Christian Engström, Pirat

24 augusti 2016

Basic Income — slides in English

Filed under: basinkomst,English — Christian Engström @ 13:13

eng 01 18I will be speaking about basic income in Turku, Finland, tomorrow Thursday August 25, at a seminar organized by the Finnish Pirate Party and Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) Finland.

My presentation will be in English. Here are the slides I will be using:
Basic Income 01 PP Turku.ppt

In my talk I will present a concrete proposal for a basic income system for Sweden, including a cost estimate and financing:

The basic income would be 8.333 SEK (~900 EUR) per month for anybody between 19 and 65 who lives in Sweden and has no other income. When you start earning money the basic income would be reduced, but never with 100%, so there is always an incentive to work if you can. The cost of this system would be covered in full by letting the basic income replace the current systems for social welfare, student aid and unemployment benefits, and removing the VAT discounts that certain industries enjoy. To make the proposal politically realistic, there would be no raise in income taxes, and no reduction of current sickness benefits.

A more detailed summary, and a pdf with the complete proposal, (both in Swedish) can be found here:
Sammanfattning: Ett konkret, genomräknat förslag till basinkomst

20 maj 2014

The Case for Copyright Reform published in Slovenian: Zakaj reforma avtorskega prava

Filed under: Copyright Reform,English — Christian Engström @ 8:26
Download The Case for Copyright reform in Slovenian

Download The Case for Copyright reform in Slovenian

The Slovenian Pirate Party has translated and published (in ebook and print editions) The Case for Copyright Reform in Slovenian – Zakaj reforma avtorskega prava. The book is written by me and Rick Falkvinge, and explains how and why we want to reform copyright.

Download ”Zakaj reforma avtorskega prava” in Slovenian

This is the books landing page:

You can find the PDF here:

Thank you for sharing, Slovenian Pirates! Sharing is caring!

About the book:

Legalized file sharing
, shorter protection times for the commercial copyright monopoly, free sampling, and a ban on DRM.

These are the main points of the proposal for copyright reform that the Pirate Party is advocating, and which the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament adopted as its group position in September 2011.

This is a constructive alternative to the controversial ACTA agreement, and to the criminalization of the entire young generation.

This booklet explains why such a reform is both necessary and sustainable, and will benefit both citizens and artists.

About the authors:

Rick Falkvinge is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a background as a tech entrepreneur.

Christian Engström is a Member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Pirate Party. Before becoming a politician he was an entrepreneur and computer programmer, who became involved in politics over the issue of software patents.

Other languages:

Download ”The Case for Copyright Reform” in English

Read a summary of the Pirate Party’s proposal for copyright reform

Download ”En reformerad upphovsrätt” in Swedish

  • En reformerad upphovsrätt as PDF

Download ”Представљање реформе издавачких права” in Serbian

  • Представљање реформе издавачких права as Word Doc (Cyrillic)
  • Predstavljanje reforme izdavačkih prava as Word Doc (Latin)


23 januari 2014

Strong majority in IMCO voted to defend net neutrality

Filed under: English,Net Neutrality — Christian Engström @ 11:15

We have just finished this morning’s vote on the Connected Continent report in the IMCO committee in the European parliament. The result was very positive.

With an overwhelming majority, we voted to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality in Europe.

The support for the key amendments included both of the big groups EPP and S&D (in addition to the Greens/Pirates and others).

The key compromise amendments that were adopted were:

Compromise Amendment 10
Article 2 – paragraph 2 – point 14

(14) ‘internet access service’ means a publicly available electronic communications service that provides connectivity to the internet, and between virtually all end points connected to the internet, irrespective of the network technologies or terminal equipment used;

Compromise Amendment 11
Article 2 – paragraph 2 – point 15

(15) ‘specialised service’ means an electronic communications service, optimised for specific content, applications or services, or a combination thereof, by deploying traffic management to ensure the appropriate level of network capacity and quality, provided over logically distinct capacity and relying on strict admission control, with a view to securing enhanced quality characteristics which are controlled from end-to-end and that is not marketed or used as a substitute for internet access services;

Compromise Amendment 13
Article 23 – paragraph 2

2. End-users shall also be free to enjoy specialised services delivered by providers of electronic communications services or providers of content, applications and services.

