james g wrote:
If we're considering a lesser option, I'd guess we might go with unrestricted personal use once a copy has been legally obtained (in addition to repealing Skynet). e.g. If you buy a copy of a DVD, then you should be allowed to format shift it. There is already a format shifting provision for music, and a backup provision for computer programs, so these could be expanded and merged into a general provision. (Or alternatively, rewrite copyright so it's essentially conveyright--it's receiving and sending copies that is restricted, not making copies.) This should take care of EULAs too, I think (for individuals anyway). As I understand it, EULAs have force because it is necessary to copy a program in order to install/run it. Therefore, if you use a program without agreeing to the EULA, you've broken copyright law because you don't have permission to install/run the program. Recording television programmes might be included in personal use too. We could argue this stuff on the grounds of privacy. What I do in my home is my business.
That said, if we're considering a lesser option, I think it might be prudent to make it provisional on clearing it with PPI before we officially adopt it, in this particular case. Looking through the policies of the official pirate parties, every single pirate party that I can determine policy for has the policy of copyright only regulating commercial activity, and I think this is possibly the only policy that is universally agreed upon by pirate parties. Also, the Pirate Party of Sweden was involved in P2P, so it could be a sensitive area.
To keep a foot in both camps, perhaps we could say that eventually we'd like copyright to only regulate commercial activity, but for the moment our policy is unrestricted personal use?
(BTW, another option we should probably include in the vote, simply for the sake of completeness, is abolish copyright.)
As an interim step, that makes sense, and we might be lucky if we can even get that far the way things are going... But I don't think we should ever accept it as a final goal.
Sharing is good for society as a whole even if it's possibly (this is never actually proven) going to impact the profits of publishers. The 'war on sharing' is massively harmful.