More than a million creative people in Germany bank on their creative work for a livelihood, be they writers, poets, musicians, composers, movie makers etc. They all feel endangered by a group of people figuratively known as ‘pirates’ who has the tendency to take guise under the absolute freedom in internet usage. This particular group poses a threat to the income source of this large number of creative souls.
To safeguard the rights of these creative people, German national newspaper Handelsblatt has published a statement of 160 representatives of this society. Under the headline "My head belongs to me" they have gathered the society and generated a visible public statement in German since the media house believes that disregarding intellectual property rights i.e copyright of the authors will hamper the future of the society in whole.
In support of this movement, Renate Kuenast, leader of the Green party in the German parliament has stated to Handelsblatt that, “The creativity that brings forward new innovations of the human beings should be respected and protected". The new digital world does not substitute the creativity of individuals but also creates a network for ideas in a new extension. People are constantly using innovations when they are conducting e-comemerce activities or communicating through Skype, and behind each of these innovations lies one intellectual ownership as well as commercial interest.
The necessary mordenisation of copyright cannot be done with symbolic catch phrases. From Kuenast’s point of view, a real query is for an instance, how the European Union in whole can achieve a common European copyright law that calls for a fair exchange of interests between all the groups of stakeholders concerned, including the creators, the commercial entities and the users. In this regard, members from the creative society have expressed their views and opinions simultaneously. Florian Beckerhoff, an author, states that everybody has his right to decide about his own ideas. And to support his views he expressed, "Yes, my head belongs to me. That is why I am convinced that everyone has the right to decide which idea he wants to publish or not." Norbert Berger, the popular musician says, "Composing music and jotting lyrics is quite difficult and time consuming. It is a tough business too. Sometimes I work for fourteen days at a stretch of a song and then throw it all away as the outcome does not satisfy me!" Famous actress Maria Fortwängler expresses," I am strongly against stealing others’ intellectual properties and I believe that creativity has to be well protected. Creative people are not paid properly while their work is made available on the internet; the service providers only get to make the profits by riding on their property. Thus, the balance between give and take is challenged here."
Representatives of German Industries are also among the supporter of this initiative. Egon Behle, chief of MTU Aero Eingines under the headline ‘Protection for High-tech’ states that, “It is a must for every company to protect its intellectual property, which plays an important role in deciding their value."
This accumulation of statements of these 160 creative heads has only lifted the curtain of the discussion that has not come to an end yet. The outcome however would definitely be fruitful as 160 German celebrities have all come together and raised their voice for protection of their intellectual properties in the virtual world, waiting to be heard and shared soon by people from all corners of the world.
The story was first published in INTELLECT Issue no.2, dated July 2012.