's not a billionaire, but he's got his own house and he travels the world. You want to abandon capitalism as a whole then you're going to need to find alternatives for the basic building blocks of humanity (e.g. housing, power generation, living off the land, etc). You can't abandon your bank-owned house tomorrow. But you can go ahead and not watch Toy Story 4.

You don't have to sign with a publisher or a label. You don't have to listen to those who do.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

@Xyleneb 1) Ammunition in what sense?

2) I hardly see how that's an issue as long as it works, what exactly about leaving the WTO would be bad?

3) So you're going to ignore my counterpoints about the exploitation of the artist and the idea that art isn't property but a cultural medium to be shared, and then restate your flawed argument? 10/10

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - over 3 years ago

Ammunition in what sense?

I tailored "40+40" for a few objectives: To get it passed even in a minority government (such as Pirate Party Iceland's 15% seat in Icelandic Parliament). To grant additional rights to content "redistributors" (which in the modern sense is "you and me"). To silence the critics who say that it will bankrupt major businesses and give wanton access to piracy.

I know you will tell me that on Point 2 it does not go anywhere near far enough. I agree. It was a compromise so it would go anywhere at all. Even against quite clearly vested interests in parliament.

I hardly see how that's an issue as long as it works, what exactly about leaving the WTO would be bad?

"Loss of money", apparently. I don't know enough about it. I just assumed that "we will leave the WTO" would be too extreme a stance to gain votes. I could be completely wrong about that. Me? I tend to be in favour of all forms of devolution.

So you're going to ignore my counterpoints about the exploitation of the artist and the idea that art isn't property but a cultural medium to be shared, and then restate your flawed argument? 10/10

Exploitation of the artist is a choice. Support of the exploitation of the artist, is a choice. Don't equate it with some war on capitalism, for which it is not equivalent. Fail to sign a contract for food and shelter and there's a gun to your head; you will die. But fail to sign a record deal? Looks like you'll just have to promote your music on your own. That's fine - record labels are an old institution clinging on to thinner and thinner rope for dear life. Self-promotion is the future and the invention of the re-writeable casette tape, while not being the end, was certainly the start of the end for them.

As for saying "art isn't property" - nor is anything else. You're asking me essentially to define 'what property is'.

Ok then. Either nothing is property. Everything in the world down to the atomic level is just data - and data wants to be free, trying to police who sees it is delaying the inevitable... Or property is that which is utilised. A stick is just a stick until you pick it up, whereby it becomes "Sam's stick" or "Ralph's stick" or whatever. Put it down again and it resembles all other sticks.

My view on what property is does not matter, though. The public's view on what property is matters. You must convince them. You must do it in the face of a hell of a lot of well-to-do press institutes (covering over 100 newspapers) and vested politicians. And you're going to struggle if you adopt the position of a revolutionary rather than a reformist.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

@Xyleneb

Don't equate it with some war on capitalism, for which it is not equivalent.

I agree. Though it's not the intent, it could serve as an element of the "war on capitalism" if you wanted to interpret it that way.

Fail to sign a contract for food and shelter and there's a gun to your head; you will die.

No gun necessary in the scenario for it to be true, but I agree.

But fail to sign a record deal? Looks like you'll just have to promote your music on your own.

Which gives you higher odds of starving due to the nature of the music industry which I object to, because you don't have someone keeping you fed whilst exploiting you, you get neither the food (through those means at least) nor the exploitation. It's a form of wage slavery. In a factory job it isn't necessarily the case that if you don't work you'll starve, just like in a job in the music industry, not signing doesn't necessitate death. Both can easily result in it, in this case due to the growing market share mega corporations have. Wage slavery isn't a matter of "you will definitely die if you don't work" or "you are literally a slave to your employer" but that "you are paid and need to work in such a way that necessitates either a judgement under circumstantial coercion or putting yourself in a situation where death is a quite likely outcome" and people recognise that this is not a fair decision to have someone make.

That's fine - record labels are an old institution clinging on to thinner and thinner rope for dear life.