Providers of electronic communication services or providers of content, applications and services shall be allowed to offer specialised services, provided that such offers arein addition to internet access services and are not to the material detriment of their availability or quality.

For competent authorities to be able to assess such potential detriment, providers of electronic communication services or providers of content, applications and services shall transmit to them, upon request, precise information regarding the capacities assigned to the two types of services, the criteria based on which network capacity is shared and, where appropriate, justifications about the measures put in place to prevent impairment of internet access services by the specialised services.

This was a victory, and it is especially encouraging that the amendments were adopted by such a broad majority. But of course it ain’t over yet.

The next step in the procedure is that the Industry committee ITRE will vote on the net neutrality issue. What will happen there we don’t yet know, but I hope this morning’s vote in IMCO will send a strong signal to ITRE.

The Commission’s original proposal contained a lot of quite good language on net neutrality, but unfortunately at the same time opened a huge loophole through a far too lax definition of ”specialised services”.

The positive vote in IMCO this morning was an important step towards closing that loophole, and protecting the free and open Internet.


Here are all the final compromise amendments on the standard 2-column .doc format

21 december 2013

A Kopimist Gospel — Executive Summary

Filed under: English,kopimism — Christian Engström @ 11:34
Read or download A Kopimist Gospel

Read or download A Kopimist Gospel

Today is the midwinter solstice, and I am presenting a Kopimist Gospel.

Kopimism is a new religion for atheists, agnostics, and believers in other religions who want a new perspective on their current faith.

Kopimism takes its starting point in the evolution of life on Earth, and embraces the scientific description of the world. But science alone does not tell the whole truth about this fantastic universe.

Kopimism adds meaning and purpose to the scientific description of evolution, while still respecting science. Instead of trying to fight that description, as some religious fundamentalists (mostly Christian) do, we are inspired by it and want to learn from it.

Looking at the history of evolution, including the evolution that human societies have experienced, we identify four Fundamental Principles that we think are worth highlighting. These are the four Kopimist K’s: Creativity, Copying, Collaboration, and Quality.

There is no Creator God in the description of Kopimism presented in this Gospel. Instead, we think that the scientific description of evolution together with the four Kopimist fundamental principles are sufficient to explain the marvel of our existence.

But even if we reject the idea of God as the Creator, this does not rule out that there could be other Gods. This is an issue that is deliberately left open by this Kopimist Gospel.

In support of such a religious belief system, we note the fact that Science never claims to tell the whole truth, and that there are spots of chaos and unpredictability all over today’s scientific theories.

It may be that the activity in these spots is just random, as some believe. But it may also be that these are the spots where concepts like the the Soul, Free Will, or even God can be inserted into the description of the world without violating any of the laws of science.

This Kopimist Gospel deliberately leaves the issue of a God open. But there could be other Kopimist Gospels, or other religions, that give different answers to that question.

Science and religion can coexist, and we are living in a creative universe filled with magic, miracles, and beauty. There are forces that guide the creation towards the interesting and good, so we dare to feel safe in the trust that creates the world.

This is a Kopimist Gospel.

Good Midwinter Solstice 2013!

Copy and Share!

Read the full introduction to A Kopimist Gospel

Read or download A Kopimist Gospel

29 november 2013

Victory in EU Parliament on the reform of collective rights management organisations

Filed under: collecting societies,English — Christian Engström @ 13:49

Web article from the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament (where me and and my colleague Amelia from the Pirate Party are independent members):

On 26 November, the Gallo report on Collective Rights Management was unanimously adopted by the Legal Affairs committee. This new directive is an important victory in the European Parliament. It is a key step to increase the transparency of collective rights organisations in Europe, to improve the management of the money they collect and its proper distribution in the interest of the artists and the authors.

