Copyright is monopoly, and produces all the effects which the general voice of mankind attributes to monopoly… I believe, Sir, that I may with safety take it for granted that the effect of monopoly generally is to make articles scarce, to make them dear, and to make them bad. And I may with equal safety challenge my honourable friend to find out any distinction between copyright and other privileges of the same kind; any reason why a monopoly of books should produce an effect directly the reverse of that which was produced by the East India Company’s monopoly of tea, or by Lord Essex’s monopoly of sweet wines. Thus, then, stands the case. It is good that authors should be remunerated; and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil; but the evil ought not to last a day longer than is necessary for the purpose of securing the good.

Thomas Babington Macaulay’s speech on the subject of copyright before the British Parliament in 1841

 

The European Court of Human Rights has declared that the copyright monopoly stands in direct conflict with fundamental Human Rights, as defined in the European Union and elsewhere. This means that as of today, nobody sharing culture in the EU may be convicted just for breaking the copyright monopoly law; the bar for convicting was raised considerably.

This means that people can no longer get convicted for violating the copyright monopoly alone. The court just declared it illegal for any court in Europe to convict somebody for breaking the copyright monopoly law when sharing culture, only on the merits of breaking the law. A court that tries somebody for violating the copyright monopoly must now also show that a conviction is necessary to defend democracy itself in order to convict. This is a considerably higher bar to meet.

Original article: falkvinge.net

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