Prominent Pirate Party member enforces copyright—on her own book


Members of the German Pirate Party sail on the River Spree during a 'campaign rally' in Berlin on September 25, 2009, two days ahead of parliamentary elections


John MacDougall

In one of the more impressive ironies in recent news, German Pirate Party executive committee member Julia Schramm—who advocates constantly for looser intellectual property laws—is aggressively enforcing copyright on her own book. 

Schramm recieved an impressive $131,010 from publishers  Albrecht Knaus Verlag for hew new 208-page book, entitled "Click Me," and is now doing her damndest to keep her manuscript off the very same free file-sharing sites she advocates for, reports Der Spiegel. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Pirate Bay co-founder is deported from Cambodia, arrested in Sweden

The book was uploaded to file-sharing network Dropbox last week, as per usual custom for intellectual property law supporter—at least until the book's publisher demanded the text be taken down under the precepts of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, reports TPM News. 

Although the book is essentially a long-form rant against the "content mafia" and the manifold evils of modern capitalism, Schramm appears quite all right with using capitalistic notions to sell it. Curious indeed. 

What exactly is the Pirate Party? Sorry to disappoint you, but it doesn't involve plank-walking or high seas adventure—it's much nerdier than that.

It's in fact a German political organization fiercely opposed to most intellectual property law, which Schramm herself has called "disgusting."

Read more from GlobalPost: Arggh! Pirate Party takes Berlin 

Tech savvy Pirate Party supporters believe essentially all information and media should be free for public consumption, and are fierce advocates for illegal file-sharing websites, such as the by-now-very-familar Pirate Bay. (Remember this guy?)

The Pirate Party also advocates for new-style digital democracy via online "liquid feedback," an appealing idea to many, especially the young. 

They've been doing surprisingly well in the polls and gained 15 regional parliament seats in October, as GlobalPost reported.

 In April, they garnered a remarkable 13 percent of the vote in a poll, and the political upstarts were hoping to pick up some federal parliament seats in the next election, according to Der Spiegel.

However, their popularity now appears to be waning, at least in part due to the upstart party's remarkably fractious nature, and its lack of any clear policies beyond its well-known free information beliefs.