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Archive for januari, 2010

Kandidatur till partistyrelsen

Ikväll skickar jag in min kandidatur till Piratpartiets valberedning, med förhoppning om att bli vald till styrelsen på partiets årsmöte. Med alla kompetenta aktiva i partiet lär det bli hård konkurrens. Spännande!

Mina åsikter i partifrågor:

  • Jag vill se en långsiktig strategi med målsättning att etablera sig i svensk politik på riktigt, inte att upplösa sig efter att ha fått igenom några sakfrågor. Det senaste året har jag övertygats om att detta är den enda rimliga vägen framåt. Jag har skurit loss min livbåt och är med i detta nybygge tills skeppet sjunker, må det bära eller brista.
  • Jag ser inga principiella problem med kvotering. Däremot ser jag andra problem med att en algoritm sköter detta. Det skadar legitimiteten och förvirrar medlemmarna. Kvoteringen bör istället skötas mer diskret och indirekt av valberedningar och medlemmar vid sammansättningen av listor, alternativt vara så enkelt utformad och väl kommunicerad att alla snabbt kan sätta in sig i det (exempelvis likt andra partiers ”varvade listor”).
  • I övrigt tycker jag faktiskt att primärvalet var okej. Det fanns en hel del barnsjukdomar, men vi klarade igenom oss det och styrelsens och ledningens upplägg höll i stort. Klart godkänt, men för nästa betygsnivå krävs mer arbete och bättre framförhållning.
  • 3-piratsregeln och uppmuntrandet av initiativ är något vi måste blir bättre på, men särskilt måste vi bli bättre på att aktivera nya människor. Det krävs ett större fokus på internkultur och arbetsformer de närmaste åren.
  • Fortsätt experimentera! Nyckeln till vår framgång ligger i att kombinera smart IT med axplock av klassiska organisationslösningar. Från företagsvärlden behöver vi ta oräddhet och utvecklingsvilja, från föreningsvärlden demokratiska strukturer och ordnade beslutsformer.
  • Ett parti. Oavsett hur vi är organiserade och var vi har mandat, från Bryssel till kommunerna, måste vi arbeta som en helhet. Jag vill bygga partiet inom ett organisationsnummer utan föreningar, men anser att detta samtidigt ställer krav på mer struktur och demokratiska arbetsformer, inte mindre.
  • Till sist: Jag föredrar skajp framför irc. Tyvärr – ibland krävs det att man är pragmatisk med sina principer.

Motivationstext till valberedningen:

När partiet bildades var jag skeptiskt upphovsrättskonservativ, men efter att ha gått igenom hemsidans lästips bytte jag sakta men säkert sida. Jag blev så småningom medlem under våren 2006.

Under hösten 2006 påbörjade jag studier i Östersund och gick från forumit till lokal funktionär med uppgift att hjälpa Richie organisera arbetet med valsedlar. Efter valet startade jag och några andra även en lokalavdelning till ungdomsförbundet. Därifrån blev jag under 2007 rekryterad till Ung Pirats förbundsstyrelse, ett uppdrag jag kommer ha fram till kongressen i år.

Sedan jag i början av 2009 flyttade till Lund har jag engagerat mig allt mer i partiarbetet. Det var jag och Nils Agnesson som genomförde den stora forumomorganiseringen, jag har hjälpt till att samordna orggruppen i arbetet med stadgerevideringen, och just nu är jag en av de drivande i att fixa mandat i Lunds kommunfullmäktige.

Jag är varken idealist eller medieperson. Jag är en mötesälskande långsiktig pragmatiker som trivs med teoretiska resonemang och långa diskussioner. Jag pratar också mycket.

I styrelsen kan jag bidra med analytisk förmåga, god politisk allmänbildning genom min kandidatexamen i statsvetenskap, erfarenhet från föreningsliv och organisationsfrågor samt kapacitet att skriva och planera större texter, såväl politiska manifest som styrdokument.

Kategorier:Piratpartiet

Rigid laws are a problem for everyone

januari 19, 2010 1 kommentar

Summary:

Detailed trade agreements would appear to cause a problem insofar as they are difficult to change (not impossible, but in many cases much slower to change than say national or union legislation). Rigid legislation and difficult-to-change laws might cause a problem for enterprises operating in environments that change fast, like the ICT industry or commericial creative enterprises.

