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Why the UK Needs the Pirate Party

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the representative-piracy dept.

Censorship 363

Barence writes "The UK Pirate Party wants to reform copyright and patent laws, abolish the surveillance state and increase our freedom of speech, and it's just been recognized as a political party. In this interview with PC Pro, UK Pirate Party leader Andrew Robinson explains how he's planning to shake up the political landscape. 'What we really want to do is raise awareness, so that the other parties say "bloody hell, they've got seven million votes this time out," or one million votes, or enough votes to make them care and seriously think about these issues.'"

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Need yes, Succes? (0, Redundant)

mseeger (40923) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048601)

The need is there, no doubt. But need does not equate success...

Re:Need yes, Succes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048623)

What is your point? Your little non sequitur is like saying, "you can't be right all the time, sometimes you might be wrong." What the hell is your point. Thank you Captain Unobvious for the insight.

This is your life, Slashdot! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049155)

Imagine a giant penis flying towards your mouth, and there's nothing you can do about it. And you're like "Oh man, I'm gonna have to suck this thing", and you brace yourself to suck this giant penis. But then, at the last moment, it changes trajectory and hits you in the eye. You think to yourself "Well, at least I got that out of the way", but then the giant penis rears back and stabs your eye again, and again, and again. Eventually, this giant penis is penetrating your gray matter, and you begin to lose control of your motor skills. That's when the giant penis slaps you across the cheek, causing you to fall out of your chair. Unable to move and at your most vulnerable, the giant penis finally lodges itself in your anus, where it rests uncomfortably for 4, maybe 5 hours. That's what using Slashdot is like.

Re:This is your life, Slashdot! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049315)

I like how this was modded "Redundant" - as in, "Yes, we already know."

Re:Need yes, Succes? (3, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048669)

If you don't work towards change, you may as well accelerate the speed with which you go into a nasty future

Re:Need yes, Succes? (5, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049069)

They don't have to win the elections.

If they get a few million votes and steadily increase share every election, even if they don't win the bigger parties might decide to adjust their policies a bit.

A lot of people say it's just a two horse race because of the "first past the post" system. Big fucking deal. That doesn't matter as long as you can influence the direction the horses are heading.

Fact is the big parties have changed over the years, so they can and do change.

If you keep voting for a party that you don't like, it's effectively saying to them "keep doing whatever you are doing". Why should they change if they keep winning most of the votes?

If they see their grip loosening, believe me, they'll do something.

Re:Need yes, Succes? (4, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049107)

European elections are proportional representation, not first past the post, and it is Europe where most of the changes need to be made with regards to copyright. Even if the Pirate Party did win the next Westminster election, they couldn't do much about copyright or patent law, because it is set at EU level. They could change encryption and spying laws because they are set at UK level. They would have some influence over the amount of law enforcement resources employed on copyright issues, but it is mostly local council trading standards departments that do that, and they tend to focus on commercial copying.

The UK already has one dumbass party (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048637)

They are called UKIP. We don't need another bunch of immature idiots standing on a policy of "Give us free stuff!!!!1111111oneone" which is about as intellectually valid as the bullshit generated by 'the pirate party' ever gets.

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (5, Insightful)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048735)

Actually, the Pirate Party, putting all issues about copyright infringement aside, has one proper issue that I think is interesting. It's to do with encryption and privacy.

The concern is about how much the media owners and government have the "right" to monitor what you're doing. If you stipulate that the government should prevent copyright infridgement, it's not a big leap to say that they should monitor people to check that they're not breaking the law and punish those that do. Which is fine, until you realise that you've just said that the government should monitor all your communications, and the public shouldn't have the right to have private communications that the Powers In Charge don't read.

Now, I'm not overly worried about this in the UK right now with our current government (who, let's face it, are under the thumb of the press and more likely to try and waste taxpayers money to clean their private moats than oppress the masses), but if history has shown us anything preventing citizens from being able to privately critique government bodies without those bodies being able to read all the criticisms is not a good thing... I'm not really sure where the line between upholding the law and curtailing the citizen is drawn - and it's not just on this issue that it's worth thinking about, but it is, at least, worth thinking about. So I welcome the discussion.

