Copyright or human need

Communists are for the freedom of information, says Mike Macnair

On December 7, 4,500 performing musicians signed up to an advertisement in The Financial Times calling on the government to extend the copyright in sound recordings from 50 years to 95. Signatories included world poverty campaigner Bono and Simply Red front-man Mick Hucknall: Hucknall had written an opinion piece in The Guardian, in which he bizarrely claimed that "Copyright is fundamentally socialist - it is radical and redistributive, subversive even. How else would you describe a form of property that anyone can create out of nothing?" (November 23).

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Letters

Illegal; Preoccupation; Good PR; Boring; Silly mid-off; Colonial; Closed borders; Innocent thoughts; Christian names; Christian names; Wage labour; Against a Marxist Party; NUJ support; Not political; Not nationalist

Multiculturalism: facing both ways

Tony Blair's December 8 speech on multiculturalism shows that his government has no coherent programme to deal with the fact that the majority of British muslims oppose his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and are in general deeply alienated. Jim Moody reports

Fantastic reality - Marxism and the politics of religion

Religion is back with a vengeance. George Bush and the US christian right, holy Tony Blair and Britain's islamophobia, Russia's reinstalled orthodox church and India's saffron communalism, the toxic evangelicalism sweeping Africa and Latin America, Saudi Arabia's puritanical wahhabism and al Qa'eda's terrorism of spectacle, the Iranian theocracy and everywhere, it seems, the escape into the trench warfare of religious identity. But what is religion? In this extract from the introduction to his new book, Jack Conrad shows that the answer is not as straightforward as it might first appear

CS conference debates way forward

At the founding conference of Communist Students in Sheffield on Saturday December 9, some 20 comrades, most of them not members of the CPGB, were present. Ted North reports

Kautsky, Lenin and Trotsky

What were the differences, strengths and similarities? Jack Conrad investigates

No more historical abortions

Hillel Ticktin highlights the bogus nature of planning in the Soviet Union and locates the central importance of Europe for the transition to socialism

Weekly Worker 653 is also available in PDF format