back to article German Pirate party punters 'don't pay their membership fees'

The Pirate Party of Germany (Piratenpartei) achieved breakthrough success capturing the protest vote last autumn - but its appeal may be starting to wane. The anti-copyright party won 8.9 per cent of the Berlin vote and has been attempting to build a national party organisation. However, Der Spiegel reports that "almost half …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'German Pirate party punters 'don't pay their membership fees''

    Do they just download them instead?

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: 'German Pirate party punters 'don't pay their membership fees''

      Damn, I was gonna post something like that.. Upvoted.

    2. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: 'German Pirate party punters 'don't pay their membership fees''

      You wouldn't steal a party membership...

    3. Tapeador

      Re: 'German Pirate party punters 'don't pay their membership fees''

      Can anyone explain the downvote on the OP's post?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'German Pirate party punters 'don't pay their membership fees''

        Possibly a pirate who doesn't like it when they are reminded that they are cheap thieves. Surprising number of people happily admit to downloading stuff but get all irate and pissy if you even hint that they might have stolen something. Reality is that while large numbers do pirate stuff they aren't hardened criminals, they don't at heart believe it's moral or justified, they just live in that same bubble of self delusion as middle class shoplifters who when caught are mortified and embarrassed.

        And yes, for saying this out loud I'll attract a storm of down votes because it's an uncomfortable truth.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: for saying this out loud

          Downvote duly applied, not for your post, just that you asked to be downvoted. Ok. Met that milestone.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: for saying this out loud

            I said I expected it, I didn't ask for it.

            However if it works that way ... I expect a beautiful brunette knock at my door any minute and want to sleep with me.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: for saying this out loud

              >>I expect a beautiful brunette knock at my door any minute and want to sleep with me.

              So, it's been a couple of hours, how was it for you??

        2. Topperfalkon

          Re: "Saying this out loud"

          'Piracy', or copyright infringement to give it it's proper name, is not stealing. The Theft Act relatively specifically states that theft is the taking or depriving someone of a physical, tangible item. Copyright infringement is the infringement of a person's exclusive right to make copies of a work. Note the work itself is intangible, so therefore it isn't theft.

          So yes, 'you wouldn't steal a car', but if it were possible you'd probably copy it if you could. And yes, you'd probably spare a moment's thought for the manufacturer who missed out on a purchase, before remembering the reason you didn't go to them in the first place. The service they offer at extortionate prices is worse than no service and simply making a copy.

          If labels were more concerned with making decent music and sending acts on tour rather than fiddling with our already fragile legislation, if software companies offered software at decent prices without layers of innocent consumer confounding DRM (which doesn't appear on pirate copies, funnily enough), if movie producers were concerned more with gripping stories than production values and special effects, then piracy would cease to be the issue they feared. Sure, it wouldn't get rid of it, but it wouldn't really matter either.

          1. Fibbles

            Re: "Saying this out loud"

            Oh, it's this argument again...

            "It's not technically theft according to the letter of the law therefore it's morally justified."

            I can't even be arsed rebuking it properly any more, you'll just have to deal with a list of bullet points;

            - Physical items are sold at a price determined by Materials + Labour + Profit Margin = Price

            - Digital copies of creative works are sold at a price determined by (Materials + Labour + Profit Margin) / Number Of Copies That Can Realistically Be Sold = Price

            - By creating a digital copy and not paying your fraction you are depriving the creators the opportunity to recoup their costs.

            - You couldn't copy a car anyway because of patents held by the car manufacturer as well as laws regarding trade dress.

            - If you were to copy a car it would involve smelting your own metal, beating panes, welding a chassis, moulding your own tyres, etc. When you talk about copying something digital, lets say music, I highly doubt you mean you're going to sit down with a guitar, a mic and some audio software to record your own copy. You're going to just duplicate somebody else's hard work.

            - A lack of perceived quality is not an excuse to take something without paying.

            - If somebody is offering you goods or a service and you feel the price is extortionate, go without. You don't have some automatic right to take whatever you want without paying just because you personally feel Big Corp is over charging.

            - Stop acting like a spoilt child. Content producers owe you nothing. You're more than welcome to produce your own.

            1. -tim

              Re: "Saying this out loud"

              My local movie and CD store has a few bins of sale items. What I found interesting was the large number of albums and CDs in the bin are titles that I know the artists don't get anything from a sale due to losses based on Hollywood accounting. I don't know one actor or musician or anyone else who worked on a production who has made any money from royalties yet most of them have contracts saying they will get theirs once the production breaks even. Just like an architect or a lawyer or painter, you better get paid when you do the work because you won't see any money after the work is done. There is no reason the music and movie business can't adjust their business model to deal with the modern world. Their current practices are borderline illegal making promises about payments they have a decades of experience knowing they will never pay.

