One of the defining issues that kicked off the Pirate movement was copyright. It was possibly the most defining issue, though post Snowden things look very different now. The web depends on sharing, transmitting, copying. And it was radical that this should be a political issue, not just an obsession for law geeks.
So obviously, it was seen of something of a triumph that Julia Reda MEP was given the task of being Copyright Rapporteur. I'm sure we were all aware of the political danger. Anything too radical would have been ripped apart, not advocating for our views would be a significant failure. It's also true that being in the Green group is where we can get most influence now, they will also hold us back.
So now we have the report.
As Mark Chapman put it the report showed the way forward for digital copyright and the principles of exceptions and openness needed. As I said this was a starting point for the real radical reform needed. The problem has been that some have seen this as our radical suggestion, our starting point to compromise on It is not. It is the beginning us changing the direction of the ship, as Rick Falkvinge has termed it.
Since, Amelia Andersdottir, former Pirate MEP has raised serious concerns about the report. We shouldn't be afraid of debate in the movement, and it is important that we draw on Amelia's experience and knowledge as we work for further, radical reform.
The particular point she raises that I, and other PPUK members agree with is that harmonisation must not prevent the UK, or any other member state pressing for further laws that really benefit sharing of information amongst citizens. I clearly cannot support anything that stops me advocating for the manifesto our members have agreed.
I know that Julia would not hold any of us back from the real changes we stand for. I, and the rest of the UK Party can't go forward to stand for election with any doubt about that. We must work together to make sure any directive does not stop progress.
We'll just have to keep on working to get the radical change we want. The more of us there are – whether it's in our local council or the European Parliament the easier that will be.