Norway says – share, but don’t steal?

Share, do not steal-campaign

The Share - do not Steal-campaign argues for sharing. Ironically, the logo has not a Creative Commons licence...

A new initiativ by 2300 Norwegian artists and 37 organizations called Dele – ikke stjele (Share –  Do not steal, more info in English at TorrentFreak) is creating new fuzz. And I’m asking myself: Does that mean upload, but don’t download?

Their main argument is to respect the copyrights. Legal filesharing is good. Piracy is bad. Well, not too hard to agree with them in principle, I think it is fundamental that we pay artists for their hard work – the big question is how. The problem is that the campaign has no sollution for how we should do this in practial terms in our digital reality.

They seem to be against a broadband fee, but pro law enforcement – will they support the American way and arrest teens and claim $1.92 million from a single mother for illegally downloading 24 songs? How do you use law enforcement (to protec copyrights online) without surveillance, breaching privacy, human rights, consumer rights, etc.?

This issue will guaranteed become a topic in a debate I’ve been so fortunate to be invited to with one of my favorite tech thinkers, Cory Doctorow (whom I’ve written about here and here). The topic is filesharing and the publishing company Samlaget has also invited blogger and tech writer Eirik Newth as well as publisher Bjarne Buset from Gyldendal on Litteraturhuset on September 14 (election day).

As I wrote in “Europe’s struggle with piracy”, illegal filesharing and copyrights are hot topics in Europe, and as the election is approaching in Norway, politicians have finally started debating these topics as well.

Here is the video from the latest political debate about filesharing that took place today. Socialist Left politician Audun Lysbakken has written about the same debate, here is another campaign about the same topic, Krev Svar (Demand an Answer – where FriBit and EFN demand answers from the political parties regarding copyrights, filesharing, surveillance, data storage, etc). Eirik Newth has also written cleverly about this.

My fear is that the publishing industry will repeat the same mistakes as the music industry – to treat their own customers as their worst enemies instead of developing good, easy and uncomplicated online shops for digital books. As eReaders are becoming better and more widespread, digital books will become more tempting to share among “friends” (what is a “friend” in the digital reality?). I hope the publishing industry will prove me wrong.

3 thoughts on “Norway says – share, but don’t steal?

  1. The mistake the industry has made in suing it’s customers is only one in a long line of mistakes. At a high level, it’s about a misunderstanding of copyright’s purpose, and in hiding behind copyright as an excuse to artificially control business models and extort unfair ‘taxes’ on other industries.

    I highly recommend William Patry’s book as a deep, objective look at the topic.

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