Finland Considers "Crowdsourced" Copyright Law

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Finland Considers "Crowdsourced" Copyright Law

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Copyright law in Finland could see dramatic changes thanks to a unique "crowdsourced" proposal which will be voted on next year.

In Finland, citizens have since last year been able to put forth proposals for new laws which, should they receive at least 50,000 votes of support in six months, will be voted on by parliament. In many ways, it's like the We the People petitions to the White House in the U.S., with the big difference being that the proposals actually have a chance of becoming law rather than just an amusing story.

One such proposal that made it over the limit is "The Common Sense in Copyright Act," which achieved the 50,000 vote minimum just one day before the deadline. If approved, it will reduce penalties for copyright infringement, increase fair use, do away with "unfair clauses in recording contracts" and allow people to legally copy media they already own. Aside from its potentially huge impact on copyright in Finland and beyond, the proposal is also noteworthy because it will be the first time legislators vote on a copyright law drafted by citizens.

"Members of Parliament are quite open about the fact, that copyright laws are handed down to them from the international lobbyists," Open Ministry Chairman Joonas Pekkanen told TorrentFreak. "If we do not push back, they will keep on rubber-stamping harsh legislation and infringing on consumer rights."

There's no guarantee that the proposal will actually be made into law but as TorrentFreak noted, 50,000 votes of support in a nation with just over four million eligible voters is significant, and not easy to ignore. The vote on "The Common Sense in Copyright Act" is expected to take place in early 2014.

Source: TorrentFreak

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Hope they get it pushed through, and other countries start taking notice.

The amount of bullshit groups like the RIAA and its ilk get away with is ridiculous, so people need to start putting their foot down.

This is actually really cool. Kind of sucks we in the US can't do this kind of stuff. Finland has the luxury of a small, yet stable population.

On the one hand, it's easy for me to cheer this on, as I'll likely never be in a place to profit from copyrighted material. On the other hand, though, there's no denying that a lot of companies (the music industry especially being notorious) have abused their power a little too much in the past decades.

Andy Chalk:
Finland Considers "Crowdsourced" Copyright Law

One such proposal that made it over the limit is "The Common Sense in Copyright Act," which achieved the 50,000 vote minimum just one day before the deadline. If approved, it will reduce penalties for copyright infringement, increase fair use, do away with "unfair clauses in recording contracts" and allow people to legally copy media they already own. Aside from its potentially huge impact on copyright in Finland and beyond, the proposal is also noteworthy because it will be the first time legislators vote on a copyright law drafted by citizens.

I'm pretty sure that this is democracy at it's ideal state - Citizens being able to make their demands, and government having to listen and respond. In the USA, you need power and money to get both from our government, and often those with both requirements don't have much interest in other people's opinions if it doesn't result in them getting more money and power.

WhiteTigerShiro:
On the one hand, it's easy for me to cheer this on, as I'll likely never be in a place to profit from copyrighted material. On the other hand, though, there's no denying that a lot of companies (the music industry especially being notorious) have abused their power a little too much in the past decades.

There are very few content creators that actually agree with the state of copyright law. Contempt maybe, but not actually happy.

Note to self: move to Finland. If this law did come to pass I wonder what this would mean for digital distribution services like Steam if the law mandates they are legally required to be able to make copies of software?

Don't hold your hopes too high, the corporate cronies rule this country too.

I hope this works well. If it does, I'd love to see something similar in America.

The only problem is that copyright laws are not mandated by the laws of the state but also by International treaties.

PoolCleaningRobot:
Note to self: move to Finland. If this law did come to pass I wonder what this would mean for digital distribution services like Steam if the law mandates they are legally required to be able to make copies of software?

Pretty sure you can copy your software you got from steam, you just need to be signed in to use it.

WTF!!! (Welcome to Finland)

the way I understand Finnish law, download for personal use of of copyrighted material is allowed.

however, it's the sharing, which torrenting does, is forbidden by law!

As much as I doubt that piracy actually harms the entertainment industries, I don't care much for anti-filesharing laws, they are almost entirely unenforceable anyways. I guess reform would be good for the sake of the few suckers who would otherwise be persecuted to ruin just to make an example of them, but otherwise the current climate is fine.

The aspect of copyright that bothers me a lot more, is the way it equates vaguer ideas, and content types, with the product that is actually being created by someone. If you write a book, I have no problem with you holding some form of control over the overall text content that you have written. But to gain "ownership" of places, characters, and situations, that you just described, basically means that you get to censor what new books other people write after you. This is the poisonous idea that led to treating new business francises and IPs as synonymous with "originality", and handing over the vast majority of 20th century popular culture to a handful of corporations, instead of letting art evolve naturally as it always did.

PoolCleaningRobot:
If this law did come to pass I wonder what this would mean for digital distribution services like Steam if the law mandates they are legally required to be able to make copies of software?

