Quoted on copyright reform in Politiken article today



National newspaper Politiken today has an extended article on copyright reform, which is being discussed heavily across Europe right now (following  a hearing in the EU Commission) and I was asked for a comment.

Composer's guilds and rights organizations are heavily criticizing the very idea of reforming copyright towards allowing more sharing, where as most citizens and open Internet organizations are suggesting that the current legislation is not only outdated but even devastating to innovation in the Internet-age. I was asked by the newspaper to give a statement on behalf of the latter-mentioned view point; here is a translation from the Danish article:

At the international NGO Open Knowledge Foundation Christian Villum, their International Community Manager, has encouraged all citizens to respond to the EU hearing. He is glad that citizens are being consulted, since "the entertainment industry is so masterful in getting their view point presented in the media, that the views of the citizens are being trampled."

"Copyright legislation is outdated and should serve the purpose to create a balanced relationship between the consumer and the created of creative works", says Christian Villum.

"When the copyright laws becomes a barrier for creativity or a tool for middle men to maximize their own profits, then the legislation has lost sight of the people it was instated to serve: The creators."

He is additionally also active in the Creative Commons movement, which promote a licensing suite that makes it easy for content creators to waive certain rights and allow legal sharing of their works. If you create a piece of work, for instance a photo, you have the right to decide how it's used - for all of your life plus 70 years. Particularly the long protection time beyond the creator's lifetime is something that Christian Villum suggests shortening or even abandoning.

The article also features quotes from Amelia Andersdotter, who is an elected member of the EU Parliament representing the Swedish Pirate Party, Asta Helgadottir from the Icelandic Pirate Party and representatives from Google and Danish rights organization KODA.

Read the full article (.pdf) here.

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