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Pirate Party UK Looks Forward To 2012

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the gentrification-or-just-savvy dept.

Government 116

Ajehals writes "The UK Pirate Party New Years message suggests a new sense of direction for the party, with a focus on policy and politics beyond what was seen as the party's norm, single issue position of copyright reform. Hoping to learn from and emulate the German Pirate Party's success in Berlin, Partly Leader Loz Kay is looking back over 2011 and to the future." I'm a slow learner; the Pirate Party for years struck me as mostly whimsical. If you live in a country with an active Pirate Party, what do you think of its impact? (According to Wikipedia, there are now PP organizations in at least 40 countries.)

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True (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620006)

Things only get better for the Pirate Parties all over the world. Technology evolves a lot faster than the means to control information.

Getting more laws to control society is wrong, but I guess the Americans and other SOPA adopters will find that out the hard way.

maybe not... (2, Informative)

Kristian T. (3958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620540)

Judging from the praise given to walled garden environments, like Apples app-store, I not so sure we can depend on technology to automatically free us from monitoring and control, by either government or big corp. However, such a fringe openion will never stand a chance in the 2 party systems of the US and UK. Even in the multiparty systems of continental Europe, the PP will struggle at elections, if it does not adopt some policy on mainstream subjects like employment and healthcare. Of course those passionate about the civic liberty agenda, will struggle to find agreement on the mainstream topics. (pardon my typos, I'm writing on an iPad. Can't wait to get back to my model M)

Re:maybe not... (5, Informative)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620572)

However, such a fringe openion will never stand a chance in the 2 party systems of the US and UK.

There are 3 main parties in the UK (not 2, although two are larger than the other one). There are also a number of smaller parties that do get a few seats at elections, particularly for Wales and Scotland. That doesn't mean it is easy for a smaller party to get a seat, however.

Re:maybe not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620684)

Er, the SNP are the majority party in the Scottish Parliament and was elected by a proportional representation system that was designed to produce coalition governments. In Wales, Plaid Cymru was in coalition with Labour. These two parties don't do well in Westminster elections for the simple reason that Westminster is seen as an English parliament and most Scots and Welsh do not think it is right for Scottish MP's to vote on English matters when English MP's can't vote on Scottish or Welsh matters. Northern Ireland has a completely different political system where Labour and the Tories do not stand MP's.

The reality is that in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Westminster is becoming irrelevant as the devolved parliaments are getting increased powers and influence.

Re:maybe not... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620730)

Getting a seat in Westminster is very hard, because every constituency uses a first-past-the-post system. The smaller parties tend to do a lot better in the devolved assemblies and the EU parliament because those all use some form of PR (secondary party lists, multi-candidate constituencies, and so on). Getting a seat in Westminister requires getting 20-30% of the population in a single constituency to agree with you. This is especially hard since you have to compete with a large segment of the population who votes for X because they've always voted for X (in some cases, because their parents voted for X) without really bothering to know what X stands for.

All the good politicians go to London (1)

Master Of Ninja (521917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621726)

Certainly the devolved parliaments have a different election system than Westminister allowing smaller parties to get in, plus there is a tendency to more local politics there. However it is not helped by the fact that if you are ambitious or want to make a serious change it seems you go to Westminister, whereas there seems to be a lot of ineffectiveness in the devolved governments. The UK wide political parties inability to do well in the Scottish elections seems to be the fact that the candidates really aren't the cream of the crop and have quite poor policy platforms to stand on.

Pirate Party Antartica Looks Forward to Breakfast (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620020)

In a shocking turn of events, the leader of the Antartic upstart decides that the standard fare of oatmeal to be dull and uninspired, instead declaring that this year, eggs and bacon should grace the tables of their supporters. Guy Smiley agrees with this new direction whole-heartedly, and predicts a year where people will finally see a champion of change emerge for what are arguably the most important issues facing our planet.

Re:Pirate Party Antartica Looks Forward to Breakfa (2)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620838)

In a shocking turn of events, the leader of the Antartic upstart decides that the standard fare of oatmeal to be dull and uninspired, instead declaring that this year, eggs and bacon should grace the tables of their supporters. Guy Smiley agrees with this new direction whole-heartedly, and predicts a year where people will finally see a champion of change emerge for what are arguably the most important issues facing our planet.

I'm guessing you were aiming for the high moral ground but just wound up sounding like a dick.

Confused? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620044)

They can be forgiven for failing to notice 2012 has already started, since they're still mentally in the late 90s.

Re:Confused? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620094)

You're totally right. They're still talking about freedom when they should be talking about terrorism.

Re:Confused? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620146)

Did you just crawl out of a rock?. Terrorism is the new Freedom. It has been for ten years. What do you think bringing Freedom to Iraq and Afghanistan was all about?

Re:Confused? (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620150)

You can be forgiven for your false accusation, because understanding a two sentence summary could be a lot to ask of an AC. Especially one who fancies himself a psychoanalyst of overseas strangers whilst being undecided on his own mental state.

FWIW, I'd say yes, you appear to be confused.

Re:Confused? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621468)

> FWIW, I'd say yes, you appear to be confused.

Unfortunately, you can't (freely) administer one of the standard medical tests for that [slashdot.org] (or even the newest competing test [nejm.org] ) --- all because of the influence of copyright law. Perhaps, yes, this is the age of where the Pirate Parties' platforms progressively produce politically pleasing positions.

Whats in a name? (5, Insightful)

Spottywot (1910658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620048)

I was very impressed with the German Pirate Parties success last year, but if the UK PP wants to emulate it then it needs to be more vocal, and on a wider range of topics. If they don't they'll never get the attention of anyone who isn't already passionate about copyright abuses, or the attention of any part of the UK electorate that automatically dismiss the party because of the fact they have Pirate in thier name.

Re:Whats in a name? (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620296)

If they do that then they're no longer the Pirate Party, they're just another crap political party doing crap stuff and making crap deals to stay in power. They'll become what they despise.

Re:Whats in a name? (4, Insightful)

Spottywot (1910658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620342)

If they do that then they're no longer the Pirate Party, they're just another crap political party doing crap stuff and making crap deals to stay in power. They'll become what they despise.

Taking an interest in important issues other than copyright makes them crap and corrupt instantly? Wow.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620648)

It will sure divide their voterbase. It would also ruin the internationality of Pirate Parties if they weren't just defenders of internet freedoms but started to mess with national politics.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620720)

If the pirate parties are insignificant nationally, they'll also be insignificant internationally. Their internationality wont get them any say in either national or international politics. They have to get stable power in their own nations to make a change.

> It will sure divide their voterbase.

To make a change, you have to get big. A united voterbase wont help them to get there if it is not big enough.

> if they weren't just defenders of internet freedoms

They are not internet freedom defenders per se, they are rather pushing transparency and direct democracy. The focus on internet freedoms only results from their members voting so. But they cant vote for internet fredoms all the time, over and over again, once they agreed on internet freedoms they have to discuss and agree on other topics. Give them enough time and they'll cover everything, simply because theres nothing else for them to do.

