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EU Government Music Your Rights Online

Key Music Industry Lawyer Named EU Copyright Chief 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the conflict-of-what dept.
halfEvilTech writes "The European Union's new point person on copyright policy won't take up her post until mid-April, but she's already stirring up controversy. That's because Maria Martin-Prat spent years directing 'global legal policy' for IFPI, the global recording industry's London-based trade group, before moving back into government. The appointment raises new questions about the past private-sector work of government officials, especially those crafting policy or issuing legal judgments on the same issues they once lobbied for."
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Key Music Industry Lawyer Named EU Copyright Chief

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:39PM (#35725124)
    Yet another example of regulatory capture [wikimedia.org] at work.
    • by rajeevrk (1278022) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:51PM (#35725294) Homepage

      Yet another example of regulatory capture [wikimedia.org] at work.

      Isnt it so much fun when the Industry shills get into policy positions? They make a lot of noise, and formulate some of the most arcane policies that just happen to fall right into the lap of the same industry groups that the policies are supposed to police :P can there be no end to the constant churn of people between lobbying groups and the lobbied groups?

      P.S. - HTTPS on a wikipedia link! dont think i've seen that too often ;)

      RkR

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This story reminds me of one that came up a few weeks ago. The one about a school teacher who was forced to resign because her students and colleagues found out she was in a porno 20 some odd years prior.

        Of course, the question that nags at me is: Why the hell does this woman have to quit her job? When we have ex-copyright trolls, obviously unfit for ever holding a politcal office, being appointed to political office?

        Being an ex-porn star has virtually no impact on one's ability to teach...

        Being an ex-copyr

        • Well according to the uptight prudes' way of thinking, being an ex-porn-star does impact her ability to teach, because she'll beam dirty unclean sinful thoughts right into the students' heads (along with the usual lib'rul indoctrination all public schools give children) causing the classroom to break out into a big orgy, with interracial and possibly even gay sex.

    • by daem0n1x (748565)
      One would expect that, after all the problems we had in the past, we'd be more vigilant. Nope. The times of corporatism/fascism are coming back again. I wonder if the European Union's hidden agenda was to create the IV Reich, this time without weapons?
    • OTOH, let's say she would have worked for, say, Nestle. What then? People would have complained that someone with no experience in the field is becoming the "EU Copyright Chief". So we have to choose someone with experience in the field. That person would probably have some opinion on the matter. So if they choose someone with the same opinions as the /. crowd, its fine; if he/she is against the /. ideas, he/she's bad.
      Now, I agree that you can always take someone who is an expert on copyright, but was not w

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hasn't this same thing been going on in America for ages? You work as a corporate lawyer, then you lobby, then you get elected. When you're in office, you build in a few loopholes, and when you get ousted you work as a lawyer exploiting those loopholes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:41PM (#35725162)

    We now live in a global oligarchy. What is the peaceful solution to this?

    In the meantime, DO NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY TO THESE PEOPLE. Yes, I know you love your new Lord of the Rings DVD box set, but you're financing the copyright cartels. Either pirate or go without.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      You are simply not reaching enough eyes and ears posting here. And the people who have the most access to eyes and ears will not let you speak. What can be done?

      • Well first off, you can forget about a peaceful solution. 'What can be done?' now becomes a little easier to answer.

        • by russotto (537200)

          Well first off, you can forget about a peaceful solution. 'What can be done?' now becomes a little easier to answer.

          I'm sure you're not suggesting shooting music industry executives from a distance using a scoped rifle. Or arranging to have their cocaine cut with cyanide. Or rigging their Ferraris to explode. Because the first two would be too good for them and the last would be a waste of a Ferrari.

      • by seifried (12921)
        I'm teaching my children that "sharing is caring" and you need to route your Internet traffic through a VPN provider in a country with strong privacy laws.
    • We could peacefully ask who elected this guy. IIRC in democracy you elect people who change the law. That's been a joke lately, so I wonder if enforcing some laws means respecting authority (the ultimate authority is the decision of people expressed by vote) or it is an attack on democracy, whose perpetrators we usually call terrorists when their skin is of a different color.

    • by beanspud (187388)

      Third option: buy CDs and DVDs second-hand. Side-step the enemy and support local business.

  • by ackthpt (218170)

    The name that speaks for its holder.

