The Case for Copyright Reform

In 2012 Christian Engström and Rick Falkvinge, members of the Swedish Pirate Party, published a proposal called “The Case for Copyright Reform”. A proposal most of us who has an interest in the internet / tech can agree with. Many would maybe like to go even further but being the politicians they are, Christian & Rick tries to meet the copyright industry halfway as they don’t want to abolish copyright but reform it. They summarize their proposal in six points: Moral Rights Unchanged, Free Non-Commercial Sharing, 20 years of Commercial Monopoly, Registration after 5 Years, Free Sampling and A Ban on DRM.

I definitely agree with all of their six points, it would legalize what is already being done (like peer-to-peer sharing, removing DRM from games etc.). Even though illegal this is still being done big time and you can easily find cracked video games (that originally had DRM to make it hard to pirate - looking at you Civilization V) and peer-to-peer sharing is as alive and well as it has always been (in my lifetime).

The biggest one for me is the ban on DRM as DRM basically allows companies to circumvent the law and impose their own through technical means, not only that but DRM usually deteriorate good games, an example could be “Always-on DRM”, used for games like Starcraft 2, Diablo III and Call of Duty. The major disadvantage of this is that whenever the authentication server goes down or a region experiences an outrage, it locks people out of playing the game, even if they only wanted to access single player content. Using DRM as a protection against piracy is a laughable excuse, most games get cracked (basically removing the DRM) on their release day (Assassins Creed II for example).

In conclusion I think we can all agree that we need copyright reform, sadly not much seemed to have happened and I was unable to find any results of this proposal.

Written on March 6, 2021