Re:Whats in a name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38623196)

To make a change, you have to get big. A united voterbase wont help them to get there if it is not big enough.

Yeah, they need a christian right, some economic conservatives, some libertarians and some statists. That way they can sweep up the entire electorate and be completely ineffectual due to a stupid and contradictory platform.

Politics sucks, if you could get 10 or more parties into power at the same time then selecting single issue parties wouldn't be a problem. In fact, the results would probably be massively better since you could have experts who only vote on issues they actually know about and abstain from votes on things they don't (see SOPA for an example of the complete 100% opposite in action).

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

gwolf (26339) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624194)

The Pirate Party's agenda is clear: Their main aim is to work against the IP nonsense. The name clearly says that's the main policy they are pushing to change. No, I would not say that just "taking interest" in other issues makes them crap and corrupt (as legislators, they'd have to take a stand on different issues and vote on all kinds of topics), but it would dillute their strong standing.
I live in Mexico. Formally, there is a national Pirate Party organization - AFAICT, it's just a couple of enthusiasts, but they are not formally registered with the authorities or hold any political activities. I don't know how their campaign is carried out in European countries where they _do_ have representation, but I'd be very surprised if they had other points in their agenda. That means, "we will participate in the debates, and should hear and reflect our voters' opinions on other topics, but they are not central for us".
I hope they keep it that way.

Re:Whats in a name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620466)

I'd be all in favour of the Pirate Party to let their representatives vote as they please on issues that do not touch the main topics of the party. But here in Germany, the lack of a "proper programme" and the uncertainty of how the party would vote on other aspects than copyright issues has been one of the big stumbling blocks for the party (that democracy itself might be an issue does not even occur to the people here). The "Pirates" are seen as the ones who "don't have the answers". It's not that other parties would *have* "the answers" (as you see from Merkels course in the past year), but, regrettably, it is important to claim to have them!

Re:Whats in a name? (4, Interesting)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620522)

I'd be all in favour of the Pirate Party to let their representatives vote as they please on issues that do not touch the main topics of the party. But here in Germany, the lack of a "proper programme" and the uncertainty of how the party would vote on other aspects than copyright issues has been one of the big stumbling blocks for the party (that democracy itself might be an issue does not even occur to the people here). The "Pirates" are seen as the ones who "don't have the answers". It's not that other parties would *have* "the answers" (as you see from Merkels course in the past year), but, regrettably, it is important to claim to have them!

The Pirate Party in the UK is currently in the middle of a large policy consultation process where they have asked the wider UK population about issue that are important to them, in order to investigate an expanded base of policies (ones that are both suggested by people and voted on my members, as opposed to just made up to win favours)

In the last elections they were also emphasising the lack of a Party Whip [1], which meant their representatives would be free to actually represent their constituents, and vote how they feel they should.

[1] In UK politics, some parties have something called a Whip [wikipedia.org] which enforces members of a party to vote a certain way (according to the "party line"), even if they otherwise wouldn't.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620606)

They have that in the US too, both parties have a whip in both the senate and the house. It's considered the #2 leadership position within the party for that body (#1 being the majority or minority leader, depending on who has more members).

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621040)

The Pirate Party in the UK is currently in the middle of a large policy consultation process where they have asked the wider UK population about issue that are important to them, in order to investigate an expanded base of policies (ones that are both suggested by people and voted on my members, as opposed to just made up to win favours)

I'm afraid you have already failed. The moment you start spewing spin-doctored low grade management speak instead of just talking like a normal human being you are of no further interest to your core vote.

The Greens know how to do it, but even then it has taken decades to get a single MP. They are doing okay in Europe and locally though. The problem with national elections is that people mainly vote based on who they want to form the government, which means one of the two main parties. Either that or they vote tactically to keep out the people they don't like, but either way if you are not Labour or Tory you have little chance at the national level.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

Nimatek (1836530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621048)

Excuse me? Lack of a proper program? How about this: http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Parteiprogramm [piratenpartei.de] This is in fact the PP's official stance on many issues beyond internet and copyright. It has been worked out and voted on in the process of many party congresses.

Re:Whats in a name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620514)

That's missing the point. The German Pirate Party often says that they're more of an operating system than a traditional party. Their party program is made up of issues of which their members support with a 2/3 majority. In their recent Parteitag (party day), they had about a thousand members (those able to travel for it) sitting in a room with each having a minute to speak about the issue relating to them. Also, members have access to a system called Liquid Feedback, which lets members see all the issues that the party is currently dealing with and to express their opinion and then vote on their issues, which their representatives in parliament would then use as a basis for their vote. If you want more details about the other issues of the Pirate Party, I'd highly recommend looking at The Pirate Wheel: http://falkvinge.net/pirate-wheel/

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620742)

Not really. For example, in the last election I complained about the fact that the Pirate Party didn't, for example, propose that the BBC would be required to open its archives decades of taxpayer-funded shows for free download and require any future taxpayer-funded creative works to be released under a license at least allowing free redistribution within the UK. After the election, it turned out that this was one of their policies. But, even though I'm probably well in their target demographic, I had no idea.

While I agree with a lot of what they say, they are absolutely terrible at communicating their policies with the electorate.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624604)

The issue that the party has is that it's small, has a limited number of activists and was scrambling somewhat in terms of political direction and understanding the process up until a few months ago. The way the party has been fixing that is by sorting the admin (new leadership team came in and fixed it..), getting some structure in place (candidate selection, policy process, even thins like web infrastrucutre and dev..) and building the people who can talk to the press to do so. The party didn't have a press office 6 months ago (it had a collection of people who would issue press releases ad hoc) it didn't have a central phone number, a development web server, amongst other things... There are massively more things that the party wants to do regionally, nationally and locally, but it will take us time with the members we have now, we could do more with more active members and supporters... One of the problems I see in the UK is that many people discussing politics, especially those sympathetic to the Pirate Party, are only interested in fully formed parties that can 'win' immediately, whereas realistically it takes time to build an organisation and have an impact (if you can even do it...).

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

I_Voter (987579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38622814)

DNS-and-BIND wrote: If they do that (support multiple issues) then they're no longer the Pirate Party,

Actually that is a good tactic. Most nations, other than the U.S., allow private member-based political party organizations to have control of the politicians that want to run under the parties ballot label. This allows enforceable party platforms.

Copyright issues may not be the primary issue for a large number of voters, although they may be friendly or a least neutral. These voters can be encouraged to vote for the Pirate party by including other issues in the Party platform, and promising to enforce this platform on the parties elected politicians.