  • by srussia (884021) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:49PM (#35725252)
    Ram A Rat In Mi Prat
  • The summary reads like this is of extra concern. Would there be concern if a previous Anti-Copyright campaigner got the seat? Would you rather someone with no knowledge on the topic got the position?

    Peoples knowledge, experience and ideals always stems from where a person has come from: Be it business, culture, arts, community.

    I would wager that most people aim for positions in political office because they either know about, care for, or are passionate in some way about the seat for which they aim. (and y

    • by Znork (31774)

      Would there be concern if a previous Anti-Copyright campaigner got the seat?

      A lot less, as they actually would represent the people and their interest rather than a specific economic group.

      passion can come from being paid to care

      Eh, no. It cant.

    • The summary reads like this is of extra concern. Would there be concern if a previous Anti-Copyright campaigner got the seat? Would you rather someone with no knowledge on the topic got the position?

      If an anti-copyright campaigner got the seat, the copyright lobby would obviously freak out WAY more than this. There are tons of lawyers out there who know the copyright and patent law inside out but are not affiliated with either side of the copyright war. Your argument about "someone with no knowledge on the topic" is a false dichotomy.

    • by 517714 (762276)
      I don't think they seriously considered Peter Sunde's application for the position.
    • The concern isn't over the experience. It's over corruption of the political process. That is what this is. It is to protect industry interests.

      I would wager that most people aim for positions in political office because they either know about, care for, or are passionate in some way about the seat for which they aim. (and yes, passion can come from being paid to care)

      You would lose that wager. Most people who enter big time politics are narcissistic sociopaths. Those that aren't are pushed aside. That just

    • Would there be concern if a previous Anti-Copyright campaigner got the seat?

      Yes.

      Would you rather someone with no knowledge on the topic got the position?

      No.

      You need people with appropriate skills in these positions. It is surely not too difficult to find a lawyer (for example) that has practiced on both sides of centre when it comes to copyright issues. Anyone that has chosen to work as an integral part of a single issue lobby group on either side has demonstrated their bias and unsuitability for a public policy job in the area.

    • by xophos (517934)

      don't try to be clever, it's corruption all the way up. ;-)

  • by Coeurderoy (717228) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:49PM (#35725260)

    So the US lobbies successfully imposed to EU the same stupidity that they got at home...

    Basically copyrights and patents are the "semi religious framework" that justifies sending money from all over the world, and preferably reasonably rich countries to the US without stating the obvious, we should anyway because the US got the biggest army and secret services...

    this sucks

  • by mykos (1627575) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @05:54PM (#35725332)
    Seriously, why do they keep putting people in charge who only see one side of the issues? Why even have the position at all?

    Wouldn't it just be easier to just come out and say "We are the puppets of the copyright industry and we will go with whatever they say". It's honest, to the point, and everyone knows where they stand.
    • by e9th (652576)
      Yes. Why couldn't they come up with somebody more even handed, like Obama's IP Czar. [arstechnica.com]
  • Europe is as broken and corrupt as the US is, I wonder how long it takes before they really drown, the US is almost there, dunno the status of Europe.

    • Yes, Europe is broken and corrupt but at least we have some levers to make our politicians listen once in a while. And European politicians obviously don't like to bend over to US corporations too often. That's why software patents are not valid in Europe and ACTA will probably fail in European Parliament because it doesn't cover protected geographical indications.
  • This make absolutelly no sense. A lobbyist putting in charge? Whats worse than that?
    I don't pay the taxes so ...well.. lobbyist lawyers control me!

    WTF!?

    FUCK WITH THIS PERSON!

  • by boguslinks (1117203) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:43PM (#35725894)
    If you're going to appoint an attorney in charge of government copyright policy, the thing to do is to get someone with relevant experience. Would you prefer an attorney whose expertise is in Animal Husbandry to get this job?

    And if you think it's one of the "bad guys" instead of one of the "good guys" (girls) getting the job... well, working attorneys in copyright (and other "intellectual property" areas) are usually working to protect and monetize the "property" in question. You'd probably have a tough time coming up with a good list of candidates, with good resumes, for the job who share your ideology (or mine) on the issue. Someone like Stephan Kinsella would be both qualified and share our sentiments, but I'm sure he doesn't want the job, nor the job him.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Would you prefer an attorney whose expertise is in Animal Husbandry to get this job?

      I would prefer somebody who represents the general population, not a tiny vested interest, and not your false dichotomy.

