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Finland Is Crowdsourcing Its New Copyright Law 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-to-the-people dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Internet activists in Finland, upset with the country's strict copyright laws, are ready to take advantage of the country's promise to vote on any citizen-proposed bill that reaches 50,000 signatures. Digital rights group Common Sense in Copyright has proposed sweeping changes to Finland's Lex Karpela, a 2006 amendment to the Finnish copyright law that more firmly criminalized digital piracy. Under it, 'countless youngsters have been found guilty of copyright crimes and sentenced to pay thousands, in some cases hundreds of thousands, of euros in punitive damages to the copyright organizations.' The proposal to fix copyright is the best-rated and most-commented petition on the Open Ministry site."
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Finland Is Crowdsourcing Its New Copyright Law

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:15AM (#42678859)

    Finnish copyright law has very flexible permissions for private use.

    1) Few copies of legally obtained copyrighted material can be copied for private use
    2) Private use includes family members and best friends.
    3) In court the "few copies" has been seen to be 10 copies
    4) You are allowed to outsource the copying if needed (you can give copyrighted material to third party what copy them for you and give original and all copies back).
    5) Downloading from Internet isn't illegal, it is just admonished, but sharing (uploading) is criminalized.
    6) You can brake the DRM if it is necessary to get music to be heard, video to be seen or text to visible (etc)
    7) You can transform content to another if it is required to get content available. (meaning you can make a copy of DVD as VHS if other has only VHS player. Or transcode WMA to MP3 if only having a MP3 player).
    8) If original media is destroyed, stolen or lost, all copies needs to be destroyed.
    9) You can not make new copies from copies or release them to any other third party (non-family members, not best friends)

    In Finland you are allowed to borrow a CD music from library and make those 10 copies for you, to your family members and best friend. Any of those copies can be a version in MP3 files, a CD or WMA etc, as long the amount is same.
    You can as well buy a latest movie/music from store with your 4 friends, make 3 copies and divide the music price by 4. Meaning 20 euros music is just 5 euros for each of one.
    You can as well rent a movie for few euros and make a copy of that for private use.
    You are allowed to record movies and shows from TV and make few copies of them as well for private use.

    But all this has a cost.
    You need to pay a small tax in every empty CD, DVD, HDD, SSD and now on memory sticks as well. It is about 15 euros from HDD what is bigger than 750GB
    About a 15 cent on empty DVD and about 10 cent on empty CD.
    Every importer is demanded by law to pay that and that is transferred to device/media prices.

    But people are mad about it!
    Many are mad of it because "I pay more about empty media/storage than I should" and many even promote their ideas by saying "I only store my own music and my own photos and videos to those medias". And still most doesn't even understand that spending a few euros a year for that tax, you can make as many copies for private use from legally obtained copyrighted material as you wish.

    Teens usually listen same music with their friends. Instead them needed to buy a own CD (2 x 20 euros) to CD-player and then again MP3 version (2 x 10-15 euros for album) phone/mp3-player, they can together buy just a single CD, make copies of it and transcode music as MP3 files in 20 euros.

    How about lex karpela?
    Lex Karpela was a addition to copyright law what criminalized braking strong DRM. That what was "strong DRM" was not written at all. Later two man went and wanted to test that law in court. Other one made a DVD with a CSS encryption in it. Then borrowed it to friend, what made a copy of that disk by braking the CSS. And then the copyright owned (who borrowed DVD to friend) sued friend to court demanding 5 cent penalties.
    The whole case when to higher court and back, and it was given a judgment criminalizing the friend who broke the encryption because it was not possible "in mistake". The problem was what many doesn't understand, the friend made DVD was not made legally public, it was a personal DVD with DRM.
    The copyright law demands the copyrighted material is published legally. Meaning it is that companies what presents, plays, prints etc media, can not control citizens rights to share information and cultural material.
    But when a private person makes a own media, she or he owns the copyright for it but just by borrowing it to friend, doesn't mean he or she published it. So it isn't legally obtained material in the first place unless you ask permission from your friend "can I make a copy to myself from your made movie what you

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:29AM (#42678905)

    With a AAA [guardian.co.uk] credit rating, the only nasty thing would scare the Finnish people would be the Russian to cut their gas [energydelta.org] (100% dependence on Russia).

    And Russia is rather unlikely to do this just because USA wants it. Anything that distances Finland from the west and brings closer to Russia is going to be perfectly fine for the Russians.

  • by bfandreas (603438) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:40AM (#42678947)
    It is. Gas is also used for heating. Amongst other things.
    Europe is also highly dependant on Gazprom. And they have been known to throttle their pipelines in winter if something wasn't to their liking.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:50AM (#42678981)

    Actually, I read though the proposal (and signed it). It seems to make a lot of sense, and it's really well thought out.

    If this is even remotely successful then a lot of lobbyists will get their knickers in a twist.

    The chances of this being ratified should be rather slim due to:

    -international treaties

    This isn't some teenage hacktivism, this is actually really well thought out modifications. The changes aren't huge, but still significant. The proposal also takes into account internation treaties and works within their restrictions.

    -legality of the law without having to rewrite other laws

    The suggestion specifically refers to other laws, and how the changes make it more compliant than the current version. They also seem to have touched upon points that have to have modifications.

    -being watered down in parliament ...

    ok, this I just learnt from the comment below, so credit wher credit is due

    As for the watering down, if the proposal (a complete law text) passes the 50,000 vote mark, the Finnish parliament has to vote on it AS IS.

    I would guess a lot of lawyers will work on this thing. So chances are this might be the best written piece of legislation never to be signed.

    the common democratic illness is that we vote for politians based on how well they look in a suit, how loud they shout their simple truths and how long ago they had their last sex scandal. Should be credibility, competence and merit. Oh well.

    I agree that politics can be too populistic, but in general I think it's works quite well here. As for the proposal, I'm very positively suprised at the quality, the moderation and the execution of it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:08AM (#42679047)

    10% of total energy consumption ( http://www.maakaasu.fi/sisalto/statistics ) is hardly "being dependent".

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:45AM (#42679217)

    They can. But there will be consequences. Unfortunately US is one of biggest consumers and no politician in it's right mind would want to piss off it and face problems with exports to US. But exports gives you jobs and allows you to repay debt you took to finance roads, schools, etc.

    It's not that simple.

    Uh, oh. Does it wake you up that US markets makes 4.9% of Finland's export [wikipedia.org]? Comparing with the exports to Russia of 9.2%, Germany of 10% and Sweden to 11.8%, it seems quite low.

    Also, did you know that Finland has less population than New York City? I don't know why I feel all of them will survive quite well to an upset US.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:14AM (#42680231) Homepage

    Well, Finland is only 5.4 million people so if they can hit the 50k mark it already means 1% of the population cares. That said it looks like the site has just recently opened and the highest vote is slightly over 1k now, so a long way to go.

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