Background for U.S. citizens What is a Political Party? [tripod.com]

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624730)

The problem really is two edged. If the party doesn't approach other issues, the ones everyone feels is important, no-one would vote for the party. This is the largest criticism the party see's, 'how can we vote for you, even if we support your ideas on copyright, civil liberties etc.. if you don't have any policies on education/health/the economy'. So it's time to see if we can find policies that makes sense given the ideals and principles that inform our positions on copyright. Our candidates have theoretically had their own platforms in previous elections (with mixed success) but they haven't been well communicated or terribly well formed in all cases, broadening where there is consensus will help with this, more to the point, candidates can still do what they want to do in terms of policy, as long as they are clear to the party and the public, what they are standing on.

Re:Whats in a name? (3, Insightful)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620320)

No PP stands a chance under a FPP system, they would just split the Lib-Dem (or whatever the closest politically is) voters. Its bey

Germany has a proportional system* that gives their PP a chance. Winning close to a majority of the population (of a region) for a seat is hard when less than half have any understanding of the issue.

  *i assume it was for that election

Re:Whats in a name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620436)

They'll have a chance in scotland, we have a mixture of FPP and Proportional Representation. FPP for local, RP for regional. They were certainly top of my list in the last Scottish election

UK is first past the post electoral system (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620476)

The Pirate Party is totally irrelevant.

Re:UK is first past the post electoral system (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620610)

The Pirate Party is totally irrelevant.

Why?

Re:UK is first past the post electoral system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620738)

Yes, it's just a modern equivalent of a "legalise cannabis party" of the sort that have been hanging around the political fringes ever since 1970 with negligible success.

If you really want to legalise file sharing... ah, sorry, I mean "fight against copyright abuse"... then you are better off joining a pressure group such as the Open Rights Group which shares your agenda, but does not make a fuss about it, and pretends to only be interested in fighting for consumer rights.

That is how change is actually achieved in a democracy. You can't say what you want and run for election! Instead you let some other chumps run for election, doesn't matter who, and then you put pressure on them to do what you want.

Re:UK is first past the post electoral system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38621272)

The Pirate Party is totally irrelevant.

That is an odd statement since they already are a political force. They do not have voting power but they still have the ability to shape the politics of those in power by being a visible group of people with a political opinion.
Since your statement is so obviously false I suggest that you clarify what you mean.
If you mean that the Pirate Party is irrelevant since the earth will be incinerated by the sun in about a billion years then yes, but otherwise they are pretty darn relevant.

Re:UK is first past the post electoral system (1)

Rhodri Mawr (862554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621990)

The Pirate Party is totally irrelevant here in the UK. I live in Worcester; their leader stood here at the last General election and he lost his deposit. He gained under 100 votes. There were joke candidates standing for charitable or mental health reasons who garnered more votes than him. They are not a visible group, did not and do not have voting power and are considered a joke by those in power, so they do not, as you wrongly claim, have the ability to shape the politics of those in power.

Re:UK is first past the post electoral system (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624928)

People seem to expect parties, groups and movements to come out of nowhere and storm to the top, in the UK that simply isn't doable, it takes time and effort. In 2010 the best result in the national election was 0.6% in Gorton, Manchester (with a candidate who had a manifesto and people knocking on doors..), in the local elections in Bury the party managed 3.6% of the vote - obviously a smaller area and different issues, but again, with people out talking to residents and putting forward positions. It's a progression, it won't go on forever, it may fail but it's worth doing. As to political power, the party has very little, where it has any influence at all it is through those people that have managed to raise their own profiles and end up on TV and radio presenting the other side, the party position. That helps a bit, but it certainly isn't the end game. The party needs to raise awareness of the issues it thinks are important and either threaten other partys in marginal seats/wards or find other ways of having other partys take similar positions to them. At present there isn't another party in the UK with similar positions on copyright reform, in fact I can't think of one that is going in the same direction...

Re:Whats in a name? (5, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620486)

Unfortunately a British Pirate Party is unlikely to ever do as well as their counterparts in Germany. Not due to British political attitudes, but due to our electoral system. With our FPTP system, they will be unable to elect any MPs to parliament unless they can get several dozen thousand votes in a single constituency (average of about 70,000 voters per constituency). They need to be number 1 in a race already crammed with popular mainstream parties.

More hope for MEPs (which are elected more proportionally), but then MEPs aren't exactly influential...

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620626)

With our FPTP system, they will be unable to elect any MPs to parliament unless they can get several dozen thousand votes in a single constituency (average of about 70,000 voters per constituency). They need to be number 1 in a race already crammed with popular mainstream parties.

In my current constituency, the winner won with less than 35% of the vote, with under 15,000 votes, so it may be possible to make an impact in hotly contested areas. Maybe not straight away, but even taking votes away from the larger parties will start to get some notice.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620792)

In my current constituency, the winner won with less than 35% of the vote, with under 15,000 votes, so it may be possible to make an impact in hotly contested areas. Maybe not straight away, but even taking votes away from the larger parties will start to get some notice.

Meanwhile they are taking votes from the party that is closest to their political views (i'm guessing its Lib-Dem*) hurting their (the PP's) cause.

Re:Whats in a name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38621190)

Lib Dem & PPUK voters probably overlap, but the two parties do not intersect. If anything the Greens are the closest politically to the Pirate Party UK, but personally I wont vote for the Greens due to their anti-nuclear power policies.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38622512)

the libdems are on the way out the condem collation will kill their traditional vote at the next election - the hard liberals IE traditional 18th century liberals and not American liberals) will get a safe seat or get bunged into the lords as a thank you.

Re:Whats in a name? (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620488)

The German Pirates *are* trying to broaden their base by establishing their standpoint on other issues. They were amazed by how much of the vote they got in that Berlin election, amazed and unprepared.

The way things work in Germany is that parties put up a list of candidates, and the voters do their thing. There are two different ways of handling this:

  • you get (say) 30 votes and can give candidates a maximum of three. A candidates' position on the list is determined by the number of votes they got as an individual. A voter can also just specify a party instead and then the top 10 candidates on the original list get the 3 votes each. Hell you can even mix things, give some to individuals and the rest to a party.
  • You vote for a party, the candidates' position on their list is then all-important.

Whichever system is used, the top n candidates have then been elected. If an elected candidate dies, resigns, is convicted of a felony or whatever, the next candidate on the list is promoted in their place.

With the Pirates in Berlin, I think every single candidate on their list made the cut. Some of them were just making up the numbers and were not particularly happy. That issue is taking up some of the party's energy.

That should pretty much be a one-off thing. Candidates now know they run a risk of being voted in, increased public scrutiny led to one potential candidate in another area being identified as a member of a far-right organisation. I am expecting the other parties to start trying to defuse the anger by taking up the Pirates' issues themselves. That is what I'd like to see now. I have some lawyers for a porn producer after me claiming I was file-sharing one of their 'products'. The previous CDU+SPD coalition introduced a law where there is absolutely no burden of proof - if they say its so then it must be true, nice people like that would not lie.

AVT+ voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620070)

Did the tory's keep their promise to the liberals to put into place avt+ voting which would make a third party possible, or did they get sold out like the rest of the UK?

