A Pirate Is Transforming EU Copyright Law

Sarah Kaufman reports on Julia Reda, “the German Pirate changing Europe’s copyright law so that it makes sense in the year 2015,” for Vocativ:

The European Union’s law on copyright is ashamedly pre-Internet. It takes into account the Internet as it existed in 2001, the year the law was created. That’s why some countries in the EU allow people to view Netflix and some don’t. It’s why it’s technically illegal in Italy to take a picture of an architectural masterpiece and post it to Facebook. And it’s why posting GIFs that use snippets of TV footage can be a crime in some parts of Europe.

Julia Reda (at right). Photo: Photo: Greens/EFA (CC)

Julia Reda (at right). Photo: Photo: Greens/EFA (CC)

Hundreds of thousands of Europeans are fed up with the outdated copyright laws. In recent years, activists for civil liberties on the Internet have begun trying to bring European copyright law up to date. Just to give you an idea, the law details the boundaries of using materials on CD-ROMS—which, yeah, you get the picture.

Enter the Pirate. “I am the Pirate in the European Parliament, representing a young worldwide movement of people who believe in using technology for the empowerment of all,” Julia Reda writes on her website.

The German representative of the Swedish Pirate Party, Reda has been given the responsibility of writing a new copyright law for the European Commission. Why is that such a coup? The Pirate Party was founded in response to legal assaults on The Pirate Bay, which was one of the world’s most popular torrent sites (in government speak: digital media thievery haven). So for media conservatives, having the Pirate Party creating copyright legislation is like having the lunatics running the asylum…

[continues at Vocativ]


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