Mod parent up (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048771)

Very few people want "no copyright" but an awful lot of them want "less government"

Re:Mod parent up (3, Interesting)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048865)

Very few people want "no copyright" but an awful lot of them want "less government"

Well said; we're getting to a point that 'piracy' is an inevitability...music, video, etc, is GOING to be shared, and the way interpretation of copyright law is going these days, any victory for the Industries gets one step closer to extreme government oversight and penalisation for things that, ultimately, end up being relatively minor. Copyright laws, as originally written and intended, were to prevent someone from taking the printed words or phonographed music of one person, and claiming it as their own, to make it a profit. It's been bastardized to excess now, though, and even though we've seen suit after complaint after appeal after suit on the whole subject, not a thing with copyright law or dealings related to infringement has seemingly changed EXCEPT to favour the Industries with increased prying by the lawyers with Government OK's in doing so.

In the end, it's a hopeless endeavor, make token efforts to put in limitations on physical media, and when they get cracked, take some solace in the fact that records are still being sold (or downloaded from iTunes), and that people will still flock to a movie theatre (probably for the popcorn)..

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (1)

ommerson (1485487) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048853)

The MP who had his moat cleaned on expenses was in fact a member of the Conservative Party - so not the current government, but quite possibly the next one.

The conservatives are at making more reassuring noises about privacy that Labour are - at least at the moment. Whether this remains the case in power is another matter entirely.

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048973)

This would be the conservative party that used soldiers dressed up as policemen to crush the miners strike? The same one that abolished the right to silence? Don't believe the hype.

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (1)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049239)

I was using the term "government" in the broader sense - all MPs can vote on a bill, and have a certain amount of power, no matter what party they belong to. The "clean their private moat" was just one ergregous example of the expense scandal that I used for its resonance. Not many parties emerged unscathed from the whole debacle, so I could have equally picked any number other stupid choices made by our elected servants.

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048933)

Found this, the Pirate party explained by the BBC
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71YnRAugSHg [youtube.com]

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (1)

metageek (466836) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048961)

actually I would not be so casual about the current government. Never underestimate how toxic is power and how people who have been holding it for 12 years will do anything to keep it theirs. I am worried about these lot!

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (2, Insightful)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049209)

I'm only casual because I see a tendency for hyperbole on slashdot, whereby people jump straight to extremes, comparing anything to a much more extreme regime (typically, Hitler's Germany, China or North Korea). This, while causing the sensation a sensational comment it meant to provoke, doesn't actually leave much room for reasoned discussion. This is not to say I've not been deeply concerned by actions of our government and I'm casual to the real dangers if left to linger, and the danger of not keeping a watchful eye on the watchers.

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (3, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048913)

The extremes of the pirate party are worth supporting, in the interest of a reasonable compromise.
Even if I don't agree with 5-year copyright terms, I agree with them a lot more than I do unlimited copyright.

Re:The UK already has one dumbass party (0)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048969)

Perhaps 5year copyright should only apply to software code.

Just thinking that say for example an open source project has 3 main coders and each maintains copyright over their code (as is proper). Now say one of those coders has written 2/3s of the code and to redo that code would take the other 2 at best a year to rewrite. Now lets say that coder for some reason becomes unreachable (dies, moves to Mars, etc..). The other 2 cannot relicence the code base to say GPL v4 until his copyright is over or he gives permission. In the UK currently they would have to wait 50years. Suddenly for this example 5years sounds a lot fairer.

Sounds promising, but... (5, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048651)

It sounds promising that we now have a "Pirate Party" in the UK who will stand up on copyright issues, but I suspect they'll take it too far. It makes sense to decrease the legislation that is heavily in favour of the company rather than the consumer (things like making it illegal to make personal backups or making fines for infringement hugely out of proportion) but if they get to complete freedom to pirate everything then they've taken it too far the other way and the economy will falter again.

