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Pirate Party founder meets fiery reception

Paul Williams
Pirate Party founder meets fiery reception

Falkvinge, appearing as part of ITC's P2P panel alongside MMF chief executive John Webster, started by relating the history of copyright, arguing that it had been used to stifle creativity and free speech from the start.

"The creativity will die argument [that copyright protects creators' work] was as bogus then as it is now," he concluded.

He then set out his party's defining views. They are:

? Postal anonymity for electronic communication

? "Messenger immunity"

? Freedom to communicate

? The right to communicate in private

? The right to create without a permit (e.g. for fans to be able to make their own remixes of copyright work)

BASCA CEO Patrick Rackow then pressed Falkvinge for his party's specific views on copyright.

The Pirate Party founder set out six points:

?To outlaw internet disconnection in EU member states

? Reduce copyright to commercial use only

? Reduce copyright to five years from date of publication

? Limit DRM

? Allow remixes and rehashes to encourage mash up culture

? Keep the right of attribution, so artists are identified for their work

However, he found little support among the audience. Rackow explained that reducing copyright to five years would effectively kill off professional concert composers, who earn money from their work slowly over a long period of time, while The Register executive editor Andrew Orlowski criticised Falkvinge's "conservative, reactionary" one-issue politics.

One audience member was more succinct. "I am taking this personally. So fuck you," he said, to some applause. "You talked about the middle ages but if this were the middle ages I would burn you at the stake."

The panel also explored the idea of compulsory licensing [of digital music], which Webster said the MMF supports "should other solutions fail". Orlowski, however, dismissd the idea. "It has to be voluntary," he explained. "It could work in North Korea but it's not going to work here."

Other panels yesterday included Digital Licensing, How Do We Build A Future?, God! Show Me Magic The Story Of Creation Records and The Seldom Seen Kid, examining the story of Paul Curry, who created popular music search site Music Search Plus.

The day ended with Drowned In Sound editor Sean Adams interviewing The Hype Machine creator Anthony Volodkin, before the live showcases kicked off in earnest, with local band Egyptian Hip Hop proving one of the main draws.


... Follow music week at in the city via twitter: @musicweeknews

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