Finland Considers "Crowdsourced" Copyright Law

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Finland Considers "Crowdsourced" Copyright Law


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 amusing story [https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/].

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 [http://openministry.info/] 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 [http://torrentfreak.com/finland-writes-history-with-crowdsourced-copyright-law-130722/]


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Genocidicles

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Sep 13, 2012
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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.
 

Fappy

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Jan 4, 2010
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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.
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Sep 26, 2008
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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.
 

Dr.Awkward

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Andy Chalk said:
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.
 

MorphingDragon

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WhiteTigerShiro said:
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.
 

PoolCleaningRobot

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Mar 18, 2012
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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?
 

Baldr

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Jan 6, 2010
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The only problem is that copyright laws are not mandated by the laws of the state but also by International treaties.
 

-Dragmire-

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PoolCleaningRobot said:
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.
 

thespyisdead

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Jan 25, 2010
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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!
 

Entitled

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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.
 

DoPo

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Jan 30, 2012
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PoolCleaningRobot said:
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.
 

Mid Boss

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Aug 20, 2012
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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.
 

Kyber

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Oct 14, 2009
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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.
 
Sep 14, 2009
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Genocidicles said:
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.
 

MCerberus

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Jun 26, 2013
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Well at least there's someone out there trying to Finnish the age of draconian illogical IP laws.
 

CardinalPiggles

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

PoolCleaningRobot

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DoPo said:
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- said:
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