Hello, here is a follow up press release from our campaign to repeal Finnish copyright laws via a citizens initiative.
Thank you in advance for the support!
COMMON SENSE IN COPYRIGHT NEVER MADE MORE SENSE THAN RIGHT NOW!
Finland is currently at the forefront of the battle between the copyright lobby and the general public. In the most recent turn, the local anti-piracy agency TTVK is having to defend itself against claims of piracy. The agency is said to have copied the CSS code from none other than the infamous Pirate Bay itself.
The situation is so absurd, that according to Digitoday.fi the director of TTVK Mr Antti Kotilainen is having to defend against rumours that the antipiracy organization would be purposefully undermining the current copyright law. “The claims are not true” Kotilainen says according to the publication.
And which law did they just break?
Well, Unlike in the United States, Finnish copyright law does not currently have exception for a parody. TTVK apparently copied directly the source code, which is not trivial, and thus a protected work. Such use violates the moral rights of the original authors. This view was also recently confirmed in Finnish courts in the so called “Pelastakaa Pedofiilit” case, in which the appeal court declared that minor changes (like changing the logo) are not enough and the changed page can indeed violate the moral right’s of the author.
TTVK Interviewed for Copying Source Code from the Pirate Bay Website
The whole story started unraveling, when Antti Kotilainen (AK), Director of TTVK was interviewed by a major Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat (IS).
IS: TTVK Director Antti Kotilainen, how could this happen?
AK: We are trying to educate and tell people that there are legal options.
IS: But the webpage is copied from The Pirate Bay. When you look at the page’s source code you can see the original Piratebay text.
AK: If you see something in there, then we have to see what we are going to do. We are looking to get people to use legal services.
IS: So what kind of message are you sending? Isn’t there an ideological problem when you are copying from copiers?
AK: There is no ideological problem. If you watch closely you can see that there is a picture of sinking pirate-ship.
IS: So what are you going to do to the page? Are you going to leave it as it is?
AK: I don’t know technology well enough to comment on that question.
A Citizens’ Initiative is Looking to Change the Law
On January 23rd, the Common Sense in Copyright campaign launched to major public support. In 2012 Finland passed Constitutional amendments allowing 50 000 citizens to pass a bill to parliament. To date, this citizens initiative has crushed the statistics of previous citizens initiatives receiving 5200 supporters in the first 24 hrs, more than 10% of the threshold set in the Constitution. Now three weeks into the six month campaign the initiative is pushing on one third of the needed support to constitute parliamentary attention.
The initiative specifically aims at declawing TTVK from the privileges that this private association enjoys under the legislation put into place during the 2005 Lex Karpela amendment. Legislation that was criticized back in 2005 as being heavily lobbied by the international copyright industry.
The proposal would also add a new provision to the law allowing parody and satire despite of the moral rights of the author. The EU Copyright Directive allows this but it was deliberately left out of the Lex Karpela amendment in 2005. Additionally, TTVK would no longer be able to receive names from ISP’s as well as heavily decreasing the possibilities for bloated arbitrary lawsuits against non-commercial acts of piracy.
National media blackout
Although the Common Sense in Copyright campaign has received wide support from international media sources, on a national level the campaign has been stymied by local media. Helsinki Sanomat, the largest Finnish newspaper, has all but ignored the campaign. YLE, the national broadcasting agency, has recently posted on-line articles on the campaign, but surprisingly enough out of all the print media – only one article has been printed: on a University campus publication.
With a virtual blackout from national news media, the campaign has now shifted into boots on the streets tactics with volunteers amassing at Jyväskylä and Turku Universities. The collecting of signatures by hand in tandem with localized e-campaigns promises to boost the campaign right into the 50% realm within a matter of weeks.
According to a YLE article the chairman of the Finnish Musicians Union Mr Ahti Vänttinen expects that artists will support the initiative, but that the battle in the parliament will be along the traditional trench lines: the MP’s that support the industry lobby one one side and ones who support the artists on the other.
Political youth organizations of all the major political parties in Finland including the socialist and right-wing parties have voiced their joint support for the campaign. “For young people this is not a question of left or right wing politics. Perhaps the older generations have dropped off the technological bandwagon. This initiative will show how well parliament understands young people” says the chairman of the Finnish Center Youth Mr Antti Kurvinen.
Representative of the initiative: Joonas Pekkanen, chairman of the Open Ministry (http://openministry.info), [email protected], +358505846800
TorrentFreak: Anti-Piracy Group Rips Off Pirate Bay Website, Faces Lawsuit
TTVK coming to a home near you (attached image) – spotted in Helsinki 2 weeks ago painted by campaign initiator, Finnish Underground Street Artist, Sampsa. Image credits – Anni Tamminen
The “stolen” style sheet on the antipiracy web site: http://piraattilahti.fi/css/css.css (screenshot attached also)
Visualization of the gathered votes (red line at ca. 16 000): http://kannatusilmoitukset.fi/
The campaign home page: http://49999.org/
The campaign Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/tekijanoikeuslaki
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