Unarguably, there is legal precedent for exporting legislation in trade agreements. Trade agreements in general have actually become more and more detailed over the last decades, up until now when they seem to even directly copy legislation from close economic and customs partnerships like the European Union.

Essentially, the CARIFORUM EPA is so detailed and so extensive it almost includes CARIFORUM in the European Union (see this reference). The only difference is basically less extensive capital flow regulation.

But well, it might have been better for us if CARIFORUM had joined the Union instead of signing the EPA. Why?

Because trade agreements take a long time to change. EU legislation takes a long time to change as well, sometimes up to six or seven years (refer back to the Telecoms package which was passed only last year after having been discussed since 2002), but they’re one step closer to ”the people” and the legislative process. A trade agreement under the Lisbon treaty will require a mandate from the Council and Parliament (that’s one democratic process), negotiation phase (could take however long – for EPAs they’ve been ongoing for more than 10 years), signing by the Council (reasonably quick) and ratification by the Parliament (which appears to take 6-9 months up to a year). If CARIFORUM was in the Union, the process of creating laws for us and them would be more transparent, and also there would be only one democratic process to take into consideration. More democracy, less time.

The detailed rules in a trade agreement are thus incredibly rigid. Even changing minor writings in the agreements will require re-opening of the negotiations, especially if the proposed change means the rules will not be as extensive in scope as the previous rules were.

For the ICT industry and the creative entrepreneurs in particular this must be catastrophic. They are operating in one of the fastest changing business environments today, so at least I am assuming that it would be in their interest to make sure the space in which they can operate can also be changed according to their preferred mode of operation reasonably quick.

With the CARIFORUM agreement, of course, that kind of space has already been locked up unless we can get rid of the agreement in its signed form or show that the agreement was wrong in the first place.

I’m reminded of a document from a while back about SME:s (”small and medium sized enterprises”) and IPR where it said SME:s (in so far as that is a term applicable to any enterprise) rarely compete via IPR but through adaptability. I can’t help but feel their ability to adapt is somehow connect to the ability to adapt of the legislation.

But I know very little about what it means to run a small business. If I could get further input on this, that would be awesome.

Insidious trade agreements afoot

This is a bit of a long post. So here’s a summary:

Intellectual property rights today are largely regulated by international trade agreements. International trade agreements are negotiated under secrecy. The most known example so far is ACTA, which might turn out to be extremely detailed while leaving no room for public debate over the content at all – since the content is unknown! However, this has and is already happening. Trade agreements are being negotiated and have been signed that are extremely detailed, and it’s happening with no public debate. It’s Christmas for people that feel inclined to like repressive legislation enough make it permanent beyond repair, and the following rather lengthy text describes, I hope, why.

We’ve been looking into trade agreements lately. It started out with ACTA, some time last year, but as noted by FFII there’s a trade agreement between the European Communities and South Korea which was signed by all parties last year in October. That trade agreement will still have to be approved by the European Parliament, and this hasn’t happened yet. Reading the analysis of of the treaty, it would appear that it’s very desirable that it doesn’t pass.

An even more recent analysis of the Korea agreement shows that it’s a direct copy of already existing legislation in the European Union. Cross-referencing with several of the more important telecommunications and IPR directives from the 21st century, it’s been found that the Korea agreement contains large portions of the E-Commerce Directive. The Korea agreement is, alas, also very similar to the recently leaked IP chapter of a ”comprehensive” agreement with Canada.

And the Canada agreement contains most of IPRED1. So does the Korea agreement, btw.

What does it mean putting copy-pasted material from existing legislation into an agreement? Well, it means that the copy-pasted material is suddenly very permanent. The Korea agreement was negotiated over two years, which is very fast for a trade agreement. As a comparison, we could mention the Economic Partnership Agreements negotiated with African, Caribbean and Pacific nations, all of which have taken 10 years or more. Most of them are even not concluded yet. They are beginning the ninth year of negotiations for new treaties in the World Trade Organisation. So far they have preliminary inputs for drafts. In the World Intellectual Property Organisation they’ve been working on a development agenda for the past 6 years – there is only recently talk of it perhaps taking too much time.