Re:AVT+ voting (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620508)

There was a referendum, which unfortunately the "Yes" campaign lost. They were outspent and outmaneuvered by those in power, who have so much vested interest in keeping the current system.

The main advertising point was "you the voter are too stupid to understand an AV system"- and depressingly, the voters accepted it. Probably says a lot about the level of self belief the population in Britain have these days.

Re:AVT+ voting (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620760)

It wasn't just that. The referendum was not about AV+ (which was the proposed system by the last electoral reform commission and has a lot of advantages), but about pure AV, which has some advantages and some disadvantages. A lot of people voted 'No' meaning 'No, I don't want AV, but I do want a system better than FPTP'. This was exacerbated by the fact that a lot of Labour voters (and campaigners) wanted AV+ so were encouraging people to vote 'No' so that they could get AV+ on the ballot next time (which, of course, didn't happen, because every 'No' vote was interpreted as 'I am completely happy with FPTP and fear change'). If the referendum had been conducted fairly, it would have had options for FPTP, AV, and 'some other electoral system'. Or just FPTP and 'some other system'.

take the libertarian center (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620174)

They should stand their libertarian ground on social issues, but take sensible positions from both left and right on economic issues. No hard right or left idealogical nonsense. Stand up for workers rights yet don't be socialist nutcases. Let the free market do it's thing but not at the expense of human rights and individual liberty.

If corruption is piracy (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620206)

The Conservatives in Canada might qualify. It's been all down hill for everyone but their friends since they took over.

Re:If corruption is piracy (1)

Pompz1 (1940858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620470)

There is an actual Canadian Pirate Party http://www.pirateparty.ca/ [pirateparty.ca] And personally, i think they could make a huge statement in Canadian politics, with enough support.

Re:If corruption is piracy (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620526)

Unfortunately it would just further split the left vote.

We're well on our way to being a two party nation anyways. With the right consolidated it's really only a matter of time before the left decides something drastic needs to happen - especially considering the recent surprise-inversion of the Liberals and NDP.

My question to the party is... (2, Interesting)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620222)

Per their UK manifesto:

Copyright should give artists the first chance to make money from their work, however that needs to be balanced with the rights of society as a whole.

As someone not generally affected by copyright issues, can they explain to me what benefits there are to society of reforming copyright? Tangible, measurable benefits.

Society should be about more than pop music and blockbuster films. Frankly the Pirate Party has to convince me that laws which deter people from sharing such things are actually bad. Perhaps they are actually a positive influence because they nudge people into doing something productive instead of passively consuming. Maybe someone decided to go outside and play football with their kids because they couldn't find a copy of a film to download; in that instance, society benefits.

Do I care that Cliff Richard's recordings won't reach the public domain in my lifetime? Not at all. Society will continue with or without music.

Do I care that public forests and parks are being sold-off? Absolutely, as that directly affects our society.

Re:My question to the party is... (4, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620256)

Copyright reform isn't really about pirating copies of the latest blockbuster film. Frankly, that'll be pretty-much unaffected by any proposed changes to copyright. The real issues lie elsewhere, which is why "pirate party" is a *really* bad name for this group. I really think they ought to agree on a different name that puts the emphasis on the groups of people who *would* benefit from their proposals (mostly, "pirates" wouldn't).

Principally, the benefits are:

1. Consumer rights. Copyright is currently used as a means to enable the media companies to sell the same thing multiple times, because they want to keep getting revenue. But this comes at the expense of inconveniencing the people who legitimately have a right because they've bought it the first time. CDs that can't be ripped to people's preferred playback devices. Broadcast TV that has copy-protection flags that stop recorders working (which isn't advertised ahead of time, and most people just put down to faulty recorders when they fail to work, so people end up missing content they've paid for and have a right to see). Ebooks that can't be read by book-to-voice software because their DRM isn't licensed for it. Films that can't be played on hardware that is technically capable of it because one link in the chain doesn't have an approved encryption key. Lack of ability to view content on open platforms. Libraries that are unable to duplicate digital content for preservation. Legally-protected DRM is a huge pain to many users of content whose use *should* be legal.

2. Artist's rights. It is becoming more and more common for artists to find themselves under legal threat for such issues as "unconscious copying", "stealing ideas" and similar. Yet copying has always been part of how we produce art, and these legal cases threaten to subvert that, holding up the development of new art.

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38621710)

Thanks, that was a tremendously helpful explanation of what this group is actually about.....I agree, they need a different name.

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38623452)

The real issues lie elsewhere, which is why "pirate party" is a *really* bad name for this group. I really think they ought to agree on a different name that puts the emphasis on the groups of people who *would* benefit from their proposals (mostly, "pirates" wouldn't).

Using the name "Pirate" is an attempt to reclaim it from the haters, like "Gay", "Nerd" or "Nigger", although those are often still used as pejoratives. Industry, government and the media happily call them "Pirates", abusing language to their advantage, just like they say "Stealing" instead of copyright violation, implying criminal action instead of civil and per-judging the morality. By calling themselves the Pirate Party the negative implications are directly challenged. Maybe in England they should call themselves the "Robin Hood Party" to confront the accusations of "Stealing".

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620286)

Because often times culture is a much better reflection of history than a textbook could ever be, and needs to be shared so we can not repeat the mistakes of the past by helping make a real connection to the past.

Case in point, Bill Hicks'(RIP) rants on the Iraq war. As someone who was only in elementary school when the first Iraq war happened, I really only had a very elementary grasp on the situation(didn't help that i lived in an arch-Republican school district and we were essentially fed propaganda). Flash forward to late 2002 and the chicken hawks are on the march again, there attempts to silence the opposition was to shout "we support the troops" and basically insinuate that if you are against the war, you want all American soldiers to die. While I one it was insipid bullshit, what I didn't know was that this exact same song and dance had been done before in the build up to the first Gulf war. Then I went back and listened to some Bill Hicks stuff. Despite the fact that he died in 1994 his routines on the Iraq war basically could have applied just as equally(almost word for word really) to the 2003 war. And while we have things like Wikipedia that do a good job conveying the factual information, no academic explanation could really capture the past and how we are repeating it better than a lot of the media from the day.

This is why a strongly enforced but short copyright is best for society. While I don't agree with the whole "free culture" movement in a lot of regards, as someone has got to pay for it at some point, the inability for young people now not to be able to put themselves in the shoes of someone from the past IS detrimental to society.

Also, go watch some Bill Hicks on youtube, he has been dead for almost 17 years now, so I doubt he will miss the royalties.

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620358)

Their copyright and patent stance is also something that is preventing myself from taking them seriously - the market for personal entertainment is absolutely huge, so allowing copying where there is no financial incentive will have a not insignificant impact on the economy. However honourable their position might be, I disagree with it.