Though this would be nice, AFAIK it isn't true. Though the profits of old media as a whole are falling, major companies can and have updated their mediums to fit the current markets, without updating their economic situation for the most part (namely, exploiting the artist and enforcing their IP "rights"), allowing them to survive. Give me a source that proves me wrong, I actually want you to be right on this one.

My view on what property is does not matter, though. The public's view on what property is matters. You must convince them. You must do it in the face of a hell of a lot of well-to-do press institutes (covering over 100 newspapers) and vested politicians. And you're going to struggle if you adopt the position of a revolutionary rather than a reformist.

And this would stop you from approving this policy how exactly?

And you're going to struggle if you adopt the position of a revolutionary rather than a reformist.

As an anarchist, stating this is about me is stating the blatantly obvious.

Being that you've raised no alterations to the policy so far for me to consider, I'll ask, do you have any? Or do you just want this policy not to pass (in other words, you think this one can't be reformed into something you'd vote to approve without changing it into a policy unrecognisable compared to the original)?

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - over 3 years ago

major companies can and have updated their mediums to fit the current markets, without updating their economic situation for the most part (namely, exploiting the artist and enforcing their IP "rights"), allowing them to survive. Give me a source that proves me wrong, I actually want you to be right on this one.

Akala isn't signed, Dan Bull isn't signed, Greydon Square isn't signed, Immortal Technique isn't signed, Lowkey isn't signed... Lil Wayne I suspect is self-signed to his own record label and is apparently really marketable. I know individual guitarists who are self publishing too - I don't know many bands that are though (most metal I know about is through Napalm Records).

The point is that it's the consumer's choice and the artist's choice whether to support it or not. When Kraft bought out Cadbury's saying they wouldn't take the factory jobs away and then backtracked straight after the purchase, it was the consumers who had the power to buy their chocolate or not. Consumers have ideas about what they want, and for whatever reason those ideas don't include much on personal freedoms. And they have this view that the music they're able to buy through itunes is somehow better than if they bought a ukulele and made some themselves.

It is that which stands in the way of the "starving artist" I think, more than the law.

And this would stop you from approving this policy how exactly?

My view is that patents, trademarks and copyright are all entirely unnecessary. Even from a business perspective, I do not want exclusivity via legal protection. I want exclusivity via being able to meet the most stringent of manufacturing standards, my view of other rival companies being "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough".

But the public is not like that. They have a different view of what personal property is and of how it should be protected. It's the same for politicians. I have to convince these people. I can convince them to take a step forwards I think. I just cannot convince them to leap. Especially when it concerns the Berne Convention and 200 other nations.

Being that you've raised no alterations to the policy so far for me to consider, I'll ask, do you have any? Or do you just want this policy not to pass (in other words, you think this one can't be reformed into something you'd vote to approve without changing it into a policy unrecognisable compared to the original)?

I don't think so. I think you'd consider it too watered down. I would change the crime of copyright infringement from criminal to civil law and put various waivers on the "damages".

For what it's worth you do not need my vote for it. Something New are probably liberal on the file-sharing front and will probably back it. I just think that you will not get your changes unless you make them impossible to dismiss or ignore (for the bigger mainstream parties). So my point is usually in favour of great compromise. It's how I aim to do everything. Phil says "don't put a price on your ideals" or things like that, but I don't look at it that way.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 3 years ago

Thanks for the debate here. I'm really torn. Let me state some (perhaps completely inconsistent) views, as a way of exploring my own thoughts.

  • I don't want people to be criminalised for downloading movies or music. It's not worth battering down someone's door, as in that picture that some police force posted last week.
  • I don't want the entire major entertainment industry to collapse because suddenly there is no need for anyone to spend money on anything. I want people to keep making Star Wars films.
  • I do believe that artists and creators should get a fairer deal, and that supporting them through meta-purchases like patreons, gigs, etc is one of those ways.
  • I do not believe that home taping was killing music, and I do not believe that piracy is killing the entertainment industry. But maybe that's because there is a lot of friction in the process.
  • I know that the figures show that when people have easy access to good content, it reduces piracy. Netflix for instance.
  • I don't believe content creators should be allowed to specify (via DRM) what I can do with my purchase.