In the case of Korea though, my assumption is that the negotiations went fast because it was a bilateral negotiations. That is: only two parties were involved and one of them was vastly superior in economic power (EU) than the other (Korea). Bilateral negotiations tend to work in the way that the stronger party dictates, and the weaker party follows.

Essentially, we can no longer change European legislation for the better. At least not the parts of it spelled IPRED1, Infosoc, Rental and E-Commerce. In fact, it’s probably going to be a mess changing either of those directives over all, because the agreements are now so specific about the provisions it’s going to take a lot of legal tweaking to make sure our updated legislation does not conflict with our previous (in general, you update legislation when you find out there’s something wrong with the previous legislation – it insinuates a conflict which now can’t be resolved easily).

Obviously, it makes you want to draw the conclusion that copy-pasted texts should not exist in trade agreements. But we were told that it’s already established that trade agreements can and should contain copy-pasted texts from legislation. The precedent is an agreement with CARIFORUM, the Caribbean states party to Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. It was concluded in 2008 and the parliament ”assented” (=approved) of the agreement in spring of 2009.

And lo and behold: the CARIFORUM EPA contains IPRED1. It also contains the E-Commerce Directive (check out art 119-120).

It would appear the Council did not yet approve this agreement in the first reading, although the parliament did in spring 2009. It would appear to be formality, but a document called ”17734/09″ that’s not available via the Consilium (probably classified) suggests there’s a slight hope the Lisbon treaty could stop such formality. If not, we’re basically stuck with an agreement that locks up our legislation.

This is bad.

The fact that it’s happened without anyone noticing or without a proper public debate seems even worse. It’s not only legally impractical, but also unjust to extensively limit the powers of democratically elected institutions to choose what legislation to implement. As far as I can see, it creates a rigid system around a technology (ICT) that changes faster than lightening. It cuts off all ability to alter legislation in a way that is more and more desired by debaters from academia and from the industry, and mostly by the people. How can this happen?

Well, trade negotiations are held in secrecy by custom, so it’s not like there was readily accessible information on that they were happening at all. Perhaps a couple of classified documents in the Consilium’s databases.

And the text included in these treaties have obviously been approved by the parliament at an earlier date. IPRED1 was accepted by Parliament in 2004, for instance. The E-Commerce directive is from 2000. So they belong to the ”acquis”, or current legislation.

But here is where Korea and Canada become interesting: they don’t actually copy only the e-commerce directive. They appear to have an extra article inserted in conjunction with the articles on ”intermediary liability” (essentially, whether or not an internet service provider is responsible for copyright infringing traffic). Korea art 10.62 and Canada art 29.1 do not have a corresponding text in conjunction with E-Commerce art 12. The agreements may be expanding the acquis, or creating a space for interpreting the current legislation that wasn’t there in the first place. It’s not good at all.

The corresponding article in the CARIFORUM agreement is art 120, which states only that ”the parties shall maintain a dialogue [on liability]” rather than ”[intermediaries are only not liable in so far as they are] in no way involved with the information transmitted”.

It’s difficult to know what to make of this. Instinctively I feel exporting legislation is very wrong and that it’s undemocratic seen also from a European perspective. So we need to find out if this has happened before, and if so, to what extent. Given that it’s questionable whether the Korea agreement creates new legislation or not, the parliament has to turn it down later this spring. Next week, the European Parliament are in Strasbourg and will question the Commission on the impacts of the Korea agreement. As far as I can see, the agreement needs to be turned down regardless of what the Commission says.

For a while, I thought that case law on art 12(3) of the E-Commerce directive might have been able to clarify how large of a threat art 10.62 and 29.1 may have been. Especially since art 120 CARIFORUM already establishes the legislation permanently.

Since there is no way of telling how or when the approving of the Korea agreement will be on the agenda, it’s difficult to know what time frame we have to stop it. The next Strasbourg sitting is in five weeks. Is it then?

