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article imageWeb activists don't want free stuff, they want freedom

By Anne Sewell     Mar 7, 2012 in Internet
The leader of the UK Pirate Party says that internet activists are not rallying for 'free online stuff" - they just want freedom on the internet.
Loz Kaye, the leader of the UK Pirate Party told RT that they protest against giving government tools to censor the web and to restrict civic freedoms.
Thousands of people have protested in recent weeks against the ACTA treaty in Europe and SOPA and PIPA bills in the United States, and this is not because they want "free online stuff".
Loz Kaye says: "It is not about free stuff. It is about free people and free expression – that is what is driving people out onto the street,” he said.
“We are constantly told by governments when it suits them how important the internet is…But suddenly when it comes to home territory they do not seem to like to be challenged,” Kaye added. “What we have always been saying in the Pirate Party: it is not simply that it is about culture on this particular area, it is about ‘what are the tools we are giving to our governments?’ We are giving our governments tools to censor the internet," he said.
Kaye also stressed that despite lobbyists for entertainers saying that they business is in a serious crisis due to internet property rights violations, this is actually not true.
"There is no crisis,” he said. “The truth of the matter is that in the United States, more music was sold than ever before last year. Here in the United Kingdom, box office receipts hit the billion- pound mark for the first time."
He pointed out that the very free and open internet that entertainment giants are fighting against has actually brought them record revenues in recent years.
Kaye said: "One of the things that is really interesting is that we are seeing how the free web is in fact pushing growth for artists,” he said. “We are seeing that the growth in music sales is being pushed by digital. It is being pushed by the fact that there is a free and open-functioning web.”
Kaye believes that rather than demanding draconian measures against internet web surfers and service providers, the entertainment industry would be far better off using the revolutionary opportunities that an open internet can offer.
"One of the real problems for artists is actually trying to respond to the new environment, so something like streaming services, for example," he said.
“What we have to realize is that a copyright is a kind of law that is made from entirely different set of circumstances,” he said. “It is really not that controversial to say that it is no longer fit for purpose in the digital age."
More about Internet, Censorship, Acta, PIPA, SOPA bill
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