Their stance on drug patents is also a bit disconnected - sure, they say they will replace the pharmaceutical industries 15% of R&D investment with 20%, in exchange for removing patents altogether, but this isn't a fair replacement. For a start, the pharmaceutical industry is largely split into those firms who invest and gain the patents, and those firms that produce and supply generics with no investment - regardless of how much R&D funding you give the former, it doesn't stop the revenue being spread further among the industry from the first day of production. The firms doing the R&D will still lose out.

Also, the BBC doesn't own most of its content - its licensed from the production companies, same as other networks. The BBC may commission productions, but they don't pay the full cost in quite a few circumstances. By requiring the BBC to shift those works to Creative Commons you are essentially going to force the BBC to pay more for them in the first place (as the production companies lose ancillary revenue from syndication etc) - who is going to fund that?

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620446)

The pharmaceutical claims that their 15% R&D gives them the right to all of the profits of a medicine and they use the law to sell it at a an inflated price. They even refuse to sell medicines to some countries because they can't afford these prices.

The remaining 85% of the R&D is done by universities who are paid for by public money. It stands to reason that 85% of the profits should go back to the public/state. Furthermore, there is pressure on universities to get external funding. This typically involves getting a share of the 15% from the industry. In turn the industry gets to influence the research done at universities. This is why so many researchers are working on 'luxury' diseases instead of the disease that decimate the third-world, even in universities that should do fundamental research.

Luxury diseases (2)

sita (71217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620644)

is why so many researchers are working on 'luxury' diseases instead of the disease that decimate the third-world, even in universities that should do fundamental research.

While I agree to your general sentiment, I am not convinced about this.

Many, if not most, of the diseases that cause large amount of suffering and deaths in the thrid world, are cureable with known science. That's why we don't have them in the first world. And it is not exactly rocket science either. DDT, mosquito nets and good draining will go a long way against malaria. Good sanitation and clean water (proper toilets!) will reduce the number of deaths in a large number of infectious diseases.

AIDS is a big killer (but interestingly not the biggest), but it does get a lot of attention from first world medical research. There is a problem with how the third world is going to get the benefits of these advances, but it is not fundamentally different from how the third world gets the benefit of advances we do in other areas that could improve their lives (such as water treatment and sanitation). It is a problem being poor, you can't really afford it.

The great news is that the situation is improving big time. (Google Hans Rosling for the full story)

that too is waste (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624386)

I'm not about to get AIDS because somebody in the supermarket coughed 10 feet (3 meters) away from me. Almost nobody gets it from mosquito bites. It isn't spread by shaking hands. I won't get it from tap water. Uh, why are we wasting money on this?

Meanwhile, tuberculosis is becoming extremely resistant to every antibiotic. There are mosquito-borne diseases right here in the USA that will make your brain swell up and bleed. An amoeba can survive tap water chlorination, get up into your nose, and then from there go after your brain. MRSA kills too many people to even think about. There are viruses that seem to cause leukemia and heart disease. The ever-present mouth bacteria attack heart valves. Then, oh yeah, non-contagious stuff like cancer and strokes and heart attacks and...

It's horrid that an almost totally avoidable disease is sucking up research money that could go toward stopping numerous other diseases. Are we alarmed or even offended when some disease puts a crimp on our lifestyle, but unimpressed when one strikes people down randomly? People fear AIDS like they fear plane crashes, nuclear accidents, pedophiles, and terrorist attacks. People fear every other disease like they fear car crashes, coal pollution, muggers, and ordinary murderers.

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620630)

the market for personal entertainment is absolutely huge

Actually it isn't, at least not the part where copying is a defining aspect. The recorded entertainment industry is a dwarf dancing on giants' noses. It's just very visible in the media, naturally, so the perception of its size is very skewed.

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620362)

Go find a list of books and movies that didn't survive to the end of their respective copyright. Not only they won't reach the public domain in your lifetime, they won't reach public domain ever, period. Because there's no copy left to read or view and copy. There's your tangible, measurable benefit.

And to address your claim that art doesn't matter, it does. Art shapes our view of the world. It makes us think about possibilities we wouldn't think about otherwise. Just try to notice how many concepts you think about and use when you speak every day come from books and movies. For example the vast majority of concepts regarding government spying indiscriminately and globally on its citizens comes from George Orwell's book 1984. We understand the dangers involved a little better because Orwell gave us a look at the consequences. What would the world look like today if the whole issue was completely new and unknown to everybody because the book was never written or because all copies were lost shortly after its release?

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620402)

Art matters, but not all art matters. The fact that my high school creative writing assignments are lost to the ages will not affect humanity in the slightest. Keeping things just for the sake of keeping them is a waste. I do want copyright reform that brings the penalties for infringement into the realm of sanity and updates the first sale doctrine for the digital age. But that's more about reducing recent abuses. I think the claims about how much society would improve following copyright reform are overstated. It's good to see the Pirate parties branching out to frankly more important issues.

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620548)

Art matters, but not all art matters. The fact that my high school creative writing assignments are lost to the ages will not affect humanity in the slightest. Keeping things just for the sake of keeping them is a waste.

While this may be true now, it might not be in the future. A large quantity of High School assignments might be immensely useful to a future historian or researcher.

Half a century ago the BBC decided that their copies of early episodes of Doctor Who weren't worth keeping. They have since wished that they had kept them. Hindsight is like that.

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620810)

Not all art matters, but that's not an argument in this case. Copyrights affects most heavily especially the art that does matter. In essence, it gives the power to erase a copyrighted work from existence to a handful of people - the copyright owners. And the worst thing is that to exercise this power, due to the ridiculous length of copyright, the copyright owners literally don't have to move a finger. It takes more effort to save a work of art for future generations than it takes to destroy it before it enters public domain.

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620406)

From a strictly economical point of view:
Way to much time and energy is spent on restricting the usage of culture. It does not make sense to spend money on protecting works for over a hundred years if most of them don't bring in any revenue.

Not being able to reuse once cultural heritage also raises the barrier for new artists to enter the market, especially in the world of electronic music. Most musicians don't have the resources to validate every sample.
Furthermore, the artists that do enter the market will also have to pay for the protection of the old works, as those don't bring in any revenue themselves.
Additionally, the only way of dealing with these restrictions is by joining a music label that takes care of it. Obviously they want a share of the revenue in return, lowering the overall profits of the budding artist.

From a social/cultural point of view:
Once basic economic needs have been met the human spirit longs for social contact. Culture is an important way of sharing thoughts, feelings, knowledge and experiences. Culture lasts only as long as it's being used. Once a book is no longer read or a song no longer sung it will be forgotten. If we are not allowed to keep the culture from our childhood alive, our children will never learn about it and it will be gone by the time our grandchildren get the right to use it.

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620452)

> Not at all. Society will continue with or without music.

Your argument is completely incoherent. If you think that lowly about the importance of music etc. the solution is to just get rid completely of copyright on it, thus removing friction and enforcement efforts that are a major cost to society and (according to you) have no real benefit since the worst it could cause is for there to be much less music.

