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Why the UK Needs the Pirate Party 363

Posted by samzenpus
from the representative-piracy dept.
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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Why the UK Needs the Pirate Party

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  • by IBBoard (1128019) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @03:56AM (#29048651) Homepage

    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.

    • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:01AM (#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.
      • by Odinlake (1057938) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:17AM (#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?!

        • by jhhdk (1120433) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @05:49AM (#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.

        • by Husgaard (858362) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @05:53AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Kjella (173770)

            Not the commercial copyright, but all non-commercial use is to be made legal from day one. That's pretty close to abolishing copyright for the masses, with the exception of a few moral rights. It'd make 99% of all file sharing legal, except those sharing really nasty stuff covered by other laws.

            The reason for keeping some commercial copyright is simple - if you make money, the original author/artist/whatever should make money. Otherwise for example cinemas could earn money showing movies without paying thos

            • by Husgaard (858362) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @07:37AM (#29049823)

              You have a good point when you say that allowing all non-commercial use of copyrighted works is almost the same as abandoning copyright for the masses. And this is what the Pirate Party wants.

              If we do not allow non-commercial use, somebody has to check all private communication to check if copyrighted works are infringed. Would you like some government entity to eavesdrop your private communication with your local journalist, lawyer, doctor, priest, or secret lover? We pirates think that a society where private communication is impossible cannot stay democratic in the long run.

              The alternative - no monitoring of private communication - is almost as bad. This way people can break the law with no risk. Many people have a strong incentive to break the law here: Free access to cultural content. But if a majority of the citizens regularly break the law, they also loose respect for the law. Lack of respect for the law is extremely dangerous for our society, as it is based on people respecting the law.

              In many countries there are equivalents to "fair use", allowing non-commercial use of copyrighted works. But these exceptions in copyright law are under attack and almost every adjustment of copyright law these days seem to remove some of the rights to non-commercial use we citizens have.

              For example: In my country before 1995 I could legally mail a copyrighted mp3 to a journalist. Today this is illegal. I do not want our government (or anybody else for that matter) to monitor my private communication with journalists. If such communication is monitored, the principle of source confidentiality of journalists would be broken, and nobody would dare to tip journalists about for example government abuse.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I certainly hope not - the GPL uses copyright to protect your freedoms!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, unfortunately due to the first past the post system here in the UK I don't see them having any luck.

        What will happen, is in the areas they have constituents, all the teens etc. will vote pirate party because they actually care about a particular political issue (i.e. the fact no current British political party understands the digital age and those who are part of it). Their votes however will be outnumbered by a bunch of older folk who will vote Labour because their dad told them to after Thatcher kick

      • by CarpetShark (865376) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @06:30AM (#29049515)

        Yeah, but the way you get a major party to be moderate on an issue is by having an extreme viewpoint yourself.

        Yes. Much like the way to get proprietary vendors to support open platforms and protocols is to launch a Free Software organisation, build an OS, popularise a Free license, etc. To some, it's extreme. To others, it's just the extreme balance to an extreme position taken by others.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      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 wor

    • by BuR4N (512430) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:06AM (#29048705) Homepage Journal
      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] )
    • by damburger (981828) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:09AM (#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.
    • by noundi (1044080) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:12AM (#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.

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

      Why? [dklevine.com]

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      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*

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        It's not just the swimming pools in Hollywood (which are only owned by the tiny minority who are paid too much), it's the general abolition of copyright and people's ownership of their own work. I like the GPL as a software license because it lets me say "I've given up my free time to write something, so please pay me back in code by making your changes free". Without copyright and with everyone free to copy everything without recourse then the GPL is dead and large corporations can take whatever code they

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:38AM (#29048899) Homepage

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

    • by init100 (915886) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:53AM (#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.

      • by Andy_R (114137) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @05:00AM (#29049011) Homepage Journal

        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 :-)

        • by IBBoard (1128019)

          It's good to hear that there's at least some sense at the top and that there won't be copyright abolition :) Maybe there's actually now a party to vote for in the UK. Before it was a waste because they all came up with the same policies once they got in to power anyway (like the right-wing Conservatives ending up making more left-wing suggestions because the left-wing Labour party was in power making right-wing laws).

          And I agree - convincing people that copyright is excessive is almost certainly easier than

    • by Znork (31774) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @05:25AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe (564877)
      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.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ren.Tamek (898017)

      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 ... 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.

      God, I hate slashdot sometimes. Why don't you just read the summary and click on the links if you don't know?! It took me 2 minutes to read the front page of both sites! What's worse, 5 people who also didn't read the fucking article modded you +5! It's just aggravating.

      I will go ahead and quote the exact links in the summary, since the chance of anyone reading it themselves is slim to none.

      From the pcpro Q&A:

      There should be an exemption for non-commercial use in copyright. We're not in favour of abolishing copyright, or artists getting nothing. When things are copied and somebody makes a profit, that profit should go to the artist. When something's copied and there isn't a profit... well, that's a situation our law doesn't really have any way of dealing with at the moment, which is why people who copy a movie are lumped in with people who steal cars.

      From the pirateparty.org.uk home page:

      We want to legalise non-commercial file sharing and reduce the excessive length of copyright protection, while ensuring that when creative works are sold, it's the artists who benefit, not monopoly rights holders.

      Their position is really very clear and consistant, a

    • 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.

      I think "need" is probably the wrong word---I think this is about what people want combined with what's economically feasible. But the choice of words is the least concern.