Organisations like Sacem, Gema, Sabam, Stim, Buma, PRS, SGAE, etc., will all have to conform to this new directive.

Too many scandals on the management of money collected occurred throughout Europe during the last decades with collective rights management organisation.

The EU can now impose more stringent requirements on these organisations. The new directive includes detailed rules that should force them to report on their income and expenses, including on salaries of their employees and managers, and on benefits for their members. Better transparency rules and procedures should allow to avoid or to reveal conflict of interests with persons exercising the management or supervisory function. Meanwhile, the members should be able to have a better control on what is being done in their name and better conditions to terminate membership when they are not satisfied with management of their rights.

Another improvement is the possibility for artists and authors to grant themselves licenses to their work for non-commercial purposes, such as Creative Commons licences. This is not necessarily enough to adapt to the digital era but it is a vital option for artists to reach an audience and make themselves known; an option that is until now often refused by collective rights management organisations.

The new directive also introduces a mechanism to make public the information about rights holders that cannot be located. This is an important practical improvement to help identify rights holders, to limit the existence of orphan works (works for whom the authors are unknown or cannot be located), and to limit abuses by collective rights management organization of the right of artists or authors that they do not represent.

I have been working quite a lot with this directive in the Legal Affairs committee JURI, where I have been shadow rapporteur for the Greens/EFA group.

Although there are of course many areas where I would have wanted to go further than the final compromise directive, it is still a step in the right direction and a victory for more transparency in the copyright industry, and for rules that give artists and authors explicit permission to release their works for non-commercial purposes.

The larger battle of comprehensive copyright reform will be on the agenda for the next Parliament, after the EU elections on May 25.


Pressmeddelande från Piratpartiet (5 nov)

24 oktober 2013

Free Chelsea Manning!

Filed under: English,Wikileaks — Christian Engström @ 10:19
Free Chelsea Manning!

Free Chelsea Manning!

Chelsea Manning exposed war crimes committed by the US in Iraq, when she supplied Wikileaks with documents that the US administration would have wanted to keep away from its citizens and the world.

She is a hero. For this, she has been convicted to 35 years in prison in the US. This is an outrage.

I call on President Obama to immediately grant Chelsea Manning a full pardon. She should be given a medal of honor, not be punished for doing what was the moral and right thing to do.


Photo by Henrik Alexandersson, free for publication CC0

Those responsible for wiretapping crimes against us all must be brought to justice

Filed under: English,NSA — Christian Engström @ 9:57
Read my opinion piece in New Europe

Read my opinion piece in New Europe

I write in the New Europe paper:

We thought that wiretapping was something that only happened to suspected criminals. Instead, it turns out we have all been wiretapped, all the time. This is a crime, and the responsible must be brought to justice.

Read my opinion piece in New Europe

2 oktober 2013

Whistleblowers – Hearing on NSA & Mass Surveillance, European Parliament 30 Sept 2013 [Video+MP3]

Filed under: English,NSA — Christian Engström @ 9:25

Here you will find video and audio files from the Hearing on NSA & Mass Surveillance, European Parliament 30 Sept 2013 – about US Civil Society and Whistleblowers.

Participants: Marc Rotenberg (EPIC), Catherine Crump (ACLU), Thomas Drake (NSA whistleblower), J. Kirk Wiebe (NSA whistleblower), Annie Machon (MI5 whistleblower), Jesselyn Radack (Government Accountability Project) & John Devitt (Transparency International).

Video of the hearing (3 h 38 min)

Audio version on Soundcloud (also 3 h 38 min)

The recordings of the hearing have been made available by Henrik Alexandersson

25 september 2013

We need a pan-European referendum on new EU treaty

Filed under: demokrati i eu,English — Christian Engström @ 8:48
A pan-European referendum on a new treaty is needed if the EU is to convince its citizens of its transparency, accountability and democratic legitimacy

A pan-European referendum on a new treaty is needed if the EU is to convince its citizens of its transparency, accountability and democratic legitimacy

A pan-European referendum on a new treaty is needed if the EU is to convince its citizens of its transparency, accountability and democratic legitimacy, I write in an op-ed at The Parliament Magazine.