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620502)

You seem to be under the delusion that making soemthing illegal also makes it disappear. In that case there would be no need for any law enforcement whatsoever. Passing laws that no one really can (or cares to) obey only builds a state in which people can be prosecuted at the whim of the government.

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620668)

Less money is spent on things that doesn't need work better for everyone, don't you think ? Let's say, I give 10 euros for person workin in bar, I give in in part for products made with hard work and part in service and I feel it is ok. I give 10 euros for CD is not exactly the same no matter how professonaly it is made, not after million copies, you are paying more than it is worth and it is no good for society to pay more for things than their worth ? It is exactly same reason why banks that has right to capture 3-10% of all money that passes the banks, why ? It is not good for society to create system that gives money for no effort what so ever. That money that would not go for monopolistic behaviour would go somewhere else, maybe for people actually working ? If you write songs, right place to collect money is in concert, cd:s has has only promotional importance. I buy CD:s as souvenirs and I do not pirate, but I buy them from concerts to atleast trying to give money to one who did the work and here in Catalonia most artists gives their music for free in internet anyways so buying a CD is just bonus ( els amics de les arts or els catarres etc. ).

Re:My question to the party is... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620852)

Society should be about more than pop music and blockbuster films. Frankly the Pirate Party has to convince me that laws which deter people from sharing such things are actually bad. Perhaps they are actually a positive influence because they nudge people into doing something productive instead of passively consuming. Maybe someone decided to go outside and play football with their kids because they couldn't find a copy of a film to download; in that instance, society benefits.

Do I care that Cliff Richard's recordings won't reach the public domain in my lifetime? Not at all. Society will continue with or without music.

Well, music and the arts in general are part of human life. Living for the sake of living is pointless, for a human being. Moreover, pop music is not the only art that is affected by copyright - literature is, as well, as well as all other kind of music (including classical, Jazz, Rock, etc.), visual arts, films and so on. And moreover, copyrights affect the sciences as well. I can't tell you how many times I felt hatred towards the institution of copyrights, when I had to give up copyrights to my scientific work to a cocksucker scientific journal, that will then lock up the scientific work for the next several decades. Fuck that. That's not why I am doing research, to make some fat executive even more rich.

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38621184)

Not sure that you are not trolling. But I am going to answer anyway.

Copyright is bad because it limits the transfer of ideas. Humans strangely take pleasure in singing songs, telling stories and performing acts. .

Since humans get even more happy by singing more, it is wonderful we can learn a song and teach it to our children and sing it together. This is a good thing, a benefit, it would be bad if you can not sing to your children. Wouldn't it?

You may like to live in a world without music, but I think that would be rather sad. On the other hand, I have nothing against a world without _commercial_ music, which indeed could perhaps be achieved by abolishing copyright completely

Copyright limits that ability. It limits society to use creativity by some of its members. Of course, you can still use it, but you need to pay. Since copyrights effectively grants someone a monopoly on the work, it means things become relatively expensive.

But you forget that not only songs are copyrighted. How about movies, about software, how about stories, how about educational books, how about scientific literature?

Software is an interesting example. If all code would be copyrighted for 5 years and source would be made available after that for free, I personally think that such sharing of ideas would stimulate software development hugely, which I bet would benefit society.

Book prices would drop; Classic works would be available for free (see project Gutenberg), allowing people to access such things more easily. I think it would be a benefit for many people to read more books

A very good example for me is scientific literature. Society (i.e. the taxpayer) is currently paying quite a lot of money to make me (a scientist) pay for access to copyrighted works that other scientist have written. A shortening of copyright would certainly benefit my field.

Copyright is just a tradeof to make some few get a monopoly on a work for a limited time to make sure it will get duplicated (and to make sure authors get paid, unfortunately, the last fails often). There is no sensible reason to make copyright extend after the death of the author, nor is there any reason to make it transferable.

If Walt Disney likes to sell cartoons, they could just hire people people who hold copyrights to them.

Artificial scarcity is inefficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38621350)

If I want to know more about statistics, I would have to spend a lot of time making sure I don't waste money purchasing access to the wrong educational material, because if I do, I would be discouraged to learn more about statistics and might lack the money to purchase access to better educational material for some time, and by then my interests may have shifted anyway and I might end up not learning more about statistics.

Should I buy this compact disc, or that one? I don't have enough money to buy both, so spend a lot of time checking reviews and samples and might check prices at various store to get the best deal, perhaps, in fact, there might be a sale at one store or another with prices low enough to buy both. I could also use the time to program free software that automate tasks people have to do manually, wasting labour resources, but I need some music to keep up my spirits.

Some of my free software projects would greatly benefit from computer science research, but the results of that can be accessed only by purchasing access to it on a largely individual basis, and that costs surprisingly much, and it might be best in some cases to purchase access to scientific papers, so again I would have to spend a lot of time playing market participant to make the best decision.

I contribute to Wikipedia, mostly things about the area and the society and their history where I grew up. Say I want to make an article about a local river. There is usually good information on that in books Google has digitized, but Google won't allow me to access the books, and they often are out of print and not available through the libraries I would have access to, so I can't do this, or, again, have to spend a lot of time organizing this.

Somewhere around a third of the cost of a Hollywood movie is marketing costs, to make people watch this movie and not that other movie. With a 33% discount on both movies, maybe you'd go and watch both instead of one or the other?

Why can't I just pay a certain amount and access all generally available books, all music, all films, all TV shows, all research papers, and so on, as I see fit? Well, I would want that most of the money goes to whoever created the better works I access, to discourage bad works and abuse of the system, so we have seven billion people wasting a lot of time all the time on being wise market forces that make the best decisions in redistributing wealth, which they aren't very good at, and they are all the poorer for it, because they only get access to very little of what's out there.

This is not a good system and we need to change it. And we are, we are creating flat rate music subscription services, much as we are creating free server software and free encyclopedias. We do that because it works better, the resources we used to waste on making wise consumption choices are increasingly freed to be used creatively.

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38621396)

"Frankly the Pirate Party has to convince me that laws which deter people from sharing such things are actually bad. "

Things like this are not possible because we can't own source-code to our games. That means software generally speaking can never be fixed and updated and you have to go through all sorts of hoops to create emulators or reverse engineer things to patch the code to get it working.

Why does IP have to be locked down? Right now profits come from controlling IP instead of competing on product quality. Companies compete to "own and control IP" so they can command rents and stop competition within that IP space (think of many companies competing to make the best transformers game or movies instead of having to create artificial market barriers because they have to 'rent' a license from a license holder).

Copyright IS a monopoly, the fact that you LIKE it speaks volumes about how easy it is to get the public (aka you) to believe bullshit pushed by big business over the last 100 years. The public just assumes that the laws are just because it was passed by previous governments before they were born and assume responsible representatives instead of shills and special interests.