I honestly don't know where that leaves me. I'm somewhere in the middle of this debate, personally, and I'm still worried about the consequences of the statement in terms of the complete neutering of all copyright (except where compensation is involved).

I'm not done thinking yet... let me mull on it some more for a while.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

@Xyleneb I meant the statement "That's fine - record labels are an old institution clinging on to thinner and thinner rope for dear life.", which you never backed up, you just stated that indie artists exist, which I was well aware of, and who are the minority in regards to the market share.

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - over 3 years ago

I meant the statement "That's fine - record labels are an old institution clinging on to thinner and thinner rope for dear life.", which you never backed up, you just stated that indie artists exist, which I was well aware of, and who are the minority in regards to the market share.

In terms of revenue the music publishers are stable. Growth has come from buy-outs and acquisitions, based on how big a back catalogue they can hoard. In which case I expect them to continue to form one big monopolistic gelatinous mass.

Stability is fleeting though depending on how the public wants to behave.

Self-publishing your art is easier than ever. Streaming while blocking ads is easier than ever. Access to public domain material is easier than ever. The laws built around making these things unproductive, is as ineffective as ever.

In summary it's the public's choice whether to fund or defund the publishers that enforce copyright. If you don't want them to fund it, then you'll have to convince floppy and others that not knowing what happens in the next Star Wars (and other such conveniences) are the price worth paying. You'll have to convince everyone not to pay to have their rights infringed. That's how it is - "you can't make them jump".

It is not however a good argument for saying "therefore we should illegalize file-sharing". Nor is it an argument for saying "therefore we should permit it" either. That argument so far as I can tell comes down to ideology only.

TL;DR let the public decide. What about giving them a referendum?

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

@Xyleneb Because I hate referendums that only happen once and then never again, like the proportional voting one where fearmongering occurred, I figure it could be a timed thing. Every 5 years there's a referendum on whether it should be legalised/stay legalised/be illegal/stay illegal based on enacting the above policy or other forms of copyright reform. I'm calling it that public opinion goes in favour of no copyright. I'm fine with making it a matter for the populous as long as the referendum is done like a referendum, in other words, nationally, not by constituency, so that more than 2 options can be present, and it can be STV.

If you're in favour of that idea, I'll change the policy to fit it and we'll see where we stand after the edit.

@Autumn-Leah edited communications.md - over 3 years ago

ISPs may give users the option to apply content filters on their connections, and even enable them by default if they wish, but filter lists must be openly published, and subject to review and appeal through OFCOM.

Piracy referendums

Every 5 years there will be a referendum on whether piracy should be illegal, legal, or some variation therein. Intial options will include:

1) Complete protection of legal and illegal filesharing under free speech rights 2) Complete protection of legal and illegal filesharing under free speech rights, with the exception of compensation for doing so 3) Implementation of "Fair Use" law 4) Implementation of "Fair Dealing" law (legislation that is currently in place)

This will then be expanded over time as needed. The voting will take place under an STV system with a 75% threshold and mandatory voting, and 3 ranked votes will be assigned per person.

Net Neutrality

Enshrine net neutrality in law, protecting the fundamental principle of the free and open web. Internet Service Providers should treat all network data equally, without restriction or throttling based on the type of content, the content provider, or any other criterion. The appropriate regulatory body (currently OFCOM) would be responsible for enforcing this policy and dealing with breaches.

Enshrine net neutrality in law, protecting the fundamental principle of the free and open web. Internet Service Providers should treat all network data equally, without restriction or throttling based on the type of content, the content provider, or any other criterion. The appropriate regulatory body (currently OFCOM) would be responsible for enforcing this policy and dealing with breaches.

