Some rightsholders may scoff at the idea of a Pirate Party politician drafting new copyright legislation for Europe.
Even so, German MEP Julia Reda’s draft deserves a proper read and discussion: it’s a more serious attempt to grapple with some of the headaches of copyright than, for example, some of the buffoonish ‘The MAN, yeah, right?’ columns written by her party’s leader Rick Falkvinge in recent times. “The EU copyright directive was written in 2001, in a time before YouTube or Facebook. Although it was meant to adapt copyright to the digital age, in reality it is blocking the exchange of knowledge and culture across borders today,” suggests Reda. Yet her report does call for copyright to be protected for past works – albeit by harmonising terms and exceptions across Europe with more scope for fair-use – while picking at the question of whether creators’ interests always chime with the rightsholders that represent them.