Kauderstrike: German politician and copyright

‘Kauderstrike’ is not a new computer game, but the nickname for a political project of Siegfried Kauder. The leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag wants to cut off copyright offenders from the internet. Now he appears to be a copyright offender himself.

Siegfried Kauder wants to introduce a two strikes system in Germany. If someone is found guilty of illegal downloading, file sharing, copyright violations on the internet, there will be one warning shot. The second time the offender will be prohibited from internet access for three weeks.

But how about Kauder’s own website? Several pictures there were found to be protected by copyright. Kauder admitted that he did not have the usage rights. He defended his political idea and said that this was the warning shot, and that the system would work well: he immediately “obtained the author’s rights” (Urheberrechte) for these pictures.

Critics answered that Kauder cannot obtain author’s rights according to German law, unless he is adopted by the author’s rights holder (who subsequently dies). He can only purchase the usage rights which is what probably happened.

Even a parliamentary group colleague, Peter Altmaier, twittered on the Kauderstrike plans: if someone steals a book, he is a criminal, but you don’t take away his reading glasses.

By the way, Siegfried Kauder is a lawyer and chairman of the house committee on juridical affairs.


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