The only indication we have is the CARIFORUM agreement, which appears to have been concluded in October 2008 and approved by the parliament in March. The questions on the Korea agreement are put forward by the conservative, socialist and liberal groups. Does this mean they’re skeptical? If they are, they have a large majority for turning the agreement down.

There’s obviously nine circles of hell, but we can safely assume that the offending article wont be removed. That would require reopening the negotiations. However, the parliament now has a chance to also take a stance against export of legislation. And most importantly, we do. It’s not okay to put law in trade agreements, because it’s too far detached from democratic processes. It’s not okay.

Update!
You can now also check Erik Josefssons blog for more information. He describes the Turco case, a possible saviour in the dark!

757

There is another thing.

Supposing that the Korea FTA and Canada CETA are accepted, we can assume that ACTA will at least not contradict this legislation. ACTA will with a high likelyhood contain enforcement provisions, intellectual property rights provision exceeding those of previous acquis communautaire (but included in IPRED2 draft) and customs regulation.

So we need to make diffs between the Korea FTA, Canada CETA and existing EU legislation from eur-lex.eu. We have a script for this, which creates a list comparing the agreement texts with directive text. Available dumps can be found here.

However, we also need to create a way to illustrate the differences in a good way. We’re using euwiki.org for making these diff tables. It’s not nice-looking, so we need a better way of creating wiki-diffs or other diff tables that provide an easy-to-overview diff.

We’re greatful for any help.

Yeah. I’m an adamant blogger today.

Kategorier:Allmänt

Friday 15th

I have met up at lunch with Franceska xxx and Rob van Kranenburg who both work with Internet of Things. It was nice. I had a sandwich.

I am now in the not-Mickey Mouse-bar (NMMB from now on), where I ran into Benjamin Henrion from FFII. I followed his tweets on the Nellie Kroes-hearing yesterday. She is the new Commissioner of DG Telecoms. He is dissatisfied with her view on patents. I am currently speaking with Maxime, from Trautmann’s office. He seems not to be satisfied with the Kroes hearing either: she was too vague on telecoms market competition. Even as she has been good at coming down on near monopoly situations in the software (Microsoft cases) and telecommunications markets (Telefónica and BT), in the latter cases it hasn’t made a lot of difference for the bad situations in Spain and the UK.

Spanish broadband prices still exceed the European average by some 12%. In the UK, the infrastructure is owned predominantly by BT which obviously gives them the power to control the conditions under which other service providers can act.

Kroes, he says, was vague on open standards, but for commercial net neutrality. It’s not an optimal point of view, because another pressing issue is member state willingness to filter child pornography, sites on holocaust or jihad instigating pages. It is something we will have the change.

At 03:00 hours I realised that the EU-South Korea FTA could have been on the agenda on the 18-21 January in Strasbourg. That would have meant that the European Parliament would have approved a trade agreement that would have efficiently cut off the legislative powers of the European Parliament. Now, Henrion tells me today that the counter-argument is that IPRED1 is already acquis communautaire, which means that at least EPP will not see this as cutting off legislative power. The FTA is incredibly detailed, and will limit the parliament’s options when changing legislation considerably. We’re locking ourselves in, and that’s bad.

But, since IPRED1 belongs to the acquis communautaire, being already legislation (acquis communautaire is everything included in http://eur-lex.eu), the Commission does not supercede their mandate simply by introducing copy-pasted legislative text in a trade agreement. So the question is what legislative powers the Parliament does have. Within what frames can the Parliament legislate? According to the acquis communautaire, what liberties does the Parliament have to do whatever they want?

The intuitive answer is of course everything. A legislative power such as the Parliament is legislative because they can create legislation, all legislation. But we really need a framework treaty or any other legislative document that supports that.

The only thing I can find related to the FTA on the agenda for next week is a question on the FTA. Which calms me down, because it means another month to work with this.

I now have a badge for entering the parliament and getting out of it without too much pain. My further work this afternoon will consist of finally reading up on the internet of things, work more on the diffs between the recent FTAs/CETAs and existing EU legislation and finish off the ECTA annual report. Between networking, journalists and going for lunch, I really end up having too little time to do stuff that needs to be done.

