A few days ago Siegfried Kauder, Chairman of the Legal Committee of the German Parliament, announced a plan to introduce a two-strikes model for persistent pirates. After two warnings, Internet users would lose their Internet access to protect the interests of copyright holders. However, it now turns out that the politician himself might be the first to be disconnected as his website features copyrighted photos that were lifted without permission.
We see it time and time again. Copyright is a double edged sword, and those who sharpen one side often get cut by the other.
When the German politician Siegfried Kauder introduced a two-strikes model to beat online piracy a few days ago, his own actions with regard to copyright were weighed carefully.
It didn’t take long before people spotted Kauder’s first infringement on his personal website, which was quickly followed by another one.
In what has now been dubbed Kaudergate, the pro-copyright politician was hosting at least two photos on his website which were taken from a photo sharing site without permission (1, 2).
When blogs and news sites picked up this ‘mistake’ the photos were quickly removed, but by then it was already too late.
Confronted with the blatant copyright infringements, Kauder tried to turn the tables in an attempt to use his failure to support his plans. He told the German news outlet Der Spiegel that this is a perfect example of how effective a two-strikes policy would be.
“I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to show how the warning model works. The use of the two copyright-protected photographs was brought to my attention. The photos were then removed, so the warning model works,” he stated.
An interesting attempt at spinning things around, if it weren’t for the fact that the copyrighted photos are still hosted on the server of Kauder’s website. So even after being outed by hundreds of blogs and the mainstream press two days ago, the politician – who is also a lawyer – continues to infringe copyrights (1, 2).
Even worse, Kauder claimed in the press that he had somehow “licensed” the photos after he realized his mistake. However, the photographer who owns the rights denies this and commented that the politician hasn’t been in contact at all.
One has to wonder that when a politician who wants to introduce a two-strikes anti-piracy system doesn’t even know how to stop breaking the law, how can he demand that others should?
Needless to say, the public is now demanding that he will be disconnected from the Internet. That would probably set a good example.