            2. Justicesays

              Re: "Saying this out loud"

              I think he is right that if the advert said

              "You wouldn't copy a car you liked the look of ,given the ability to do so near instantly and for free, and with no detriment to the present owner of the car"

              most people would think , "Hmm, I would you know, if only to give driving that lambo a ago. I'd delete it afterwards though, honest"

              Conflating theft and copyright breach is doing the content producers no favours.

              People aren't stupid and will reach the above conclusion themselves, and then feel justified that it "wasn't stealing" because all they did was copy Bob's DVD. Bob still has his DVD, right?

              Whereas they would do better to actually indicate who is getting affected by copyright breaches, and what the moral effect that has on content producers and society.

          2. Gav

            Re: "Saying this out loud"

            "If labels were more concerned with making decent music...." blah blah, whine whine.

            Isn't it strange how apologists for piracy love the "it's rubbish anyway" argument, but still want a copy of said rubbish? They demand that content providers improve, to reach a standard that's purely a matter of personal opinion, but can't explain what makes "decent music" any less likely to be copied and shared than the rubbish they currently find so contemptible, and yet so desirable.

            Very strange. It's almost like the entire argument was just a smoke screen to justifying taking stuff for free.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What you get as a member of most political parties..

    .. is a stream of 'please send more money' letters and not much else. Occassionally, you'll be asked to vote in something or other, but it is very unlikely to make a difference. Consequently, many activists don't actually bother to pay to join. People may remember that it turned out that Neil Hamilton MP wasn't a member of Mrs Thatcher / John Major, t/a The Conservative Party.

    A number of years ago, I was one of half a dozen or so people in the computer team for one party at a by-election campaign. Another was one of its top election agents. It was the (late) morning. We'd done any printing and there was nothing to do until the canvassers started to return. So, as ever, we were playing a golf game. Up to the attic comes the Chief Executive of the party. He's outraged that we're sitting around playing games and threatens to have all of us thrown out of the party. It turns out that he's the only one in the room who's a member...

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      What you get as a member of any anarchist party.

      Only the Germans could think of organising anarchy. And manage to get a lot of it done.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No surprise

    Anyone who ideology is based on being entitled isn't likely to play by the rules of society. This party will be gone before long as those in denial get in touch with the reality that you ain't entitled to anything they don't pay for.

    1. GrumpyJoe

      Re: No surprise

      So no oxygen for me then?

  4. pear

    german pirates..

  5. PyLETS

    only old parties need subs

    What does the PP need membership fees for ? Snail mail communications when they have no-one interested in their communications who isn't on the Net ? Most likely those who want to put themselves up for election need a deposit but many candidates of all parties put this up themselves.

    Besides, the purpose of Pirates standing isn't to get elected, it's to get major parties courting the votes pirates might othewise get by taking the value of the public domain, and rights of freedom of speech and privacy of communications seriously because there are votes to be won here, when extreme copyright lobbyists want these rights further eroded.

    The idea is to make any candidate of any party which takes money from the RIAA, MPAA, the Murdoch family and similar scum unelectable.

  6. Michael Habel

    I'd likely be willing to support them more:

    If the fought for the things I believed in, for example the repeal of TV / Internet Licensing.

    If old Folks want to watch the Crap that's on ARD / ZDF all the time ~Let them pay for it!~

    Let us not get in to the so-called 3'erd Channels. Nothing could save that sorry crap. Yet I'm still charged to a tune of 300.00€ a year for this so-called privilege. And I don't watch a jot of it. I'm to busy watching Freesat.

    From Germany. and oddly enough also a Pirate Party Member.

  7. Magani

    The paper suggests that in-fighting and an absence of policy, tactics or strategy...

    So that'll make it the same as most other mainstream political parties these these these days.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: The paper suggests that in-fighting and an absence of policy, tactics or strategy...

      Indeed. It seems that the main agenda of most political parties is; "We're Not Satanic Baby Eating Scum! But The Other Parties Are!"

  8. Media Bias

    Falkvinge denigration

    "possession of child pornography should be legalised -> marginal for a reason."

    Did you even read the article? This knee-jerk response suggests you didn't.

  9. opaque

    This story misses out the basic point that the majority of people who vote, whoever they vote for, are not members of a party.

    You don't have to be to vote for someone, you on;y sign up to be a member if you are really interested and want to help more, maybe get involved in doing more than voting.

    But member numbers ultimately mean nothing.

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