Kategorier:Allmänt

Exporting legislation problems: democracy disabled

januari 14, 2010 1 kommentar

Yesterday I was with a journalist for the better part of the before-lunch. He was from Norwegian TV2 and was, I suppose, quite nice, even if his idea about parading in front of the parliament with a pirate flag was slightly daft. If you are a journalist and you’re reading this, please don’t suggest such a thing.

Currently, I’m in the not-Mickey Mouse-bar with Erik Josefsson and David Hammerstein, talking about trade agreements. The current issues predominantly concern the ACTA agreement, but we also have other problems in the Europe: the EU/South Korea trade agreement is not yet approved by the European parliament. It will have to be before it enters into force.

I wrote a couple of days ago about Erik Josefsson’s new findings about the agreement’s containing virtually all enforcement provisions from IPRED1. What does that mean?

Well, if the EU is bound by an international agreement, we can’t change our legislation. So they’re asking the parliament to give up their right to change essentially bad legislation. The problem is, as well, that they’re not only limiting the power to change legislation as such, but also prohibiting the change of specific provisions in directives. So that’s more intrusive than normal trade agreements which would mainly concern, say, tariff policies. Tariff policies can, and are, changed all the time.

My plans for the rest of the day are visiting an ACTA meeting with Finnish MEPs at 16:30. At that same time I will try to be following the Nellie Kroes hearing which starts at the same hour via Twitter. Nellie Kroes has been a successful commissioner of competition earlier, but is now being transferred to DG Telecommunications (formerly led by Viviane Reding who is now commissioner of Justice). I am told that Kroes has been good with competition, but apparently not good enough to solve the huge problems with telecommunication market competition in Spain, the UK and Germany (and probably other member states, you can find out more in the annual reports from ECTA). As a telecommunications commissioner, we’re expecting her to be basically for software patents, whichh is obviously not a good thing.

I will try to read more in the evening. This is something where I feel I’m always behind. Crafty people may help me with further telecommunications competition information, EU-Generic ACTA party bilateral agreements and consumer and customs policies.

A concrete achievement today will be the sending of an appeal to the Consilium about access to the document about European Commission concerns about US proposals for the ACTA treaty. If at all possible, I’ll try to visit some of the MEPs that I need to get in touch with.

I heard yesterday that the parliament has struck an exceedingly bad deal about information exchange with the council from one of the group experts of the green group. With the Lisbon treaty, we have an opportunity to change such agreements, which is something the parliament will have to get to work with as soon as possible.

Also, I’m trying to get in hold of the group expert on social issues about a special interest group for poverty management.

I am now a trainee at Christian Engström’s office, so that I can access the building without being accompanied by an ordinary employee. I still have to go through the security checks though.

The library here is fantastic! I am looking forward to exploring it further. I had a conversation with one of their employees about opening up the network infrastructure in the parliament and agricultural policies after I ran into him in G2 which is apparently not even close to D(x?) where the library is located. Luckily he could take me to the right location.

Organisation, politik och internet, del 3

Organisation, politik och internet, del 3 – Piratpartiet som massparti

Då har vi nått den slutsats jag kom fram till på det där seminariet hösten 2008 – piratpartiet är ett massparti. Som jag uttryckte det då var vi ett litet massparti, vi var nästan 6000 medlemmar. Året som följde växte vi en hel del, men poängen är att massparti är en struktur, inte ett antal.

2006, när piratpartiet blev ett massparti
Jag gick med i partiet rätt tidigt och blev valkretsledare i Uppsala län efter att jag dragit ihop första mötet på café Linné. I stort sett har jag varit med hela tiden så jag tror att jag är lämpad att skriva ihop partiets tidiga historia.

Den tidiga strukturen var väldigt lös, stadgan var skriven som till vilken liten förening som helst och gav föga stadga. Genom att gå igenom en del av historien från första året kan vi se vilka faktorer som bidrog till att piratpartiet blev ett massparti.

Den första större aktionen var insamlingen av namnunderskrifter för att registrera partinamnet. Den gjordes distribuerat, med resultat redovisade på hemsidan valkrets för valkrets. Det var lätt att delta genom att skriva ut en sida, samla ihop namnunderskrifter och skicka in. Jag var ännu inte medlem, men intresserad av att ha piratpartiet som alternativ att rösta på så jag skrev ut en sida eller två och samlade ihop lite underskrifter från vänner. Det var lätt, det var en tydlig uppgift med ett rimligt och meningsfullt mål. Insamlingen gick synnerligen bra och partinamnet blev registrerat.