People need the right to own what they've bought, but people don't need the right to own everything for free that's digital.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (5, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048675)

Yeah, but the way you get a major party to be moderate on an issue is by having an extreme viewpoint yourself. At least that way the votes get distributed across the spectrum instead of concentrated at one side.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (5, Insightful)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048775)

Yup, and I think that if the pirate party of Sweden had taken a more moderate (reasonable) standpoint they would have been boring and quickly forgotten. By being outrageous they are now known by near enough everyone and got 7% or something like that (one seat) in the election to the European parliament. No, I think "outrageous" is just the way to go.

And come on - do you really think by giving them your vote you would risk a sudden abolishment of copyright?!

Re:Sounds promising, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049255)

I mean look at the Greens, they were pretty radical and still are, and they're a mighy force nowadays for better or worse.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (5, Interesting)

jhhdk (1120433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049267)

Sweedish pirate party is not unreasonable or extremist. They will abolish patents completely and make private filesharing legal, but they will maintain a 5 year copyright term for commercial usage. Seems reasonable enough to me.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (4, Informative)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049283)

And come on - do you really think by giving them your vote you would risk a sudden abolishment of copyright?!

Hardly, since the Pirate Party does not want copyright abolished, but reformed.

We want patents abolished, though.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048805)

So you chose to sustain a bad idea and ill position as it may be useful to reach halfway to the pirate party goal? May I remember you that National Socialism got to power exactly this way?

Hypocrisy won't get us very far as it promotes only this kind of useless "bipartitism" where each other takes position on the extreme opposite of each question, settling to never change the status quo.

Take it as some sort of evolution: if the pressure is to have radical position and we start not to care about voting batshit insane and short sighted parties, we will get to that in no time.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048945)

Wow, it sure didn't take long to get Godwin to post here.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049003)

I invoke godwin's law. Your argument is still stupid without it, mind.

If some people are far, far in the media's pocket and some are mainstream then a compromise is to the media's side.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049153)

Yeah, but the way you get a major party to be moderate on an issue is by having an extreme viewpoint yourself. At least that way the votes get distributed across the spectrum instead of concentrated at one side.

So what you're saying is, if you want minor immigration reform, better join a lynch mob?

Re:Sounds promising, but... (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048703)

It makes sense to decrease the legislation that is heavily in favour of the company rather than the consumer (things like making it illegal to make personal backups or making fines for infringement hugely out of proportion) but if they get to complete freedom to pirate everything then they've taken it too far the other way and the economy will falter again.

That's why I don't vote the left.

It makes sense to go for a system that takes into account the general population and tries to protect the less favoured, but then they could go for utopic communism, the abolishment to private property and in the next legislature, they may enforce genetic manipulation to make us all identical. And replace names by numbers, so nobody has a better name.

And then, they'd probably forbid the use of the singular in language. We'd have to use plurals for everything.

tl;dr: Don't worry, a couple million votes to the pirate party won't destroy UK's economy.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (4, Interesting)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048705)

Its all about stir things up in a political environment that tends to see things from a 1987 perspective. Times have changed, media industry and politics understanding of it has not (at least not as much as it should have to be in sync with the world we live in).

It have worked quite well here in Sweden, the pirate party have woken up the other parties when polls started to show that they might even get into the Riksdag ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden#Modern_political_system [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Sounds promising, but... (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048717)

They do have that right. Any property 'right' that require doors to be busted down and personal encryption keys to be demanded by threat is not a right at all.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (5, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048739)

It sounds promising that we now have a "Pirate Party" in the UK who will stand up on copyright issues, but I suspect they'll take it too far. It makes sense to decrease the legislation that is heavily in favour of the company rather than the consumer (things like making it illegal to make personal backups or making fines for infringement hugely out of proportion) but if they get to complete freedom to pirate everything then they've taken it too far the other way and the economy will falter again.

People need the right to own what they've bought, but people don't need the right to own everything for free that's digital.

