Pirate Party hoist by petard

JULIA SCHRAMM is a member of the executive committee of the German Pirate Party. She has written a book, Klick Mich (Click Me), which Carrie Ellen Sager describes on the IPbrief website from Washington College of Law as "a screed against capitalism and the 'content mafia'".

Copies of the book have therefore been made available through DropBox and on the Pirate Party’s own site; and they have been aggressively removed. Sager says that Schramm assigned her copyright to publisher Random House, which is defending its investment in publishing the book.

Once again, the Freelance observes, an opponent of authors' rights has realised what these are for only when something happens to their work that they don't want. Schramm could have learned from the intelligent advocates of giving stuff away, such as the Free Software Foundation: if you want to give it away so that it stays given, you need to hang on to your rights and you need those rights to be strong and enforceable.

And you need to find a publisher that doesn't demand assignment. The Freelance is looking into this bit: German law shouldn't allow it: but how does it work if a German citizen signs a contract under US law?

Last modified: 03 Oct 2012 - © 2012 contributors
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