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Old 07-22-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Finland: Crowdsourced copyright law will be put to a vote

Do you hear that sound? That's thousands of Finish digital rights activists cheering loudly, then coughing uncontrollably, then reaching for their inhalers, for they have succeeded in collecting over 50,000 vote signatures supporting their proposal on changing Finland's copyright legislation. Why does this matter? Because under Finnish law, once this quota is reached in a six-months period, the nation's politicians are required to vote on the matter, rather than merely taking a look at it or discussing it in the legislature.

The Common Sense in Copyright group is hoping to force amendments to the existing Copyright Act that, if approved, would allow individuals to share private copies of digital content with third parties and would reduce monetary fines for copyright infringement. From their mission statement:

Quote:
There is widespread agreement, that the Finnish copyright law is too strict and allows for excessive infringements of privacy and penalties.

The case of the confiscation of the 9-year old girls Winnie the Pooh laptop in November 2012 made headlines internationally, but was only a tip of the iceberg. Since 2006 when the current copyright law came into force, countless youngsters have been found guilty of copyright crimes and sentenced to pay thousands, in some cases hundreds of thousands, of euros in punitive damages to the copyright organizations.

This crowdsourced law proposal suggests several changes to the current copyright law including allowing the fair use of copyright-protected material for parody and satire and in teaching situations and impriving the situation of freelance artists. It is not a pro-piracy law proposal. However, it does suggests that the individual downloading of copyright-protected material from the internet should be a misdemeanor – and no longer a crime. This is actually what the law in Finland was until 2006. It is also in line with the international tendency, for example, in countries like Holland and United Kingdom, to alleviate the overly strict copyright regulations.
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Last edited by Alexander Turcic; 07-22-2013 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:06 AM   #2
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Good for the Finns. But I'm sure the law won't pass.
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