Ungefär samtidigt med att jag blev valkretsledare ställdes det upp ett insamlingsmål. Jag lyckas inte hitta det exakta beloppet nu, men kommer ihåg att vi snabbt konstaterade i Uppsala att vi varken hade så pass med pengar eller kontakter med så pass med pengar. Sedan gjorde vi annat.

En grupp ställde upp som Piratstudenterna i kårvalet, en annan gjorde en flotte till forsränningen – återigen som Piratstudenterna – och en tredje gjorde flyers att dela ut längs ån på sista april (samtidigt som flotten majestätiskt gled ner längs ån). Så vitt jag vet var det de första flyers som gjordes i partiet. I alla fall hittade vi inga då så vi satte ihop flyer och en större folder (copy-paste text från forum och hemsida, lite editering, lite design), skickade runt en hatt på ett möte och kopierade upp så många som pengarna räckte till.

Flyern:

Flyern byggde vidare på en affisch som vi gjort för Piratstudenternas kårvalskampanj:

Enligt rapporten på forumet delade vi ut 2000 flyers och ett okänt antal större informationsfoldrar under sista april.

Informationsfoldern (åtta gånger så stor och åtta gånger så dyr som flyern):

Naturligtvis delade vi online med oss av båda material och erfarenheter, vilket plockades upp, förbättrades och användes av aktivister på andra ställen för att göra flyersutdelningar där.

Här kan vara värt att notera några egenskaper i partiets begynnelsefas. Det var många försök att kopiera de existerande partiernas metoder. Själva grundtanken bakom insamlingmålet var att kunna finansiera en klassisk kampanj, jag kommer till exempel ihåg en del diskussioner om möjligheten att köpa annonser. Utan tillgång till mediautrymme eller den nivå på finansiering som kan köpa tillgång till mediautrymme var vi dock tvungna att använda de vägar som finns. Eftersom partiet har en grundprincip om att tuta och köra hellre än att fråga om lov fanns det inga hinder mot att pröva sig fram. Tekniken gav möjlighet att direkt kommunicera effektiva metoder, och de effektivaste metoderna – flyersutdelningar, torgmöten, affischering – visade sig vara de som använder sig av ett stort antal aktivister och kostar lite i form av pengar. Det vill säga de metoder som ligger till grund för ett massparti. Samtidigt etablerades att de direkt kommunikationsvägarna – hemsida, mejl, forum och så småningom bloggar – som snabbare (och därmed bättre) än gammelmedia.

För att sammanfatta blev piratpartiet ett massparti inte för att det var planerat, inte för att det ens fanns som vision utan för att givet den tekniska grunden så var det effektivtast. Partiet hade naturligtvis kunnat misslyckas med det genom att lägga hinder för lokal aktivitet för att ha starkare central kontroll över budskapet (som tex F! gjorde under sin första sommar som parti), men hade istället en explicit tillåtande attityd till all aktivitet.

Att utvecklas som massparti
Det är inte lätt att bygga ett parti där tusentals kan delta på ett vettigt sätt, med allt vad det innebär av att visa var man kan aktiviera sig och hur man kan påverka politiken, och piratpartiet är långt ifrån färdigt (om färdigt ens existerar). Men vi blir steg för steg bättre på det och eftersom deltagandet är nyckeln till vår framgång hyser jag inga tvivel på att vi kommer fortsätta bli bättre. Och även om vi tycker att vår struktur är bristfällig och att det går långsamt är det värt att tänka på att vi i partiet lätt kan bli insnöade på våra brister. När personer kommer in från andra partier brukar de först notera vår öppenhet och direktkommunikation.

Och där kommer nästa intressant fråga, hur kommer de andra partierna påverkas av teknikskiftet? Räcker det (som de verkar tro) med att ändra sin marknadsföringsstrategi?

Det är dock en fråga som får vänta till senare delar, den här är lång nog som den är.