Yup, as -Dragmire- said you can already do that - right-click on a game and select Backup Game Files..., it's also an option under Properties -> Local Files. Though I'm not sure exactly why the requirement would matter, as Steam is a DD service, so you don't need a copy in the same sense as you need one for physical media. Anyway, you can still do it, I assume Origin has a similar system in place, GOG has no issues at all with this, Green Man Gaming should be fine and I think the other DD services offer an alternative. If not...well, it's a digital game, you can literally copy and paste the files elsewhere if you need a copy.

OT: That sounds rather nice. I would assume Finland would be more responsible with the voting system. However if they aren't...I would welcome my new Finnish overlords, the masters of the Death Star.

I use to have an Etsy shop until CBS demanded it be closed. Why? I had a button with the words "That's what she said" on it. Apparently you can trade mark decades old jokes. Now, without the income from that shop to supplement the shit wages I get at my job, I'm now on welfare. Thank you CBS! Now I know to check the trademark database before putting a single word on anything. That's if I ever make anything else. I'm so pissed and disillusioned that I have no desire to ever try again.

Oh, it seems Finland has made it into the global news, let me just get this out of the way:
Suomi mainittu, torilla tavataan!
There, now that that's out of the way, I can say I'm hoping for this to pass trough, this doesn't affect me, but it's a step in the right direction, and if it goes trough, there's a chance other countries will take it into consideration as well.

Genocidicles:
Hope they get it pushed through, and other countries start taking notice.

The amount of bullshit groups like the RIAA and its ilk get away with is ridiculous, so people need to start putting their foot down.

yepp this, and I think your avatar matches exactly my feelings towards groups like the RIAA if this awesomeness does get through.

Well at least there's someone out there trying to Finnish the age of draconian illogical IP laws.

Don't be surprised when they ignore your proposal Finland, politicians have a habit of ignoring common sense.

DoPo:
Yup, as -Dragmire- said you can already do that - right-click on a game and select Backup Game Files..., it's also an option under Properties -> Local Files. Though I'm not sure exactly why the requirement would matter, as Steam is a DD service, so you don't need a copy in the same sense as you need one for physical media. Anyway, you can still do it, I assume Origin has a similar system in place, GOG has no issues at all with this, Green Man Gaming should be fine and I think the other DD services offer an alternative. If not...well, it's a digital game, you can literally copy and paste the files elsewhere if you need a copy.

OT: That sounds rather nice. I would assume Finland would be more responsible with the voting system. However if they aren't...I would welcome my new Finnish overlords, the masters of the Death Star.

-Dragmire-:
Pretty sure you can copy your software you got from steam, you just need to be signed in to use it.

Well Steam that answers my question for Steam, so long as files can be put on external drives. But what about other services like for movies? Steam isn't a huge deal for me cause I can only use my games on pc's but what about content thats tied to devices and services? Coping legally owned files means nothing if I can't use them how I want and put them on whatever device I want

Entitled:
The aspect of copyright that bothers me a lot more, is the way it equates vaguer ideas, and content types, with the product that is actually being created by someone.

Well technically you can't copyright vague ideas. An example would be when Naked Gun lampooned a photo of pregenant Demi Moore from an issue Vanity Fair. The photographer lost the lawsuit because you can't own the rights to something vague like a pose

Kyber:
Suomi mainittu.

Jumalauta, there's other Finns on here. You stole my post :(

There's plenty of wonky shit going on in Finland in terms of law, just like in every other country in the world. But every now and then, something amazing like this pops up. Let's hope it makes it through. Doesn't affect me a lot either, but even a single shaky step on the road of common sense when it comes to lawmaking here in Finland or anywhere else for that matter is always cause for celebration. It worries me just how disconnected from actual reality lawmakers are sometimes. Which is weird, since we vote those people in there so we ought to share their views...

... right? ;)

while this proposal os far from a common sense copyright law, its a step forwards and i really hope it passes.
small steps, damnit, small steps.

Baldr:
The only problem is that copyright laws are not mandated by the laws of the state but also by International treaties.

International treaties don't overrule local law, they apply to citizens that have gone to other nations or someone who ran away to another nation, basically they are there to prevent someone circumventing another nations laws by crossing a boarder.

PoolCleaningRobot:

Entitled:
The aspect of copyright that bothers me a lot more, is the way it equates vaguer ideas, and content types, with the product that is actually being created by someone.

Well technically you can't copyright vague ideas. An example would be when Naked Gun lampooned a photo of pregenant Demi Moore from an issue Vanity Fair. The photographer lost the lawsuit because you can't own the rights to something vague like a pose

Yes, that's what "Fair Use" is supposed to be for, I just feel that even the widest applied usages of that are ridiculously narrow compared to what a healthy culture should have.

If works like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Wide Sargasso Sea, Or Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, would be written based on anything created after 1918, they would be treated as unpublishable "fanfiction" even in the best copyright systems, and illegal to exist in the rest, persecuted by Cease and Desist letters.

Not bbecause they are artistically uniriginal pieces of theft and plagiarism (they are great creative works), but because of a handful of names they used, and situations that they have admittedly built from.