      Expertise in copyright law, not policy, is a technical function that should be done by juniors and not policy people.

      The fact that I even need to tell you that shows that you are probably part of that vested interest and untrustworthy.

    • And clearly bank robbers should be hired to create bank security... it only makes sense.
    • See : conflict of interest.
    • Yeah, but even Stephan Kinsella would be a bad choice because he immediately morphs into a complete retard once you try to actually question him on his ideas.

    • Would you prefer an attorney whose expertise is in Animal Husbandry to get this job?

      Yes, Hell, I'd prefer a cow was given this job, that way, current copyright laws would be a little safer.

  • by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:56PM (#35726042)

    ....when they start appointing new judges to the European Court of Human Rights.

    He's a 'former civil servant.....put in charge of dossiers' directly related to his former employer/dictatorship....

  • by NoobixCube (1133473) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @06:57PM (#35726060) Journal

    My opinion will probably be an unpopular one on Slashdot, but a job's a job. There should be an impartiality regulator in all goernments, something of an Inquisition who can thoroughly investigate the lives, private and public, of high level government employees. I understand the recording industry and actual careers like law are more than a little different, but just because someone has been working for McDonalds for a few years doesn't mean they're going to go work for KFC and actively sabotage them. In practice, in the US, officials with this background have proven time and time again they are NOT impartial, but all people have the right to quit one job and work somewhere else. Everyone here treats a recording industry job like the slaver tatoo in Fallout 2. A permanent black mark that everyone will recognise on sight.

    I don't mean to say we shouldn't care where our officials come from, by all means be wary, but not everyone is going to be evil (I think that may be the biggest compliment I've ever paid anyone).

    • I understand the recording industry and actual careers like law are more than a little different, but just because someone has been working for McDonalds for a few years doesn't mean they're going to go work for KFC and actively sabotage them.

      I think a better metaphor would be:

      just because someone has been working for McDonalds for a few years doesn't mean they're going to go work for the Vegan Rights group and actively sabotage them.

      Anyone really supporting Vegan Rights (whatever those would be) wouldn't last working in McDonalds for a few years. Anyone who could stomache it already has a non-partial worldview.

      Possibly the same issue here.

    • This line of reasoning is what most recent US Supreme Court nominees have used in their hearings. They say their job is to determine the meaning of the law impartially, according to precedent, and the wording of statutes. Congress makes the law, they do not. They do not "legislate from the bench", that is, make things up or creatively interpret wording in predictably biased ways. Of course this impartiality is an idealistic view.

      I would be more concerned with the quality of her reasoning and thinking

    • See : Conflict of Interest.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The problem with this notion is that it is SOP for people go to back and forth between government and "private industry". Set up some stuff while in business, go get some legislation passed to make it work, go to another business the legislation has also helped and get a bunch of money, eventually get appointed to some other thing in government, lather, rinse, repeat.

      This person has already been shown to be willing to take money against the public interest, and as such should not have this post either.

    • by ausrob (864993)
      I understand what you are getting at, but I still think it is a little naive to think that someone who has spent considerable time representing the political will of a large and influential body such as the IFPI has more than a little conflict of interest. I'm not sure that it's fair to compare a minimum wage worker at McDonalds/KFC to the paid professionals who lobby for changes in copyright law and I don't it's reasonable to give her the benefit of the doubt in this instance. She was with the IFPI as re
  • by fph il quozientatore (971015) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @02:56AM (#35730134) Homepage
    Funny, I read "copyright thief" at first.
    • I wish I could mod you up. Copyright Thief is probably quite an insightful job description. I am already robbed if I record my own music as a musician on my own CD.
  • ... it's a feature".
  • Give it a few more years and the world's enforcement on music policies will make reality look like the ill-fated Aerosmith arcade shooter Revolution X where faceless goons with guns are everywhere trying to bust people for owning music.
  • by mmcuh (1088773) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @11:12AM (#35733384)
    Two MEPs, Christian Engström from the Swedish Pirate Party and Marietje Schaake from Dutch liberal party D66, have submitted a formal question [wordpress.com] to the European Commission (the EU government). The commission is obliged to reply within a couple of weeks, though there will probably be no real answer.
  • Much easier to make something new and useful than to figure out how old paradigms can make money out of something new and useful. Can we just require any new technology provide a healthy retirement community for those vested in older business structures?

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