They're supposed to take it too far. Sweden was one of the first countries (if not the first, I'm not sure) to have a pirate party, nowadays with mandate in the European Parliament. The Swedish PP are very down to earth. They openly admit to not having a thorough agenda based on ideologies, such as the traditional party. However their intentions are not to win any election. Their intentions are to raise these questions, and force other parties to take a stance on them. The same year as the Swedish PP was formed many other parties officially took a stance on filesharing, privacy concerns and copyright/patenting. They are just as important for the societies of the modern world, as RMS is for FOSS. We all think RMS takes things a bit far sometimes, but you have to remember that there are far more "extremists" on the other end, those pushing for rights to more intellectual property and patenting. His function is absolutely necessary in order to land somewhere in the reasonable middle. Where producers and consumers get fair terms. Sadly people tend to think in black and white without realising the difference the pirate parties make without ever stepping a foot inside the parliament.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048879)

if they get to complete freedom to pirate everything then they've taken it too far the other way

Why? [dklevine.com]

Re:Sounds promising, but... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048889)

Your thinking is old-fashioned, then. The economy may falter a little, then recover, as it discovers new busienss models to survive. And if artists make a little less money, then I guess they'll just have to live with earning as much as other people instead of being guaranteed mansions with swimming pools in Hollywood. *shrug*

Re:Sounds promising, but... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048899)

Would the DMCA have breezed through the congress quite so easily if there were two million votes on the line...?

Re:Sounds promising, but... (3, Insightful)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048963)

but I suspect they'll take it too far.

Politics is all about making deals in the middle of two positions. Most copyright proponents are extremists in their position that copyright should last forever, infringement should have harsh penalties, and that government must monitor everyone to ensure compliance. By taking an extreme position in the other direction, the result of political dealing and wrangling is more likely to be the middle road where you really want to be, than if you take that middle road already from the beginning. In the latter case, the end result will be somewhere in the middle between your middle road, and the current copyright maximalists.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (4, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049011)

There is a balance to be struck between extremism and populism. As party leader (yes, that's me being quoted in the article) I'll have an easier job of convincing sceptical voters and politicians that the current copyright term is too long than convincing them that copyright is unneccesary - and course my own view as a hobby musician is that copyright law is actually a good idea, it's jut the current lobbyist-driven draconian implmentation of it that's the problem. ... and now back to watching the server melt :-)

Re:Sounds promising, but... (4, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049125)

and the economy will falter again.

Copyright (and other IP forms) are functionally equivalent to a form of taxation. It's transfer of money from one sector of the economy to another, and as such it does not affect the strength of the economy outside its comparative efficiency at generating value for the spent resources.

Perhaps you wish to claim that the copyright industries are extremely efficient at generating value for their consumers, much more than the value the consumer would have gotten from the alternate products he would have bought for those funds, but frankly, most breakdowns of where the money goes indicate otherwise. Which would suggest that copyright damages the wealth generation of an economy as a whole.

And of course, compared to a really optimized system of IP creation without monopoly effects and middleman funding, the economic outcome if utterly atrocious.

Re:Sounds promising, but... (2, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049273)

This is the kind of party that exists just to disappear. Like ecological parties were. They need extreme positions. People will vote for them as long as they don't risk being elected. Once they reach 5 millions of voters, other parties will integrate the ideas of these parties into their programs and the pirate party will be able to successfully dissolve.

A big undertaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048653)

A political party that exists solely to adress internet copyrights?

Isn't that a little bit shallow for leading a political movement? I mean what about the important topics?

Re:A big undertaking (4, Insightful)

arethuza (737069) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048737)

You mean like the "make us and our friends rich" basis for the other two parties in the UK?

Re:A big undertaking (3, Insightful)

seifried (12921) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048845)

You mean like making sure we have an environment where business can innovate and thrive (as opposed to suing each other lots), where culture is owned by society and not business (hint: you can't sing "Happy Birthday" in the UK without paying a license fee). You mean like making sure we have some modicum of privacy in our lives? Yeah, pretty shallow stuff.

Parent post is wrong (0, Redundant)

fantomas (94850) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049101)

"you can't sing "Happy Birthday" in the UK without paying a license fee"

I was at my nieces' birthday party the other day and we sang happy birthday to them and nobody asked us for a licence fee. Parent poster is wrong.