@Autumn-Leah edited communications.md - over 3 years ago

ISPs may give users the option to apply content filters on their connections, and even enable them by default if they wish, but filter lists must be openly published, and subject to review and appeal through OFCOM.

Piracy referendums

Every 5 years there will be a referendum on whether piracy should be illegal, legal, or some variation therein. Intial options will include:

1) Complete protection of legal and illegal filesharing under free speech rights

2) Complete protection of legal and illegal filesharing under free speech rights, with the exception of compensation for doing so

3) Implementation of "Fair Use" law

4) Implementation of "Fair Dealing" law (legislation that is currently in place)

This will then be expanded over time as needed. The voting will take place under an STV system with a 75% threshold and mandatory voting, and 3 ranked votes will be assigned per person.

Net Neutrality

Enshrine net neutrality in law, protecting the fundamental principle of the free and open web. Internet Service Providers should treat all network data equally, without restriction or throttling based on the type of content, the content provider, or any other criterion. The appropriate regulatory body (currently OFCOM) would be responsible for enforcing this policy and dealing with breaches.

Enshrine net neutrality in law, protecting the fundamental principle of the free and open web. Internet Service Providers should treat all network data equally, without restriction or throttling based on the type of content, the content provider, or any other criterion. The appropriate regulatory body (currently OFCOM) would be responsible for enforcing this policy and dealing with breaches.

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 3 years ago

I think we can do better than asking the entire is still electorate to decide something like this every five years.

Vote: ❎

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 3 years ago

Ugh apologies for the terrible auto-complete nonsense in that comment.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

Surely this the best way to ensure that policy matches public opinion though? I'm pro-freedom, hence the original policy expanding consumer freedoms and limiting the ability of large corporations to impose limitations on those freedoms, but because others didn't want it, I was forced to take a path that would maximise the freedom of choice of the electorate. What other freedom-expanding path would you have me take @philipjohn?

Floppy

@Floppy - over 3 years ago

But why introduce such a process just for this? If you do it for this thing, then why not everything? It's a big thing to introduce for one specific area of policy...

Vote: ❎

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

Would you like me to turn it back to the previous version then? I'm happy to do so, I actually like that one more. @Floppy

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 3 years ago

That last change to it too far in one direction for me. I get what you're trying to do, I'm just not convinced that we have the right policy yet. Asking the electorate on such a (relatively) minor issue is a bit extreme IMO.

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

minor issue

@philipjohn

...

Remind me, how exactly is the monopolisation of ideas through "intellectual property" a minor issue? Please explain how (just so you know this hasn't happened, nor have I read any Noam Chomsky yet or pirated his books) a large publishing corporation having the ability to sue me into the dirt over a pirated copy of some of Noam Chomsky's ideas that he put into a pdf, is in any way shape or form a minor issue.

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 3 years ago

In the grand scheme of what the manifesto covers, yes, it is a relatively minor issue. Climate change is a major issue, as is nuclear weapons, and poiverty. Compared to those, file sharing laws are a minor issue.

If we have referendums on file sharing every five years then we definitely need to have referendums on climate change, nuclear weapons and poverty every five years too. I hope that sounds ridiculous, 'cause I think it is :)

Autumn-Leah

@Autumn-Leah - over 3 years ago

@philipjohn personally I don't think that sounds ridiculous at all. In fact, if we went on public opinion we might get nuclear disarmament faster.

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 3 years ago

Yeah, but we wouldn't re-run the referendum every five years, would we?

Xyleneb

@Xyleneb - over 3 years ago

I have an idea that a) would significantly water this down, but b) would probably come to a consensus: What if: if it's not available or being monetized in this country, it's fair game? That's at least a step up.

The only problem is if you share something not available here, with a country where it is available. I guess you're either not protected then or we have yet another appeals fight in the WTO. It's still better than nothing.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 3 years ago

This went off into a much wider topic of referenda a little for a while, but it's only open for 2 more days, so now is the time to try to reach consensus on the original question if anyone wants to dive back in :)

openpolitics-bot

@openpolitics-bot - over 3 years ago

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