the vonderful vorld of virtual v

9. September 2017

Demo Freiheit 4.0

Filed under: Call for Action,Deutsch,photo — Schlagwörter: , , , — vg @ 23:20


7. Juni 2015

„Postcolonial Piracy“ online

Filed under: text — Schlagwörter: , , , , , , , — vg @ 15:40

Postcolonial_PiracyThe anthology Postcolonial Piracy. Media distribution and cultural production in the global south, edited by Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz from Potsdam University, is out. It was published by Bloomsbury in late 2014 whom Lars and Anja convinced to do so under a CC licence. The book says BY-NC-SA while the university website says BY-NC-ND and the Bloomsbury website doesn’t say anything at all.  Bloomsbury presents the book in „PDF page image format“ as „Bloomsbury Open Access“, telling the reader: „The pages are provided here to facilitate browsing. If intending to read in full, you may prefer to download the original PDF,“ but not providing an opportunity to download. Anyway, it is available for download as postprint at the University Potsdam.

The collection comes out of a conference under the same title in December 2011 in Berlin. It includes my contribution „On the Benefits of Piracy“, pre-published under the title „A Proposal for Legalizing Small-Scale Physical Copyright Piracy Book Publishing, Video Films and Music in Developing Countries“.

Table of Contents (more…)

13. April 2013

Sharing Licence Library

This is a collection of materials on the proposals to legalize file-sharing in exchange for a flat-rate remuneration. These proposals are as old as P2P file-sharing itself. They have been advanced by law scholars, people from the music industry, consumer and Internet user organisations, collecting societies and political parties. They have come in the form of feasibility studies, passionate manifestos, scholarly and popular articles, law proposals and (near) pilot projects. And they have come under names such as alternative compensation system, content or culture flat-rate, licence globale, artistic freedom voucher, noncommercial use levy and sharing licence. If you have materials (text, audio, video) that should be in this collection, please mail me. Any discussion paper, law proposal, artist’s statement from any country in any language pertinent to the subject is welcome. Broken links as well. Thank you.

— Last updated 13.04.2013 — (more…)

5. April 2013

A Proposal for Legalizing Small-Scale Physical Copyright Piracy Book Publishing, Video Films and Music in Developing Countries

Filed under: English,text — Schlagwörter: , , , , , , — vg @ 02:02

Grassmuck, Volker Ralf, A Proposal for Legalizing Small-Scale Physical Copyright Piracy Book Publishing, Video Films and Music in Developing Countries (April 4, 2013). Available at SSRN:

The paper looks at the formative phase of media systems particularly in developing nations. It finds that copyright piracy in those situations serves a purpose not only in providing access to knowledge and creative works to audiences who would otherwise be excluded but also as the original accumulation of media infrastructures, know-how and capital that over time leads to the establishment of original forms of creative expression and legal media industries.

Looking at the examples of the publishing of books by foreign authors in 19th century USA, the emergence of the video film industry in Nigeria and briefly at the popular dance music in northern Brazil it shows the beneficial effects of piracy. From a public policy point of view, the paper then considers the benefits of copyright piracy and its harms, the most severe ones of which are caused by its illegality. In order to balance benefits and harms, it concludes by proposing to legalize small-scale physical copyright piracy in developing nations.

Keywords: piracy, copyright law, informal copyrights, access to knowledge, book publishing in 19th century USA, Nollywood, Tecnobrega

19. Februar 2013

„TPB AFK“ – Simon Klose’s documentary about The Pirate Bay out now

Filed under: English,News — Schlagwörter: , , , , , — vg @ 19:44

tpbafkThe Pirate Bay – Away From Keyboard,  a close encounter with the three founders of the world’s largest peer-to-peer file-sharing site, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and synchronuously on the Net on 8 February. Now, the film can be watched and bought at its official site and torrented at — where else — The Pirate Bay.

„One reason for making this film was that I couldn’t relate to the media industry’s claim that sharing files was a threat to creativity. To me, the unrestricted access to culture was the very spark in the online revolution, where every imaginable artistic expression exploded with creativity.“ (Director’s Statement)


12. August 2012

How the U.S. is Controlling the Internet

Filed under: English,Video — Schlagwörter: , — vg @ 18:42

Must-see AlJazeera documentary. From SOPA that was brought down by the Internet public, only to be followed-up by CISPA, an FBI man declaring that „any type of activity online can be considered a security threat,“ to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake talking about the total surveillance put in place after 11.9. Anything goes under the guise of protecting the US economy or its national security.

15. Februar 2012

Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

Aigrain_Sharing_coverPhilippe Aigrain, Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2012, ISBN 9789089643858, Rights

In the past fifteen years, file sharing of digital cultural works between individuals has been at the center of a number of debates on the future of culture itself. To some, sharing constitutes piracy, to be fought against and eradicated. Others see it as unavoidable, and table proposals to compensate for its harmful effects. Meanwhile, little progress has been made towards addressing the real challenges facing culture in a digital world. Sharing starts from a radically different viewpoint, namely that the non-market sharing of digital works is both legitimate and useful. It supports this premise with empirical research, demonstrating that non-market sharing leads to more diversity in the attention given to various works. Taking stock of what we have learnt about the cultural economy in recent years, Sharing sets out the conditions necessary for valuable cultural functions to remain sustainable in this context.

Some reading impressions coming up soon.


