Brussels, 11/12/2020 – Today, the European citizens’ initiative (ECI) “Freedom to Share” (freesharing.eu) launched the collection of signatures in favour of decriminalising the sharing of books, music, films and other online content for personal use and non-profit purposes. Pirates in the European Parliament support this initiative because the availability of information, knowledge and culture is a prerequisite for the social, technological and economic development of our society. Creators are to be compensated. You can sign the petition on www.freesharing.eu.
“Freedom of sharing is a key principle of the Pirate movement. This initiative calls for citizens to be allowed to share files directly via peer-to-peer networks for them to have access to science and culture. We have been pushing for change since the bad and censoring copyright directive was adopted by EU institutions,” says the chairperson of European Pirate Party and Member of the European Parliament Mikuláš Peksa.
He believes that due to increasingly frequent authoritarian tendencies around the world as well as in Europe, the Internet should be the safe space to share thoughts and culture without fear of fines and ban. “Sharing is important for both technological progress as well as the economic development of our countries,“ explains Peksa.
Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party, agrees: “From my perspective, the freedom of information is a fundamental right. The limitation of fair use rights to the borrowing of physical copies of books, DVDs etc. does not live up to our needs in the digital age. Every Internet user should seize this chance to make a change and sign.”
Initiative wants to legalise file sharing
The “Freedom to Share” initiative calls for the adoption of a legislative act legalising file sharing by waiving copyright and other related rights. This would only be limited to personal or non-profit purposes. The initiative also asks for changing legislation to set up a mechanism which will reimburse the authors in a fair way.
“The question is: is it fair for copyright, related rights, and sui generis database rights to prevent the sharing of works and other material?” so Marco Ciurcina, Italian attorney from Turin and ECI‘s spokesperson – “The current regulations, that bans the sharing of files containing works subjected to copyright seriously curtails the freedom of access to science and culture enshrined in the Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The initiative was launched by citizens from eight different EU countries. The initiative is now working on collecting one million signatures. Only after that, the European Commission will have to take a position on the initiative.
“The EU needs a fair balance between the interests of the users and creators – and not implementing technical measures that will lead to censorship in the long run,“ Gregory Engels, ECI organizer from Germany, concludes.
Sign the initiative here: https://freesharing.eu/