The British 2017 referendum is a good initiative by UK prime minister David Cameron, but it is not enough. Outside Britain there are 450 million citizens in the EU who also want democracy, transparency, and common sense in their policymaking, as opposed to what Brussels is delivering today.

But even if the British referendum in itself is not enough to solve the EU’s political problems, it presents a window of opportunity for all of Europe. This is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.


The article has now disappeared from The Parliament Magazine, but here it is:

We Need a Pan-European Referendum On a New Treaty

Britain will have its in-out
referendum in 2017. Unless the EU wants to run the risk of a major member state actually leaving, it has until 2017 to transform itself into something attractive enough to make the Brits want to stay of their own free will. This will be a major task, but it can be done, and it needs to be done.

The EU needs a new basic Treaty to replace the constitutional mess we have today. The Lisbon Treaty has not yet been in operation for two years, but there is a universal consensus that it will have to be revised as soon as possible. Although there are very different views on how it should be revised, everybody agrees that what we have is simply not good enough.

But to try to fix the Lisbon Treaty with yet another layer of patches will not work. There are already so many layers of patches in the Treaties that they are impossible to understand for everybody except a small number experts.

It may (or may not) be technically possible for the political elite of Europe to repeat the process that led to the Lisbon Treaty: to draft revisions to the basic Treaties behind closed doors, and then ram the result down the throats of Europe’s citizens using whatever means necessary. But even if this kind of process would be possible, it quite obviously would not solve the problem. Another Lisbon style treaty revision will not make the EU more popular with citizens who feel that it lacks accountability and democratic legitimacy.

We need a new Treaty, but the Pirate Party does not have a proposal for how that Treaty should look, at least not now. Instead, we have a proposal for how it should get adopted. If we can agree on the procedure first, this will create the conditions necessary for a constructive discussion about the contents of the new Treaty.

A new Treaty should be adopted in two steps. First, there should be a pan-European referendum where each citizen has one vote, regardless of which member state he or she is a citizen of. Then, each member state will have to decide if it wants to be part of this new Union, either by holding a national referendum or by letting the national parliament decide.

If we can agree on this procedure for adopting a new Treaty, any proposal for such a Treaty will have to fulfill certain criteria if it is to have any chance at all of getting accepted by citizens and member states.

  • It will have to be understandable, or citizens will vote against it. Only a fool would say yes to an agreement that he or she cannot understand. Europe’s citizens are no fools.
  • It will have to be democratic, or citizens will not want it even if they do understand it. Unless the new Treaty is seen to address the EU’s current lack of transparency, accountability, and democratic legitimacy, there will be no way to get a yes in the pan-European referendum.
  • And it will have to respect the member states’ sovereignty and not transfer more power than is absolutely necessary to Brussels. Otherwise the risk is overwhelming that important countries (including, but not limited to, Britain) will decide not to be members of the new Union.

The British 2017 referendum is a good initiative by Mr. Cameron, but it is not enough. Outside Britain there are 450 million citizens in the EU who also want democracy, transparency, and common sense in the policy making, as opposed to what Brussels is delivering today.

But even if the British referendum in itself is not enough to solve the EU’s political problems, it presents a window of opportunity for all of Europe. This is a opportunity we cannot afford to miss.

18 september 2013

”The people who were supposed to protect us have installed backdoors that put us all at risk”

Filed under: English,NSA — Christian Engström @ 9:07
Watch the interview about the NSA scandal (18 min)

Watch me talking about the NSA scandal (18 min)

During the September plenary in Strasbourg, I talked to EUreporter about the current NSA surveillance scandal, and about how the people who were supposed to protect us have actually undermined our security by installing backdoors in our infrastructure, and how the US is using its capabilities to do industrial espionage.

Watch the interview (18 min)

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