Christian Engström, Pirat

1 mars 2010

Counterfeiting and file sharing are different things

Filed under: English,informationspolitik,IP Observatory — Christian Engström @ 15:50

European Digital Rights

Commercial goods counterfeiting and non-commercial peer to peer file sharing are two different things. In its proposal to establish an IP Observatory, the EU Commission mixes them up as if they were the same. When the proposal was discussed in the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee JURI, this mix-up was criticized by several members from different party groups.

Even if you think that illegal file sharing is something bad that should society should try to reduce, pretending that it is the same thing as commercial goods counterfeiting is not a constructive way forward.

The European Digital Rights organization EDRI has prepared a one-page summary making this point. They have sent it to the members of the JURI committee, who will be voting on a report (called the ”Gallo report”) on the IP Observatory later this spring.

It is a good summary by EDRI, so I republish it here:

Gallo Report – Unauthorised filesharing and Counterfeiting are fundamentally different

Introduction

A trend has developed among certain policy-makers to refer always to “piracy and counterfeiting” when referring to counterfeiting. Whether this is deliberate or not, the effect will be to lead some people to believe that the two issues are the same and should be treated in the same way. This approach can only result in either the fight against counterfeiting being weakened or in citizens being treated in the same way as organised criminals.

Why unauthorised filesharing and counterfeiting are different

As the US government “stopfakes.gov” website points out, “counterfeiting” refers to fake goods while “piracy” refers to unauthorised reproduction of copyrighted material.

The impact of counterfeiting, particularly with regard to medicines, can be very serious and even lifethreatening. By contrast, there have been no known deaths as a direct result of unauthorised filesharing. Similarly, there are clear differences between an organised crime gang selling counterfeit medicines and a citizen sharing a music file without yet having the necessary authorisation.

It is also the case that counterfeiting can be used to defraud consumers, who believe that they are buying an authentic product. In the case of unauthorised filesharing, the consumer is choosing to share a file without yet having the appropriate authorisation – often, according to research by UK market research agency Demos, before obtaining a legitimate copy.

Finding a proportionate response to unauthorised filesharing

Some parts of industry and some politicians speak condescendingly about “educating” citizens to respect copyright. The issue is not “education” however, it is culture. According to the 2010 IFPI digital music report, there were only 50 licensed online music services in 2003 – leading a whole generation to become accustomed to finding other means of accessing the content that they wanted. European consumers are still blocked at every turn, being shown that content available to others is not available to them (“catch-up” TV services from neighbouring countries, is one of many examples).

The European Commission was therefore right when it started to shift the focus away from repression and towards removing the barriers to creative content online. The European Parliament was right when it:

  • Supported the rights of citizens in Amendment 138 of the Telecoms Package
  • Called on the European Commission to “ensure unimpeded access to online cultural content and to the diversity of cultural expressions” (Resolution 2007/2153/EC)
  • Called on Member States to “avoid adopting measures conflicting with civil liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of Internet access” (Resolution 2007/2153/EC)

Thanks to insightful work of the European Parliament, the emphasis is moving towards getting legal content online, removing the barriers created by the current chaotic European licensing regimes and away from the repression that risks losing the respect of another generation.

This is the time to consolidate this work and support innovative ways of ensuring that the right content, in the right format is available at the right price for consumers rather than inventing ever-more repressive and ultimately counterproductive ways of attempting to enforce IPR.

In the interests of rebuilding the credibility of intellectual property law and in the interest of fighting counterfeiting, these two issues must be addressed differently and separately. We urge you to support amendments aimed at achieving this.

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10 kommentarer

  1. Håller med på några punkter och på några så inte.

    Kommentar av Mike — 1 mars 2010 @ 17:17

  2. @Mike:

    Tack för din intressanta kommentar. Du reder verkligen ut din åsikt och vad du tycker.

    Kommentar av infallsvinkel — 1 mars 2010 @ 17:34

  3. The term intellectual property should also be rejected, because it systematically distorts and confuses these issues. It’s better to use the terms copyrights, patents and trademarks.

    Kommentar av OCQ — 1 mars 2010 @ 18:43

  4. Commercial goods counterfeiting and non-commercial communication are two different things.

    Phrased like that it is much easier for anyone to see just how different they are.

    Kommentar av steelneck — 1 mars 2010 @ 19:42

  5. Jag förstår inte fortfarande varför man inte vill se att fildelning skapat massa andra marknader.
    Vill inte se eller kan inte se?
    Man strukturerar upp marknaden.
    Vill man ha en hand med i efterfrågan så satsar man själv eller köper sig in.
    Dom stora vinnarna på filelningen är mestadels hårdvarutillverkarna och några få mjukvaru tillverkare.
    Därav är termen brottslighet bara ett fantasifoster utan någonrimlig grund för att ingen kan strukturera marknaden.
    Kan ju göras lätt med en kodad hemsida med röstningar och nerladdningslänkar.
    Även röster kanläggas och frågor kan besvaras likt .
    Kommer du köpa nytt grafikort?
    Nytt ljudkort.
    Ny dator.
    Varför.
    Har fildelingen på något sätt motiverat din använding av datorn.
    Det är en dum fråga.
    Hade man inte gett monopol till bill gates och andra datortillverkare och hårdvarutillverkare osv hade man haft en del av vinsten men som allt annat så lever vi i ett samhälle som befrämjar kollektiva monopolsystem och ingen tar steget och reformera det ekonomiska systemet till det bättre.Dessutom är man för sent ute att dela upp marknaden nu skulle ses på av konkurenten som stöld av dess ägo.
    Men ändå, varför skulle sverige ligga efter i elektronik, grafikort usb minnen osv osv osv.
    Finns alltid en vinnare det är bara följa pengarnas doft.

    Kommentar av Mike — 1 mars 2010 @ 22:04

  6. they shuffle their cards to make it appear as if they’re both the same thing, what is to be expected when politicians aim to do the IP-industries bidding?

    Kommentar av Manen — 1 mars 2010 @ 22:06

  7. Nya läckor av ACTA-dokument

    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4829/125/

    Kommentar av Ingen — 1 mars 2010 @ 23:22

  8. Manuell trackback:

    Trafiktips från TT – Bloggplattform

    Kommentar av Thomas Tvivlaren — 1 mars 2010 @ 23:29

  9. Båda företeelserna drabbar ju företagare lika hårt. Tror inte en tillverkare av TV spel som ser sina spel piratkopieras en masse över nätet blir gladare än en som ser piratkopierade DVD-spel säljas på en marknad. Förlorade intäkter i båda fallen handlar det om.

    Kommentar av Toppy Headon — 3 mars 2010 @ 2:02


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