When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

DIE WELT, DER SPIEGEL (Germany)

Worldcrunch

BERLIN - German politician Julia Schramm, 26, is a member of the national executive committee of the Pirate Party, which has built a strong following for its crusade for Internet freedom and an end to copyright law.

But soon after the publication last week of Schramm's new book called Klick Mich: Bekenntnisse einer Internet-Exhibitionistin (Click Me: Confessions of an Internet Exhibitionist), an illegal free download appeared on the Internet -- and the *pirate found herself under seige.

Random House-owned Knaus Verlag, quickly filed a take-down request, and Schramm found herself accused of mega-hypocrisy. That which others think of as basic intellectual property rights, the budding author has called “disgusting.”

Asked in an interview published by Die Welthow she reconciles the two positions, Schramm replied: “To me it’s only a perceived contradiction. There will always be texts available for free on my blog, including excerpts from the book…The rights revert to me after ten years and I will at that point make the book available for free.”

Does she still stand by her description of intellectual rights as “disgusting?” “Yes,” said Schramm. “The idea behind the use of that word is an emancipatory one, it’s the idea of freeing artists from patronage. The problem is the repressive use of such rights that limits the rights of both artists and users.”

Has she betrayed the Internet community? “In retrospect I see that I probably should have been more aggressive in my negotiations with my publisher. But at the time I was just so happy to be able to realize my dream of publishing a book. Maybe I should have insisted that the book be available free for non-commercial use on the Internet. The solution we ended up with is not perfect, but it’s okay.”

Der Spiegel notes that Schramm is an easy target for both opponents and supporters of the Pirate philosophy. She was allegedly paid an advance of €100,000 ($130,000) for the book, and is still widely remembered for her glib assertion that "privacy is so Eighties..."

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Bulgaria And Hungary: Risks Of A Pro-Russian Alliance Inside The EU

Bulgaria had sworn off Russian gas imports, but then its government collapsed. Now pro-Russian politicians are in power, which for the European Union means there is much more at stake than just energy supply.

Bulgarians are split between pro-Western and pro-Russian politics.

Philip Volkmann-Schluck

The letter Z, a symbol of support for Putin’s war in Ukraine, has appeared on Bulgarian government buildings in Sofia. Last week, demonstrators fixed a Z in black tape to the entrance of the Ministry of Energy’s headquarters.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

They were protesting their government’s announcement that it would reopen negotiations with Russia about importing gas – although Bulgaria had declared public support for Kyiv and subsequently stopped all Russian imports. “Putin’s gas is a trap,” one of the placards reads.

These scenes have been growing more common in the Bulgarian capital since the reformist government led by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov was ousted last month in a no-confidence vote. Petkov had pledged to tackle corruption and taken a strong stance against Russia's invasion. But his coalition government fell after just seven months in office when an ally quit.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