Yes, I believe technically the parent poster may be right that the song is still under copyright and payment should be made for public performance but thankfully the UK isn't the USA (yet!) and so we don't have lawyers suing us for breathing. A judge would laugh you out of the court.

You guys in the USA have brought a lot of good ideas into the world but exchanging common sense for lawyers is not one of them.

Re:A big undertaking (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049131)

(hint: you can't sing "Happy Birthday" in the UK without paying a license fee)

Hint: your information is false. I suspect you mean you cannot sing "Happy Birthday" as a public performance without paying royalties. Perhaps a concern, but nothing like what you suggest.

Re:A big undertaking (0)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048999)

Yea like how if I pay more in taxes some how that makes the fact I refuse to recycle ok..

Or the big question, How do I get out of debt? Spend more!

or perhaps, Now that I have been found to be skimming from the public cash box how do I pay to get my moat cleaned?

piraeparty.ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048685)

Pirate Party of Canada [pirateparty.ca] is getting started.

Re:piraeparty.ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048991)

Canadian pirates tend to say "bbbbrrrrrrrr" rather than "aaarrrrrrrr"

ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048687)

The UK political scene is completely stagnant, and will remain so regardless of any new political parties. Having taken public choice theory as license to be as corrupt as they like, politicians have given up any pretense of public service and now do what they are told for money. Simple as that. Because this same money controls the public discourse through the media, nobody who doesn't play this game has a chance.

The system is set up to resist any change to the social order. Class mobility has collapsed, wages are down and unemployment is up. Life is increasingly wretched for the poorest whilst being increasingly comfortable for millionaires in the City. Minor political parties are not going to change any of this.

Change will not come to the UK through elections, protests or revolutions. It will come through stagnation and then collapse

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048729)

The UK political scene is completely stagnant, and will remain so regardless of any new political parties.

Yes, it'll remain so until people are willing to change it and if your "well I might but it's futile" attitude is anything to go by then you're right that nothing's going to change. How about "I WILL but I need others to as well".

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048821)

I do not own a TV station or a newspaper, so no matter how I express myself, I simply cannot reach enough people. Its a waste of my energys to engage in something so futile.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049019)

I do not own a TV station or a newspaper, so no matter how I express myself, I simply cannot reach enough people. Its a waste of my energys to engage in something so futile.

What you need is a counter to let you know how many people read your post, and therefore how wrong you are. How irrationally pessimistic have you become that you post on the internet a comment that you can not reach enough people with a message?

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (1, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049031)

Its the fucking Internet. Specifically, its fucking Slashdot. Who the hell cares what I write here or on any other forum? I certainly don't have any delusions, I just like to be able to put my anger into words sometimes, purely for the sake of doing so.

The cultural discourse is still dominated by big media. There may be debate on the Internet, but its framed and stuffed with catchphrases by traditional media, and is done so in order to further the interests of traditional media and, more to the point, the money behind it.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048743)

Change will not come to the UK through elections, protests or revolutions. It will come through stagnation and then collapse

What kind of poison did you think the glass was half empty of?

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048925)

Perhaps downsize the glass with a hammer.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (1)

arethuza (737069) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049193)

Don't you mean "rightsize to the economically efficent market-driven capacity?" Can I have my bonus now?

Re:I might vote for them, but it is futile (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048753)

Power outages might help (Economist Aug 8, 2009, page 49). Britain's projected capacity will fall below projected peak demand sometime in 2015, nothing like turning off people's TV's and kettles to make them uppity.

Re:I might vote for them, but it is futile (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048787)

If you think the UK's power distribution and generation infrastructure is bad, you should see America's.