When at one time we are getting psyched up over the "canon", and "worldbuilding" that is entirely based on a corporation practicing their exclusive rights over a franchise, while at the same time bemoaning the abundance of "old safe IPs, all that we are talking about is just copyright law's strict

Kyber:

Suomi mainittu, torilla tavataan!

Annas kun liitän vielä kuvan tohon tekstiin!
image

On Topic:
Yeah this was weird, well it still has to get the votes from parliament etc so it has a long and rocky way to go before actually becoming a law.
I find it rather strange that it made it this far since we don't have that high penalties anyway and very few are actually being punished here for copyright infrigment.

Karathos:

Kyber:
Suomi mainittu.

Jumalauta, there's other Finns on here. You stole my post :(

but even a single shaky step on the road of common sense when it comes to lawmaking here in Finland

Not sure if I want to communicate in Finnish or English :P

What is bad/strange in our lawaking if I may ask? I think it's working just fine...

Guffe:

Karathos:

Kyber:
Suomi mainittu.

Jumalauta, there's other Finns on here. You stole my post :(

but even a single shaky step on the road of common sense when it comes to lawmaking here in Finland

Not sure if I want to communicate in Finnish or English :P

What is bad/strange in our lawaking if I may ask? I think it's working just fine...

You've Swedish as a mandatory class. Swedish is a terrible language. Trust me, I'm Swedish.

I have a sneaking suspicion that letting normal people write copyright laws will be a disaster for everybody involved in actually making entertainment products unless written by calmer heads/ understanding individuals.

Denamic:

Guffe:

Karathos:

Jumalauta, there's other Finns on here. You stole my post :(

but even a single shaky step on the road of common sense when it comes to lawmaking here in Finland

Not sure if I want to communicate in Finnish or English :P

What is bad/strange in our lawaking if I may ask? I think it's working just fine...

You've Swedish as a mandatory class. Swedish is a terrible language. Trust me, I'm Swedish.

Inte skulle jag säga att det är ett så hemskt språk ;)

I'm bilingual so for me that isn't a problem, mom is a Swedish speaking Finn while dad only knows Finnish so from birth I've been raised with 2 languages whitch I am very happy about :D

Guffe:
Inte skulle jag säga att det är ett så hemskt språk ;)

I'm bilingual so for me that isn't a problem, mom is a Swedish speaking Finn while dad only knows Finnish so from birth I've been raised with 2 languages whitch I am very happy about :D

It's a needlessly complicated language. English is a far more organic and easier to learn language. Then again, Finnish kinda suck, too. In fact, most Scandinavian languages are like proprietary hardware connectors in a world that uses USB.

I remember signing this back when it was first made.

Happy to see it's getting so much publicity, the copyright laws here are goddamn insane.

Also: Hei vaan kaikille Suomalaisille täällä! Se on perkeleen hienoa että tämä sivu on näinkin maailmanlaajuisesti suosittu.

Vkmies:

Happy to see it's getting so much publicity, the copyright laws here are goddamn insane.
.

In what way(s)?
I'm not too much into the copyright things since I don't download stuff (believe it or not) and don't know too much 'bout them.

Denamic:

Guffe:
Inte skulle jag säga att det är ett så hemskt språk ;)

I'm bilingual so for me that isn't a problem, mom is a Swedish speaking Finn while dad only knows Finnish so from birth I've been raised with 2 languages whitch I am very happy about :D

It's a needlessly complicated language. English is a far more organic and easier to learn language. Then again, Finnish kinda suck, too. In fact, most Scandinavian languages are like proprietary hardware connectors in a world that uses USB.

Yeah well Finnish differs a lot from the rest of the Nordic language because it belongs to another family than Swedish, that's why Finns sound a bit awkward when they speak English.
Swedish again belongs to the same family as English and I find it a good thing to have spoken Swedish all my life since I think that also strengthens my English, I believe.

Guffe:

Denamic:

Guffe:
Inte skulle jag säga att det är ett så hemskt språk ;)

I'm bilingual so for me that isn't a problem, mom is a Swedish speaking Finn while dad only knows Finnish so from birth I've been raised with 2 languages whitch I am very happy about :D

It's a needlessly complicated language. English is a far more organic and easier to learn language. Then again, Finnish kinda suck, too. In fact, most Scandinavian languages are like proprietary hardware connectors in a world that uses USB.

Yeah well Finnish differs a lot from the rest of the Nordic language because it belongs to another family than Swedish, that's why Finns sound a bit awkward when they speak English.
Swedish again belongs to the same family as English and I find it a good thing to have spoken Swedish all my life since I think that also strengthens my English, I believe.

Swedish is actually a Germanic Language, putting it in the family alongside German, English and the various Scandinavian languages. Finnish, meanwhile, isn't an Indo-European language and as such doesn't have much commonality with anything else on the continent. My understanding is that it's somehow related to Hungarian, but I'm not 100% on that.

OT: Democracy is awesome when it actually allows the people to vote for themselves.

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