Sensible Internet policy platform from the German Pirate Party

The German Pirate Party has released a brochure (PDF, German), outlining the party's agenda for a free and open Internet, based on discussions with a group of German publishers. The program they set out is one that I hope to see many parties adopting -- I could certainly see liberal democratic, green, and libertarian parties all adopting this, along with left-leaning labor parties like Canada's NDP.

I have less hope for the UK's larger parties. I don't expect that UK Labour will be able to adopt this, as they've proven themselves (repeatedly) to be hopeless compromised on questions of Internet freedom, establishing themselves over 12 years as the party of Internet surveillance, censorship, and corporatist special favours without regard to the cost to wider society. Which is a shame, given that the UK Tories have nearly identical views, and the UK LibDems, for all their adoption of conference motions on Internet freedom, have also been active participants in making UK Internet policy worse, both in opposition and in power.

Here's Glyn Moody's summary of the Pirate position, from TechDirt.

* No online surveillance, blocking technologies or data retention

* The reduction of the term of copyright

* Legalization of DRM circumvention tools

* More rights for creators when negotiating with publishers

* Legalization of free, non-commercial copying of all creative works online

* Digital archives for libraries

* Exemption of educational establishments from copyright licensing fees

* Open access to all publicly-funded academic work and broadcasting

* Legalization of open wifi networks

German Pirate Party Makes Some Shockingly Unshocking Proposals For Copyright Reform


  1. I am always amazed, considering how libertarian and individual-centered the U.S. is, that something like this just does not seem to resonate with the general population. Maybe it is just the age of most libertarians here. There does seem to be a new wave of libertarianism within Generation Y, so perhaps it will be a bit more technologically literate.

    1.  As far as I can tell, the only Politician that actually has libertarian ideals is Ron Paul, and he was laughed out of the running by fellow Republicans.

      the rest just say Libertarian sounding things to get elected and proceed to suppress personal freedoms and improve their own profits.

    2. Though generally libertarian politicians with no known stance on IP laws could still approach the issue from the logic of “what is good for Disney is good for the country”, and from an “Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?” question.

    3. To be clear I was referring to libertarian in the philosophical sense rather than the U.S. political one.

  2. I love the idea of free, open, safe and unbiased internet. But declaring that you are going in for “No online surveillance” sounds like a good way to ensure all your policies are ignored. Sometimes surveillance is necessary. Terrorism and child porn are used as an excuse, but they exist and must be accounted for, how about a policy of no surveillance without just cause, where just cause is the assumption that if you wouldn’t surveil a person in real life you wouldn’t surveil them online, but where evidence is present…

    But otherwise this sounds like a utopia, if only the UK government had a chance of ever having a decent stance on the internet.

    1.  I wish I could trust my government (or in fact any large body) to not abuse, leak from, or mess up any large-scale online surveillance project

      1. I wish I could trust my government (or in fact any large body) to ONLY abuse online surveillance, at least hen we’d know where governments are abusing our trust. I long for the day when MP’s understand their job description “The UK public elects Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.” Yes to represent the concerns of the governed, not decide what those concerns should be! I would sacrifice my internet freedoms for a government that did that, but I fear in today’s society the only way to be fairly represented is on the internet, that fair and free place where… oh.

  3. Dude, today’s BoingBoing is filling me with pure squee.  Are you guys trying to put the greasy peccadilloes behind you and get back to the wonderful things?

  4. Here in Germany we (at least me and most of my friends) always have a controversial discussion wether the pirates are able to cope with the “bigger” political issues aka foreign affairs, finanial crisis in the EU etc., since they have no serious agenda for those problems.

    But even if they aren´t, I´m glad to have them in the German Parliament as an opposition party to keep an eye on the internet policies, the media / copyright lobbyists or the strange “general suspicion” behaviour of the collecting societies like GEMA or those copyright trolling lawyers.

    (Almost every second youtube video linked on BB is blocked in Germany because it “could POSSIBLY (not proven) contain music for which GEMA didn´t concede the music rights” … And I do not refer to videos named as “artist xy – song yz – official video” but rather homemade vids, like instructions or vids about kittens or squirrels with a barely hearable radio running in the background and stuff like that.)

    And reasonable internet policies are a “big” issue nowadays, but the bigger parties still have certain difficulties to adopt an unambiguous position.
    But that is a matter of time, I think.

    I´m glad they uncovered and made an issue out of ACTA, CETA, IPRED and their equivalents to keep them from passing without anyone ever noticing.

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