Things like the following should occur for EVERY game ever released on the PC but stupid IP laws protect the rights of creators and copyright holders by DENYING OWNERSHIP RIGHTS to buyers of said product (i.e. the public). Note the game has been updated and modified because we could get the source-code for the game. How many other games could get the same treatment if the buyers (purchasers) had ownership rights to the products they PAID FOR? It's all about denying rights to paying customers to modify, repair, update the things they buy because planned obsolescence is the game. They want to control the market and attention of the public so they don't have to compete with hobbyists.

Freespace open trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhAR8rWPluQ

Freespace 2 open
http://scp.indiegames.us/

The copyright 'debate' is one sided. Why doesn't the buying public get an ownership stake in the "IP" after all it is paying for it? I'll tell you why, because language allows these people to con the public into thinking they are poor starving artists and take advantage of human beings (simplified) moral systems and lack of intelligence and ignorance.

Right now software and PC gaming history on the PC is pretty f'd up since you can't get code to old programs or games out-side of what is benevolently released by developers/publishers themselves which is bullshit because THE PUBLIC HAS PAID FOR AND FUNDED THE DEVELOPMENT OF THESE PRODUCTS THROUGH THEIR PURCHASES.

But the public IS DENIED their rights as stewards of culture and society by propagandists by framing the debate about their rights while excluding the customers right to own, modify, update and expand upon the works they purchase.

Re:My question to the party is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38621408)

Do I care that Cliff Richard's recordings won't reach the public domain in my lifetime? Not at all. Society will continue with or without music.

Do you care that people who go to a birthday party somewhere public (e.g. the beach) and sing Happy Birthday might be sued for copyright infringement on a song whose origin is uncertain and whose author almost certainly died before most of the people singing it were born? Because that's how ridiculous the current copyright situation is.

Pirate party France (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620224)

In France the pirate party underwent a ridiculous war between two "factions" for several years. It has been reunited since several years but has been unable so far to present candidates in any major elections.

European countries have different "details" in their election laws that make it easy or hard for small parties to be heard. For instance, in Germany, you receive public funds for your campaign when you reach 0.7% of votes. In France it is 5%.

I think the most important vote for the French PP will be the European elections : this one has a proportional part. There are already , thanks to Sweden, several pirate European MPs and this election has the same rules everywhere. I hope we focus on it.

Re:Pirate party France (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620474)

You're not quite right, it is 0.5 or 1% depending on what kind of election it is.
It also isn't over the whole of Germany but split per sub-state so somewhat regional parties have a better chance of getting this.
But despite all this it should not be forgotten that there are a lot of parties that still don't reach that limit, and even reaching 1% is hard work.

Re:Pirate party France (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624480)

I don't want to undermine the German's PP success that they totally deserve. They are dedicated, organized and coherent. I wish we had the same level of coherency in France. I am just pointing out that even with the same level of dedication, it would be harder to succeed here.

1% is pretty hard, but 5% on a first election is downright impossible.

There's a lot of disinformation / smear campaings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620278)

/ propaganda out there. That's our main problem today. Our agenda is basically all the good of the other parties, plus all the good us people from the 21st century want. In other words: We're you.
Don't believe me? Come meet us.

The established parties seem to have some crazy fearful knee-jerk reaction of what they don't understand, but play it cool on the outside. They don't get things like that we from the PP openly say we are not perfect, that we make errors, that we do not have one global set-in-stone party line but are a living group of real humans, and that we do not give a fuck about "political correctness", because it's just a part of for dishonest sliminess. (That's why we kept the name.)
I found this here to be a very inspiring way of saying that: http://en.gandi.net/no-bullshit

If anything, I suggest NOT to vote for any party that was in control once in the past and fucked up. Because if you vote for them again, despite being fucked over, over and over again, then your lose your right to complain about the situation.
Go ahead and vote for whatever you like, as long as you don't do the same error twice.
If you choose us, and we fail, then at least you did try it. But since we are basically made out of people like you, the likeliness of us having a bigger set of common goals is practically a given.

I know that especially in the US, there is this weird seemingly brainwashed concept that everything other than the two big parties has to be a whimsical joke. And those that are the only ones who stand up for your rights, are left out in the cold and laughed at.
I think the UK is different in this matter.

Renovation process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620284)

It's the only hope we have in democracies. There's a phase in the life of a party in which it has not much to lose. In which fights are carried in the open. In which the corruption machinery of the industrial/financial sector hasn't invested enough to set roots in this party.

It happened in Germany in the seventies/eighties with the Greens and now with tne Pirates.

My fear is that it's just glitches and that the industrial/financial sector will find ways to "fix" that. Once and for all.

Invent party first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620332)

Invent party first, come up with policies (other than their 98% bullshiat 'i want free stuff' core platform) later. Umm, no thanks.

They may get some interest (as they do in germany) from disaffected youths essentially making a protest vote. but other than that, the sense of entitlement that surrounds these pirate parties is staggering in its shamelesness.

Military Secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620376)

Just read their manifesto, they believe in free speech up to military secrets.

Would the Reuters reporter killing and the other wikileaks material come under their definition of 'military secrets'?

If so...screw 'em. Bradley Manning for public office instead.

Legitimate secrets only. (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621202)

duh!

Niche parties happen when two conditions are met: (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620408)

1. There is a significant number of single-issue voters supporting a position
2. None of the more mainstream parties will support that position.

This is a clear case of both of those conditions being met. So long as both are true, a party will exist in one form or another.

It's the same basic process that lets the BNP exist: Plenty of strongly anti-immigration voters, but none of the main parties willing to risk losing the minority votes or being branded as racist by even acknowledging the issue.

dicks everywhere (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620472)

           _
          /\) _
     _   / / (/\
    /\) ( Y)  \ \
   / /   ""   (Y )
  ( Y)  _      ""
   ""  (/\       _
        \ \     /\)
        (Y )   / /
         ""   ( Y)
               ""
Dicks everywhere

In Sweden (1, Insightful)

sita (71217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620504)

In Sweden they have had no influence whatsoever. You could compare them to one of those facebook campaigns. People are willing to show their sympathy for the thought that "everything should be free" (its the beer part that matter to people, In Sweden, we are not so much in to liberties), as long as it is effortless and doesn't cost anything. At the end of the day, taxes, interest rates, unemployment and day care is what sets the agenda.

Sure they did well in the EP elections, but that's only because the EP is a phony parliament.

What the PP did do is to vulgarize the debate to the point that no serious politician, whether interested in liberties or in economic efficiency, would dare to touch the issue of reforming the "intellectual property" system with a ten foot pole for the risk of being labeled a wingnut. Any legal system needs reform from time to time, but this issue has been put in the freezer.

It is of course of no help that the founder and until recent party leader of PP is an alternative economy conspiracy theory wingnut.

The bottom line is that the PP is not going anywhere as a political party until it has an opinion on day care. It is questionable whether it has it in itself of getting that, and if not it should stay out of elections. Be a thought smithy, lobby organization, discussion club, what ever, but don't pretend you belong in parliament.