Re:I might vote for them, but it is futile (2, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048841)

Indeed. The City still hasn't figured out you can't generate electricity with smugness.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (2, Informative)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048811)

God bless them for trying though, I seem to recall it was the younger voters that helped sweep TB to power. However, in the next election I guess all the pensionless pensioners will be out with their voting knives so the younger vote won't mean as much. Bad timing - although as we're clutching at straws if you get Stephen Fry, Bill Thompson and the other greying-techno leaders talking about it (regardless of their actual support position) the party might just creep into the national conciousness.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048967)

They'll be arrested with those voting knives before reaching the polling station, though, so we'll be OK!

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (1, Troll)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048863)

Hey, I recently started reading this really great newspaper for people that think like you and me. It tells the truth about what's going on out there, and it's called the Daily Mail.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (2, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048935)

You read that and placed me as a daily mail reader? What the fuck?

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048985)

The UK political scene is completely stagnant, because I don't ever Write To My MP [writetothem.com] , register to vote [aboutmyvote.co.uk] , or vocally support worthy causes [no2id.net] . I just sit on my arse reading the Daily Heil [wikia.com] and moaning about life.

There, fixed it for ya'.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (2, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049167)

(Firstly, this post was direct at me and I don't consider it flambait, so I can't see why moderators do)

No, I don't write to my MP, because unless the envelope is stuffed full of £50 notes they will ignore me (or, at the very most, send me a letter full of promises and platitudes so they don't lose my vote, and then ignore me)

I am registered to vote, but I consider it largely a futile ritual. My vote has never had any chance of changing the balance of power because I've always lived in safe seats.

no2id is a worthy cause but a hopeless one. The interests which run government require that government exercise control and therefore no2id is running up against money and will fail.

I don't know where you get the idea I'm a Mail reader from. Completely the opposite in fact.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049297)

Jesus christ man why do you even bother getting out of bed in the morning?

Don't you understand that it's people with your attitude that maintain the status quo? Yes, if you individually write to your MP he probably will ignore you. If 500 people from your constituency write to the same MP he will very much take notice precisely because he doesn't want to lose your votes. The system is there, people just don't bother to use it!

What newspaper you read is beside the point, it's the level of apathy on display that I find appalling.

Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (2, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049059)

There is another method for change. The major parties instinctively chase votes, so it's possible to get them to alter course by showing them that there are votes to be gained by changing what are (to them) a few minor policies in obscure areas. You didn't really think their focus on environmental issues would have happened naturally without the spectre of a successful green party in the wings do you?

I think the 'endgame' for the Pirate Party UK will be to see the reforms we want enacted not because we stand a chance of winning, but because the party in power is willing to pass them in order to make us go away, which is one very good reason for us having a small manifesto that concentrates on a few areas that are important to us.

Arr! (5, Funny)

mach1980 (1114097) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048689)

First things first. Top priority for the pirate party should be to make speak-like-a-pirate-day a national holiday.

Re:Arr! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048959)

And anyone named Arnold would be addressed as "Arr."

So, about that DMCA... (5, Informative)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048701)

This is great. When do we get one of these in the US?

Re:So, about that DMCA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048807)

Soon as we get a parliament.

Re:So, about that DMCA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048809)

You dont.

Remember, you're that "special" democracy, in which there can only be two parties...

Re:So, about that DMCA... (1)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049089)

...don't even remind me. I'll save the rant for another day, but it pretty much goes down that there's no common party for the average man in the US. Hell, there's not even a party for the average consumer. If you can't afford to line your pockets with platinum, there's no party for you at all.

Re:So, about that DMCA... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048855)

http://www.pirate-party.us

Re:So, about that DMCA... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049027)

Well, the Democratic Party is essentially the Ass-Pirate Party. Is that close enough?

Raising awareness works - example Germany (5, Informative)

Fusselwurm (1033286) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048723)

from TFA:

'What we really want to do is raise awareness, so that the other parties say 'bloody hell, they've got seven million votes this time out', or one million votes, or enough votes to make them care and seriously think about these issues.'"

In Germany, a recent poll [handelsblatt.com] showed a 2% support rate for the pirate party (Piratenpartei).

And lo and behold! Suddenly, politicians of other parties are discovering their love for the pirates' topics [heise.de] ...

