Feeds

The Register joins The Pirate Party

...in a mass debate

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

It's the most controversial choice of guest for years - not the BNP on the BBC, but something that caused almost as much controversy.

The Pirate Party founder Rik Falkvinge made his first UK address at the In The City music festival convention and conference this weekend. And I took part in the panel that followed.

Yvette Livesey, who's run the Manchester event since she founded it along with her partner, the late Tony Wilson, in 1992, alluded to pressure from the music business to cancel his appearance. A call apparently went round for delegates to cancel, though we have no corroboration of this.

"I haven't been in trouble at all with some very important people in the music industry," Livesey joked. "They've been shouting at me for the past month. But I do believe in freedom of speech, it's very very important to have these debates. If we'd had them ten years ago we wouldn't be in the position we are now in, in the music industry."

Falkvinge's solo keynote address was changed to "a keynote discussion" - which is where I came in. The panel also included Patrick Roscow of composers' group BASCA, and technology entrepreneur Paul Sanders, who's on the Open Rights Group Advisory Board, as well as the BPI - a most unusual combination, although he did say the large record companies wanted him dead.

What we actually got, largely thanks to Sanders, was a deep discussion on P2P and where copyright could go. By the end, too, some of the veils had fallen away from Falkvinge's carefully tuned presentation - and there was some amazement as the Pirate's position was eventually made clear. One member of the audience, astonished that Falkvinge could advocate copyright expiry after just five years, vowed to burn him at the stake.

"Fuck you," was the conclusion of Dave Smith of Sparkle Street. More on that later.

What made the panel interesting was the composition - which defied media wisdom of a polarised debate that pits terminators against P2P-ers. A majority of the panellists, if not all of them (I can't speak for Roscow, and he doesn't answer his phone) were in favour of file sharing. Falkvinge wants legalised file sharing too, but differs from the others in insisting that the creator's rights must be compromised to permit it to happen legally. If this distinction wasn't clear at the start, it was by the end.

I'm not really into banning odious political speakers, and was delighted that ITC had booked a Pirate. The philosophy the Pirates express might not be very coherent (single issue groups struggle on anything other than their single issue) but it is reflected in big chunks of academia, the media (particularly at the BBC) and amongst some "think tanks" and policy makers. I heard this year, for example, that one part of Whitehall was mulling ending automatic registration of copyright. This gesture would not only have breached the Berne Convention but required all authors, songwriters, journalists, poets and software writers (to name but a few) to opt in.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Next page: The Manager's View

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.