Demagogue much? German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda complains she can’t read The Diary of Anne Frank It’s available on Amazon and iBooks for as little as $6.99. It’s also likely available in her local bookstore. So what she really means is she doesn’t want to pay for it!
Artists, authors and performers have long been familiar with the moral depravity and demagoguery of the Pirate Party, but it has probably never been that clear to the general public. Fortunately this recent series of tweets by Julia Reda (EU Member of Parliament for the German Pirate Party), her self identified “minion” Gilles Bordelais, and author John Degan make it quite easy to understand. ( UPDATE: John Degan has an excellent blog on this exchange here : Why I bought a book for a German Pirate)
The thing is Reda and Bordelais DO have access to The Diary of Anne Frank. What the German MEP Reda and her minion (his self applied moniker, not mine) are whinging about is that they don’t have FREE access to the book. Yes this highly paid Member of EU Parliament is balking at paying approximately $7 for a widely available eBook! But she doesn’t mention that. Why?
Clearly she intends for the general public to be left with the impression that the diary is not available because of “bad” copyright laws. This is pure demagoguery and if the EU parliament was an actual functioning and responsible governing body (instead of a bad parody of a student mock UN) she might actually be reprimanded for this nonsense.
Pirate Party MEP bravely fights the powerful and evil Anne Frank Foundation!
But the demagoguery and distortions are not the worst of it. When you consider the fact that her actions have the potential to undermine the revenues and hence the good work of the Anne Frank Foundation (supported by sales of The Diary of Anne Frank) you have to question her personal judgment and qualifications to represent Germany at the EU. Through the Anne Frank Foundation sales and licensing fees support a vast array of charities and social projects. Many of these entities are focused on anti-semitism, anti-racism, anti-fascism and encouraging Jewish-Palestinian dialogue. There is even a fund to pay for the medial expenses of those that risked their lives to protect Jews during WWII.
You can see more here.
And it pains me greatly to point out the painfully obvious but: You’d think a GERMAN sitting member of European parliament would have a little more sensitivity and think twice before using The Diary of Anne Frank and Anne Frank Foundation for a cheap political stunt. After all it was her countrymen that reduced the length of Anne Frank’s copyright (70 years plus life) by murdering her. This is not a cheap shot, because Reda and her fellow pirates are specifically arguing that it should be in the public domain based on the year of her death rather than the later death of her father (a co-author of the edited commercial work).
It makes me sick to my stomach to even have to explain this.
So my question to Julia Reda is this:
What’s more important?
- Scoring cheap political points while financially undermining a foundation that fights fascism, intolerance and anti-semitism?
- Or being a decent human being?
You can express your opinions to Julia Reda by tweeting at her here @Senficon (although she’s blocked many of us already)
email her here: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her office: +32(0)2 28 45732
or mail her a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank here
Altiero Spinelli 05F158
Addendum on MLK’s “Dream” speech.
Evan Greer, Fight for the Future founder and Boston’s first anti-civil rights folksinger organized a civil disobedience campaign against the King family estate by encouraging people to violate Kings rights and post the I Have A Dream speech to YouTube and social media. Why? The answer my friend is blowing in the Center for Rights in Action Federal 990 tax forms.
It should be noted that this outrageous and tone deaf demagoguery is not just an EU Pirate Party problem. A US organization with similar views on copyright baited and harassed the family of Martin Luther King on the 50th anniversary of his “I Have A Dream Speech” Fight For The Future organized a “civil disobedience” campaign to post the King speech to YouTube and other social media sites against the wishes of the King estate. It’s time for these spiteful copyleft bullies to be called out.
You can write Fight For The Future here: email@example.com
Editor Note: “Plonk” is european for “I’m an arrogant Twat”
2 thoughts on “German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda Doesn’t Want to Pay for Diary of Anne Frank.”
This is an amusing misunderstanding – but it of course misses the actual point by far.
What the #ReadAnneDiary campaign by Polish NGO Centrum Cyfrowe was highlighting was that in Europe, 28 different copyright frameworks make cross-border exchange difficult. Whether that’s paid exchange of copyrighted works or free exchange of public domain works is not the issue.
Imagine if for the same text one set of rules applied in New York (in this case, placing it in the public domain), but a whole different one in New Jersey (placing it still under copyright and making providing access to it on the web an infringement). That wouldn’t make sense to readers nor publishers nor authors – yet it’s the status quo in the European Union, which is supposed to be a single market. That’s why the campaign is highlighting the differences that exist and calling for a harmonization that will benefit all Europeans.
You German pirates are absolutely tone deaf. New Jersey and New York are part of the same country. Belgium and Poland are not. Now I do remember about 75 years ago you Germans had a little project to “harmonize” the laws of Europe. I think it was called World War II? That is why Anne Frank was hiding in the attic of a warehouse. Now you can make a point about the inefficiencies in the EU common market, but perhaps you should think twice about using the Anne Frank diary. Also next time have Julia Reda respond directly. Or is she too cowardly?
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