(links in German, and I'm too much a of a lazy ass to translate)

Re:Raising awareness works - example Germany (2, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048903)

It's worth pointing our that I mentioned 'seven million votes' in the context of government figures showing that there are seven million filesharers in the UK, it does make me seem wildly optimistic if it's taken out of context.

Futile! (4, Insightful)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048795)

The UK has a two party system, just like the USA. For this reason, new parties, almost make no chance to get any political power. This is due to the district system, in which it is not true that all votes are equal. Because you need to gain majority in a sector to get someone in the parlement. People are not inclined to vote on a small party if it is almost sure that they will not get any significant representation in the parlement.

If such a party would be established here in the Netherlands, it might make a better chance of getting at least a few representatives in the parlement because we do not have a district system and each vote has the same weight.

Maybe the should also include the abolishment of the district system as a part of their program.

Re:Futile! (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048859)

They can still make a difference, especially in a 2-party system.

Yes, the two major parties will not fear losing to them. But they might fear losing enough votes to the pirates so that the other major party prevails. Once the pirate party gets a considerable number of voters, the other parties will take up their ideas, in order to win back those voters.

Re:Futile! (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048993)

Its not a two party system! The liberal democrats are a vital counterbalancing force with real electoral prospects!

LOL

SNP are in charge in Scotland.... (2, Interesting)

fantomas (94850) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049139)

Agreed that most of the power in *England* is in a two party system but in Scotland and Wales the devolved system means that other parties get a good shout, and have some power as a result. The SNP runs the Scottish parliament for example. There are signficant local difference between English and Scottish legal situations and the SNP / Labour divide on political issues means that people in England and Scotland can be in quite different situations (e.g. healthcare).

Re:Futile! (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049261)

Nonesense! Depending on your point of view we have either 1 or 2.5 parties.

Got my vote - maybe (4, Insightful)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048797)

All the other parties are useless anyway:

Labour (Sorry, New Labour) is just a conservative in sheeps clothing, spend too much on public services that then go cut those services...ABC Bin collection in point, my bin is emptied every 2 weeks...My babies nappies and the flies are horrendous
Conservative are just out to enrich their own pockets (well, so are labour TBH) and make rich people richer and support companies.
Liberal Democrats have some really odd policies and I don't believe they have the strength to be a valid ruling party.
UKIP/NBP etc - racist, facist bigots that I would rather fight than have these people in power.
The rest (Pirate party included) - Too small to make a difference.

At least the Pirate party has a policy that I AM interested in...

Having said all that, I don't believe that people should have a free reign of music, games and other works of art...Companies will just stop producing...However, I believe that I should be able to copy, transform and move between devices that I own for my or my familys consumption...Soon they will require a purchase for each member of the family that will watch a DVD because in fact you ARE broadcasting to the rest of your family...

Patents, copyright and trademarking all need an overhaul...If that's what the pirate party are suggesting, or at least make one of the major parties take note, then I will look at voting for them...

Re:Got my vote - maybe (2, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048911)

UKIP are not racists and to say so is pure idiocy. Please go and educate yourself on them first, instead of listening to the UK mainstream media's bullshit.

Re:Got my vote - maybe (3, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049007)

So what if companies don't output any more shitty movies, music, and games? Society will not collapse. There will still be content produced, but on a much smaller scale. We don't need content.

Re:Got my vote - maybe (1)

Simon Rowe (1206316) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049017)

Having said all that, I don't believe that people should have a free reign of music, games and other works of art...Companies will just stop producing...

Companies don't create music, games, art. People do. Companies skim off buckets of money and bribe corrupt politicians to change the law to perpetuate the status quo. There was a time record companies etc. were a necessary element in getting what artists created to the end customer. We don't need them now.

Re:Got my vote - maybe (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049151)

Labour of course came fifth in the South East region at the last election. They were beaten by the Tories, UKIP, Liberal and Greens. Not exactly a two party system there.
UKIP are not racist. They want the UK to pull out of the EU, but are quite happy to be friendly neigbours.

BNP, English Democrats and Vertias are racist parties though.

already working in germany (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048801)

It's already working in germany.