18. Januar 2012

No Disconnect! SOPA dead … for now.

Filed under: Call for Action,English,News — Schlagwörter: , , — vg @ 21:35

12-01-18_SOPA-Blackout-WikipediaThree days before a protest blackout of major Internet sites including Wikipedia, SOPA’s main sponsor Eric Cantor announced that he will stop to move the bill forward … unless there is consensus.

While Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Digital Agenda launched Europe’s “No Disconnect Strategy”, the USA driven by the mighty culture industry was set to go the opposite way. First in 2010 there was COICA, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which failed and was re-written as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the US Senate in 2011. In October 2011, it was followed by the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives. All of them were intended to make US service providers like domain name registrars, advertising and payment providers stop servicing alleged copyright infringing sites abroad. Search engines, social networking platforms, cloud storage providers, universities and other institutions would also have come under pressure to monitor and filter Internet activities of their users.


8. Oktober 2011

Vorschlag zum Besseren – die Tauschlizenz

Vorschlag zum Besseren – die Tauschlizenz*

Volker Grassmuck

RFC1 ver. 1.0, 6.10.2011

Ende April stellte der Chaos Computer Club (CCC) ein Vergütungsmodell für Kreative vor, die Kulturwertmark (KWM). Zunächst was mir daran gefällt: Urheber und Publikum werden ins Zentrum des Modells gestellt. Ebenfalls zu begrüßen ist, dass Deutschlands Hacker-Club sich in die Debatte ums Urheberrecht einschaltet. Nicht so gut gefällt mir, dass er das nicht in seiner Kernkompetenz tut, sondern sich auf dünnes Eis begibt. Vor allem hat mich enttäuscht, dass das Papier offensichtlich als Reaktion auf die Kultur-Flatrate formuliert ist, es zu dieser aber nichts zu sagen weiß, als „Komplettüberwachung des Netzes, um korrekte Downloadzahlen … zu ermitteln.“ Genau zu der Frage: Erhebung der Downloadzahlen, hätte ich mir vom CCC kreativere, konstruktivere Beiträge gewünscht.

Tatsächlich unterscheiden sich die Kultur-Flatrate – für die ich den in Brasilien geprägten Namen „Tauschlizenz“ vorziehe – und die KWM im Grundsatz nicht. Beide sehen eine gesetzliche Erlaubnis zum privaten, nichtkommerziellen Tauschen und Mixen vor. Dafür bekommen Urheber und Künstler von allen Breitband-Internet-Nutzern eine Vergütung. Beide Modelle nehmen eine – noch näher zu bestimmende – Vergütungshöhe von monatlich € 5,- an, was einen Gesamtbetrag von € 1,5 Milliarden pro Jahr ergibt.

Wie dieser Topf ausgeschüttet werden soll, darin liegt der größte Unterschied. Üblich ist bei dieser Art von kollektiv verwalteter Umverteilung, dass der individuelle Anteil im Verhältnis stehen soll zur tatsächlichen Nutzung der eigenen Werke. Die wird z.B. über Abspiellisten von Radiostationen und Clubs erhoben. In der digitalen Welt geht das natürlich viel einfacher und genauer. Der CCC lehnt diese Verfahren ab, vor allem, weil man die real-existierenden Urheberkollektive, allen voran die GEMA, tatsächlich nur ablehnen kann. Stattdessen schlägt er vor, den Zahlungspflichtigen ihre € 5,- in Form einer Mikrowährung zurückzugeben. Jede Einzelne kann sie dann an Songs, Podcasts, Fotos usw. verteilen, die ihr gefallen haben.

Ich bin überzeugt, dass eine Auszahlung im Verhältnis zur Popularität dem Gerechtigkeitssinn der allermeisten Kreativen ebenso wie dem des Publikums entspricht, vom Urheberrecht ganz zu schweigen. Die Verwertungsgesellschaften müssen grundlegend reformiert werden. Darin sind sich alle Beteiligten einig. Sie zu ignorieren und – unsehenden Auges – eine neue aufzubauen, wie sich das der CCC vorstellt, ist nicht die Lösung. Ich halte eine individuelle, willkürliche, also nutzungsunabhängige Verteilung des Geldes für unplausibel. Andere sehen das anders. Wir werden nur wissen, ob diese Methode erfüllt, was sie leisten soll, wenn wir sie ausprobieren.

Daher schlage ich am Ende des Textes ein Pilotprojekt vor, in dem es vor allem um die Frage der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit gehen soll. Nach zehn Jahren Debatte über die Legalisierung des Tauschens und die vergeblichen, aber schädlichen Versuche es zu unterdrücken, ist es an der Zeit, das Modell endlich mal praktisch auszuprobieren.


Dieser Text als PDF. Kurzfassung auf 06:57 Audio auf DRadio Breitband, 22.10.2011:


14. September 2011

EU: Copyright on sound recordings extended from 50 to 70 years

Filed under: English,News — Schlagwörter: , — vg @ 22:24

BBC News reports on 12 September 2011: Rock veterans win copyright fight.

On Monday, the EU Council voted to extend the copyright on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. The move follows a campaign by artists like Cliff Richard as well as lesser-known performers, who said they should continue to earn from their creations. Critics argue that many musicians will see little benefit, with most income going to big stars and record labels.

… Under the 50-year rule, the copyright on songs by The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who would have expired in the next few years. (more…)

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