Rick Falkvinge says copyright laws are ridiculous

By , ITworld |  Software, piracy, Rick Falkvinge

Rick Falkvinge, leader of the Pirate Party, celebrates while watching the preliminary results of the Swedish votes in the European parliament election in Stockholm June 7, 2009.

REUTERS/Fredrik Persson/Scanpix

Many people ignore copyright laws, so Rick Falkvinge, Swedish Pirate Party leader, says we should stop pretending to follow them.

In "Is It Time To Stop Pretending To Endorse The Copyright Monopoly" on techdirt.com, Falkvinge insists copyrights have always been about controlling distribution, not protecting the creators. Fair point, but he uses examples from the buttonmakers guild in 1600s France to justify eliminating the five major parts of copyright law today. The first two are cover duplication and public performance, and piracy today has ruined those. The next two cover rights of the creator to get credit and prevent other performances, satires, remixes etc they don't like. Falkvinge says giving credit is important, but not worthy of a law. Finally, "neighboring rights" are used by the music industry to block duplication, which Falkvinge rejects.

Falkvinge claims copyright laws do not meet the burden of proof that "any law must be necessary, effective, and proportionate: it must identify a real problem that needs legislation, it must solve the problem, and it must not create worse problems." Reactions are, as you might guess, vociferous.

Die, copyright monopoly

There is no sense for the RIAA to have a monopoly these days and yet they are the major push behind SOPA. Musicians can both create and distribute their songs for close to nothing while raking in the profit.
Violated on techdirt.com

Fantastic post. As long as people say that copyright is "necessary" and that piracy is "bad," "but" the SOPA etc. go "too far," they have lost the argument. Copyright is the problem itself.
Stephan Kinsella on techdirt.com

Long live piracy

On the other hand, copying has been trivial for over a decade and the publishing industries that depend on copyright continue to release record sales numbers while constantly complaining that "it should be more"
crade on techdirt.com

Every year, the amount of music, movies and books increases despite ever-growing piracy. As an economist, I can come to only one conclusion: we don't need copyrights.
PrometheeFeu on techdirt.com

In the real world …

Copyright can easily be abused and that is why laws relating to it need to be very carefully framed. That said, the protection it affords is an integral part of our modern world and does protect creative effort to a significant degree.
grellas on news.ycombinator.com

Example, the film "The Hobbit", will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make. Literally thousands of people are paid directly, as in earn money in order to live, during the production of this film. If a monopolisation of copyright is removed, how will a film like this be able to recoup this massive initial investment?
m00nh34o on reddit.com

Disney is indeed fishy what concerns his copyrights based on other's efforts. But honestly: when and why should you be able to cash in on coffee mugs showing disney's rendering of the seven dwarfs?
route66 on news.ycombinator.com

how can software developers make any money if they can't enforce copyright? And remember, not all software lends itself to the support model like ReD Hat.
billpatrianakos on news.ycombinator.com

Falkvinge likes to give speeches. Should conferences save the expense and just put up a picture of him and play a recording of a past speech?

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