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European Supreme Court’s pirate streaming ruling reiterates need for Analog Equivalent Rights

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This week, there was yet another ruling against video streaming that goes at odds with public perception of justice. This follows last month’s ruling in the European Supreme Court (the ECJ) which stated that people receiving a pirate stream are breaking the law. If our parents or grandparents had seen these rulings, applied to analog technology, they would say the rulings are absolutely insane.

Last month, the European Court of Justice – the Supreme Court of the European Union – ruled that people who receive a pirate stream are breaking the law. While this sounds like just what the copyright industry says is sensible – something like “anybody who ever touched, wanted, or thought of a pirate stream are breaking the law” – it makes absolutely no sense in the context of Analog Equivalent Rights.

The concept of Analog Equivalent Rights is simple and straightforward: our children should have at least as strong civil liberties in their digital environment, as our parents had in their analog environment. It’s not rocket science. It’s not unreasonable, either. It even sounds like something that would be obvious – that our children shouldn’t have weaker or fewer civil liberties just because they communicate using a new technology. Yet, that’s exactly what is happening.

The Analog Equivalent of a pirate stream is, of course, a pirate (analog) radio station. There were several of these in the last century, so we know how they were handled.

Unlike in the United States, where broadcast radio were commercially funded early on, European radio was generally government-controlled, with emphasis on controlled. In the 1950s, a few people wanted to do American-style radio in Scandinavia, and broadcast from ships in international waters. They became an instant hit.

The ships were boarded on international waters by heavily armed governmental vessels to

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