      People want culture (music, film, literature), preferably well-made items of culture. They also want things to be cheap (preferably free). And they also want to obey the law. Those who make culture want to make money doing so (preferably more than less, but some are content with no money).

      How they value each of those in relation to on

  • by damburger (981828) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:03AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      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?

    • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Goffee71 (628501)
      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.
      • by jez9999 (618189)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Andy_R (114137)

      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 stan

    • by Malc (1751)

      The UK needs to change the voting system and introduce partial or full Proportional Representation. This is the only way smaller parties like this will get a voice. The Canadians (one of about three countries in the world that still have the same broken first-past-the-post system as the UK) have been reviewing an interesting option: part of parliament with direct representatives per the current system, and part of parliament consisting of PR of people off party lists. Keeping with the theme of countries

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Stagnation is perfect. If there were some big political issues being played out (something like the poll tax, privatisation of the railway, etc), the Pirate Party would have no hope. But I can't really see the difference between the major parties, and really can't find anyone I actually want to vote for. So, rather than striking my vote, I'll vote Pirate Party. If enough of us do, it'll make a point and maybe we'll see some reform on copyright and patents. It's a long shot. I don't expect the country to be
    • I agree that the current social system(s) need to collapse to enable real reform. My counterpoint is that elections can BE the collapsing point. Revolutions certainly are, and civil war more so.

      So, a new party that the people chooses because it will make "the change" happen, if voted strongly enough, can mark the collapse of an old social order, without bloody insurrection. 20th century example: the "Quiet Revolution" [wikipedia.org] in the province of Quebec(Canada) provoked enormous changes in social and economic or

  • Arr! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mach1980 (1114097) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:03AM (#29048689)
    First things first. Top priority for the pirate party should be to make speak-like-a-pirate-day a national holiday.
  • by Hordeking (1237940) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:05AM (#29048701)
    This is great. When do we get one of these in the US?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.pirate-party.us

  • by Fusselwurm (1033286) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:10AM (#29048723) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Andy_R (114137)

      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! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frans Faase (648933) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:20AM (#29048795) Homepage

    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! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tom (822) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:31AM (#29048859) Homepage Journal

      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.

    • by damburger (981828)

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

      LOL

    • 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).

    • by Spad (470073)

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

    • by Husgaard (858362)

      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.

      The Pirate Party was founded in the Netherlands years ago: http://piratenpartij.nl/news.php [piratenpartij.nl]

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      The UK has a two party system, just like the USA.

      Not entirely. The UK does have a major third party that gets between 10 and 20% of the votes, even if they never get real representation.

  • by Karem Lore (649920) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:20AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jez9999 (618189)

      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.

    • by damburger (981828) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @05:00AM (#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.
    • by jonbryce (703250)

      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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:22AM (#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.

  • by ratbag (65209) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:35AM (#29048871)

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

    Rob.

    • by Andy_R (114137)

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

      • by ratbag (65209)

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

  • 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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by KanjiMonster (1016616)

      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.

  • Daft plonkers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @05:29AM (#29049147) Homepage
    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.
  • ... is its own Revolution, and soon before it's too late to stop Skyn... errr, Big Brother!

  • by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance@nosPAM.level4.org> on Thursday August 13, 2009 @09:04AM (#29050587) Journal
    Canada's pirate party is just starting up. The second monthly meeting is set to take place on the 19th in different venues across the country. I've been reading the above comments and it seems there is scepticism that the political climate in Sweden and the U.K. is such that a third party doesn't really stand a chance. I think in Canada it may, Canada has a cross section of world cultures... with increased freedom of information we might produce results interesting to the world.

    Now for my personal vendetta :)
    The Slashcode moderation system has created an enormously powerful and democratic forum for debate. While we have several issues to address one that's of interest is having a decentralized party where open debate is the norm and direct democracy the result.

    To this end a modified version of Slashcode is being developed for the public forum.

    If you decide to attend the meetings I'd appreciate it if you'd voice support for such a system, I think the idea of information freedom makes the notion of cabinets and party leaders slightly hypocritical, plus we don't need those things to get our message out.

    Personally I am optimistic about the overall benefits of a small region where copyright and patents are abolished, this region would create integrated ideas that would be the wonder of the world demonstrating what mankind has accomplished. Black Government research projects probably already work this way, but it would be nice if we got some results for civilian use.
  • by mrsurb (1484303) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @09:30AM (#29050919)
    Can we really trust a political party run by Andrew Robinson, a known Cardassian spy [wikipedia.org]?
  • by jandersen (462034) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:35AM (#29053061)

    This party is, as far as I can see, yet another special interest party. They seem to pop up every now and again, and then they die out because they don't really have a policy about other things. That is why we still, after so many years of democracy, only have a small handful of political parties; there are only so many clearly defined, general ideologies out there - in fact, it is hard to really imagine more than two, isn't it?

    So what is this Pirate Party about? Well, freedom of speech - or Freedom of Speech, but it doesn't really become any more general by capitalising the letters. What has Freedom of Speech to say about the financial crisis, unemployment, EU and the military budget? You have be more than a one-trick-pony to tackle real life; it is amazing just how irrelevant the right to make a copy of a DVD is, when you look at the big picture - just about anything is more important.

    The importance of Freedom of Speech was perhaps a bit clearer at a time when you could be hanged for treason if you turned your stamp upside-down on a letter, or later, when you could go to prison for organising a strike against the horrenduous working conditions during the industrial revolution, or for talking about voting rights for women. I think talking about big, fundamental human rights, when it really is about nothing more than wanting to distribute copied games and CDs, serves only to devaluate the important of the fundamental rights.

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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