The piratenpartei [piratenpartei.de] there got just approved to be part of national elections, which will take place in about 2 months in 15 states. After the german government had decided on a stupid domain-blocking scheme against (so they say) child porn, the piratenpartei got 0.7% at the european elections a short while ago.

The Spiegel [spiegel.de] (an important german weakly) and other media are reporting about the issue and discussion about regulation of the net is starting in the mainstream media and also within the various parties, forcing the parties to develop a clear position on things before election.

Up until recently the issue was not taken seriously by the german parties and security freaks like Wolfgang Schaeuble were allowed to install more and more legislation to control and observe citizens more closely and broadly (his party is actually using the following slogan in it's election campaign: "we're strong enough for both freedom _and_ security", which is of course bullshit, as we all know (Jefferson anyone)).

So yes, what the UK Pirate Party is trying to do is very much viable and makes sense. It'll raise awareness of the political cast to a problem unsolved and to the fact that people will not let their freedom be taken away so easily.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29048869)

Mod parent up

Parochial Slashdot banner graphic? (3, Insightful)

ratbag (65209) | more than 5 years ago | (#29048871)

Does "politics" == "American politics" as far as Slashdot is concerned?

Rob.

Re:Parochial Slashdot banner graphic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049037)

Does "politics" == "American politics" as far as Slashdot is concerned?

I fear it's closer to the reality of the situation than most of those outside the US would like to admit.

Back on topic. I've recently been voting green because they're the only party with reasonable policies on copyright and patents. Perversely, the areas where I (and some of my friends) don't really agree with the Greens policies are on environmental issues. A party that's going to take a stand against the erosion of our privacy and against monied interests (those who believe that everything on earth should be under private ownership) is going to win votes. Even if the pirate party concentrate on copyright and patents, they still come closer than other parties to tackling the major underlying issues.

Re:Parochial Slashdot banner graphic? (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049097)

Well to be fair, we are fighting a very American copyright law over here!

Re:Parochial Slashdot banner graphic? (1)

ratbag (65209) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049163)

Indeed. Our student residential networks guys spend all their time dealing with letters from American lawyers.

Single Issue Parties Get Nowhere (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049065)

It sounds like the bunch are yet another single issue party. Single issue parties get nowhere.

Sure, vote for them if you think that file sharing is the most single important issue facing modern society. Come the next elections I'm sure it will be depressing to see just how think it is. It'll be another in sorry indicator of just how detached people have become from real politics.

Personally I prefer my vote to go to a political party with a more rounded manifesto.

Re:Single Issue Parties Get Nowhere (2, Interesting)

KanjiMonster (1016616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049143)

It sounds like the bunch are yet another single issue party. Single issue parties get nowhere.

Actually that's not quite true. While many single issue parties vanish as fast as they came, the greens here in Germany started as a single issue party, and now get over 10% in elections. OTOH, they aren't a single issue party anymore.
But I believe it will be the same with the pirate party. Limiting themself to their "core competencies" at first, then with gaining experts for other areas slowly expanding to these areas.

Re:Single Issue Parties Get Nowhere (1)

Koookiemonster (1099467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049281)

It sounds like the bunch are yet another single issue party. Single issue parties get nowhere.

...except maybe the European parliament? [torrentfreak.com]

Official Website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049119)

http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/ Worth checking out the official website if you're interested in the topic.

Daft plonkers (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29049147)

They'll just steal votes from the Liberal Democrat party, which is (shock!) actually both pro Liberty and pro Democracy. It's also not a major threat at the national level to the two sock puppets of right wing corporate interests ("Labour" and "Conservative"), and having its vote watered down even further will just empower both of them to get on with making everything either mandatory or prohibited.

crypto in the uk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29049307)

just would like to point out on the encryption issue in the uk. two people are facing up to five years behind bars for refusing to surrender their encryption keys/password.

one in the uk could face up to two years in jail for simply being under investigation and refusing to hand over your crypto keys, five years if under investigation for terrorism. forget that there was an actual crime.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/11/ripa_iii_figures/

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