Re:In Sweden (1)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620650)

Really? How's this for influence. The PP of course has people in the European Parliament, which is indeed not a very important institution, but it does stand over the European Commission so it's not exactly a high-school council. Next, they did manage to have 7.1% of the vote in European Parliament elections, which is a number indicative of some actual support and not just a fad.

Rick Falkvinge, basically an unknown guy a few years ago, has become prominent enough to be named one of the top global thinkers [falkvinge.net] along with major political figures and 2011 Arab revolutionaries.

Something else that typically gets overlooked by those dismissive of the PP is that it has significant support among youth, people in their early 20s. And of course PP members are young. This is crucial - as someone else said in a recent /. discussion on copyright, these are the people who started using the Internet a decade ago in their early teens, and who were using the early popular filesharing programs (remember Napster or Kazaa?). These people are now old enough to vote, and they're having kids that they bring up with also a very liberal attitude to copyrights.

No, I do not see the PP becoming a major political force in Sweden before the next election, but I fully expect support for them to rise, where soon enough mainstream politicians will also have to realize that the copyright issue is a very important one to a segment of voters.

Re:In Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38623972)

Rick Falkvinge, basically an unknown guy a few years ago, has become prominent enough to be named one of the top global thinkers [falkvinge.net] along with major political figures and 2011 Arab revolutionaries.

Along with Bill Gates and Dick Cheney, yet people make fun of them all the time.

Re:In Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620662)

I have tried pushing for a policy change in the forums, but I'm not influential enough to feel that there's any point in me writing an official proposal to the "inner party".

My suggestion is to not just talk about the actual questions at hand, piracy, surveillance, but to present how these issues affect other parts of society and what can be created by redistributing this money. We could for example close FRA to free a considerable amount of money.

Re:In Sweden (1)

tenchikaibyaku (1847212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620664)

You can't begin by saying that they have had no influence at all and then immediately go on to say that they have "vulgarized the debate" so much that politicians wouldn't even dare touch the issue. That's kind of impossible.

I think you are wrong on both points. Both the green party and the left party now have stances on copyright that are very similar to the ones that the pirate party have propagated. The pirate party were also quite visible in the media at times, although I'm sure they were ignored by many.

I think that the public debate before the entry of the pirate party (and the pirate bureau) was one of "I want free stuff" against "we need to pay the artists", after their entry it turned more sophisticated and idealogical. I think this is a good thing.

Of course, there are also complete nuts in the party, and some of the arguments put forward aren't particularly good. I never really liked the former party leader.

However, Christian Engström [wordpress.com] seems to be doing some good down in the European Parliament right now, and as a force against what I perceive to have been a very one-sided "we need longer copyrights, and we need to jail everyone as soon as they copy one song!!!1" discourse I think they have been a very valuable force.

Re:In Sweden (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624796)

>The bottom line is that the PP is not going anywhere as a political party until it has an opinion on day care. It is questionable whether it has it in itself of getting that, and if not it should stay out of election That is exactly that the party is doing now. The party has been through a number of elections and the people who involved themselves in those elections, the people from the party who were out on the ground either knew this already or learned rather quickly, it is also why the party is pushing on policy and anything it can do to have it's positions heard in one forum or another. As to vulgarizing the debate, I might have agreed a year ago (before I was a party member), indeed looking at some of the press stuff from the early days, the discussions etc.. it rings true to a certain degree, I would hope that this will change over the next few years as the party matures and learns, indeed that's what I am aiming for.

Not really easy to measure (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620558)

Their core issues have been under constant assault with harsher laws, less privacy and deterioration of due process. There's very little ground that's been gained, the question is how much more would have been lost without them. They've been in public debates, organized demonstrations, written opinion pieces for the papers and tried to influence other parties. The main battle has been for the public opinion, saying this is not wrong. This should not be illegal. It means a lot to have public faces saying that, a million people go speeding too but nobody stands up and says speed limits should be abolished. That it's not something you do just because you can get away with it, but that sharing is right.

Lately here in Norway there's been a lot of articles saying in no unclear terms that the domestic book industry has purposely sabotaged the Norwegian eBooks. They've launched a service that's so poor, confusing and splintered that it's being called a planned failure. And of course, you won't find these books on international sites like Amazon, Apple etc. - it's their crappy "Book Cloud" or the paper edition. Did I mention that three companies own pretty much the whole domestic publishing industry and all the major bookshops? You wouldn't want to cut out the middle man when you are the middle man. What do I expect will fix it? Piracy. Lately piracy, not copyright has been the dominant source of innovation in the entertainment industry and they are dragged kicking and screaming along.

Viva la ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620788)

... sense of entitlement to free entertainment!

A name change (2)

SuperSlug (799739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620896)

If they would change their name to the Privacy Party then they may find they do a lot better...

Re:A name change (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621352)

Yes. This!

Possible impact of the Pirat Parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38620964)

Provided the party broadens its original stands, it potentially can capture all the discontents of the current systems.
Capitalizing on that, it can become a big player. This scenario has already been played in many European countries where the ecologist parties started 20 years ago with a limited idea, managed to turn it into a general platform, and ended up capturing from 10 to 30% of the electorate depending on the countries and the voting systems.
I see the same potential in the pirate parties, provided they manage to move on from DRM and Ip problems and present a real / complete program for the society. Their chances depend on the type of voting system, but also on how willing the electorate is to change (read how disgusted they are with current parties). In some countries recently hit by political scandals, they have a fair chance.

Re:Possible impact of the Pirat Parties (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621308)

..it potentially can capture all the discontents of the current systems.

Yes, The Pirate Nazi Feminist Green Communist Party.

They would be unstoppable!

Re:Possible impact of the Pirat Parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38622586)

I'll bring it up at the next party meeting..

Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38622110)

The Pirate Party of Canada has a long hard road ahead of them. Ownership of the media in Canada is consolidated to an extent not seen in other countries and come election time, 90% of them might as well be an advertising arm of the party for Big Business, the Conservatives. Getting any sort of media attention if you aren't one of the major parties is nearly impossible. Last election I saw more coverage of the Marxist-Leninists than of the Pirate Party, or the Green Party, and the Greens have decent popular support and even managed to elect an MP.

Success without being annointed by the media will mean an incredible amount of work at the grassroots level.

Forty countries? (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38623800)

It does kinda make me wonder - if they have representation in forty countries, you'd think they'd be able to come up with some way to hack the political system in at least one.

Well in Germany... (3, Informative)

w4rl5ck (531459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624686)

... they are scaring the hell out of the "old" partys after scoring about 9% or so on the Berlin city parliament vote (which is important as Berlin is a county).

Especially the FDP, which traditionally has hold the position of "freedom rights", is below threshold now and in big trouble - and most voters either head for the green's or the pirates.

It's quite obvious that in the current situation, they will make it into the nations parliament on the next voting round; considering how hard it already is to find coalition partners in the parliament right now, that will be a very interesting situation.

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