Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Politics

Ask the UK Pirate Party's Andrew Robinson About the Issues 391

Posted by kdawson
from the but-not-about-the-eyepatch dept.
VJ42 writes "With the 2010 UK general election fast approaching, the Pirate Party of the United Kingdom will be fielding elections for the first time. The Digital Economy bill and ACTA are hot topics for UK geeks, and the Pirate Party is looking to pick up some votes. Their leader, Andrew Robinson, has agreed to answer your questions. Normal Slashdot interview rules apply."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask the UK Pirate Party's Andrew Robinson About the Issues

Comments Filter:
  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:06AM (#31398776) Journal

    It seems Pirate Party UK's one of the core policies is reformin copyright and patent law so that non-commercial file sharing would be legalized. While certainly a noble goal, shouldn't content producers, artists, programmers, and basically anyone producing something have a right to their work?

    This is not only limited to music, movies or other kind of entertainment - among other things, it also affects open source coders who release their code under GPL. If there weren't copyrights, there couldn't be GPL either, nor Creative Commons Attribution, No Derivative Works and Share Alike licenses. In this exact case copyright is used to allow the author to make sure he is attributed and his work isn't misused.

    Wouldn't the world be less controlling if the authors actually had some saying over their works instead of being forced to lose control over their work?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I do believe the policy is more about the shock value than a serious policy to be implemented verbatim. It is basically the polar opposite of current copyright use where it is used primarily for control until death and then some 70 years. I'd say it's easier to come to the table with the direct opposite to come to some middle ground than it is to make concessions from the beginning, no?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        I agree - politics basically works by middle ground. In many cases, it's an argument to moderation fallacy, and it's poor for many reasons (including the fact that it rewards people for taking extreme positions), but despite being a fallacy, it's how politics works.

        If some people say "Copyright should be life plus 70 years, be extended whenever Mickey Mouse might become public domain, we should have laws criminalising telling people how to circumvent protections even if you legally bought the material, and

      • by Gavagai80 (1275204) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:27AM (#31399418) Homepage
        If you take such an extreme view, it makes it easier for opponents to dismiss your group as dangerous extremists and prevent you from getting invited to the table at all.
    • by Locklin (1074657) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:24AM (#31398876) Homepage

      I bet you would find a rather large number of people who think that, for example, making a mix tape is entirely ethical and should be legal. Lots of people don't agree that artists should have ultimate control over their work. Also, who is being *forced*? not giving artists the privilege of ultimate control over the use of their published creations is not *forcing* them to do anything.

      I hate that GPL argument. Sure it's technically correct, but the GPL was written with the intent of subverting copyright using it's own rules. The GPL would be unnecessary, and would most definitely not be common had the copyright system been much more lax during the last few decades.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)

        The GPL would be unnecessary, and would most definitely not be common had the copyright system been much more lax during the last few decades.

        With weaker copyright the GPL would certainly be less beneficial because the GPL relies on strong copyright. Without that we might not have the benefit of good GPL licensed projects like the linux kernel and the GNU userland.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          Unless every piece of software is open source, which is the goal of the Gnu project. Then copyright would be meaningless.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nazlfrag (1035012)

          The GPL is an anomaly caused by strong copyright. If it was easier to merely contribute to the public domain and copyright had realistic fair use then the GPL would be unnecessary.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cowbutt (21077)

            How do "realistic fair use" provisions in copyright law and practice help you gain access to the (trade secret, unpublished) source code for a proprietary application so you can fix a bug or enhance it?

        • by init100 (915886)

          With weaker copyright the GPL would certainly be less beneficial because the GPL relies on strong copyright.

          Why? I cannot see why the GPL would benefit more from the excessively strong copyright law of today compared to a sane copyright law with a term length of maybe 20 years, and no DMCA-style rules such as the notice and takedown system, anti-circumvention provisions, statutory damages of 150,000 USD per infringement, etc. Name one case where any open source developer has sent a DMCA takedown request to an infringer, or an open source developer suing a grandma for 150,000 USD because of license infringement.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sopssa (1498795) *

        I think BSD license would be a lot closer in subverting copyrights using it's own rules. GPL clearly states that if you GPL'd code, along with the binaries you need to make your own source code available too. Having the source code available is something the author wanted and is using his right over his work. Without copyrights anyone could take anyones code and never release the modifications or even relicense it under non-compliant license like BSD license.

      • by mpe (36238) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:52AM (#31399020)
        I hate that GPL argument. Sure it's technically correct, but the GPL was written with the intent of subverting copyright using it's own rules.

        "Subverting" in this context meaning more of "back to basics". Considering that it originated from the US and the US Constitution is quite specific on what "copyright type" things are ment to do.
      • by mdwh2 (535323) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:20AM (#31399378) Journal

        making a mix tape is entirely ethical and should be legal

        Indeed, take for example UK artist Lily Allen - she believes that people who download are thieves, and was a vocal support of UK plans to disconnect people suspected of downloading. But even she seems to think it's fine to distribute mix tapes, on her record company's website, using other artists' material, in order to promote her own commercial material...

      • The GPL would be unnecessary, and would most definitely not be common had the copyright system been much more lax during the last few decades.

        Completely disagree with that. The purpose of the GPL is to allow me to release my project out to the world for people to play with/change/learn from however they see fit while preventing people from changing it then releasing an improved version without the same freedoms I originally gave.

        It was originally created by RMS after he released a version of emacs to a company who modified it, then released their own version but refused to give out the source code, and absolutely requires copyright laws in place

    • by FeepingCreature (1132265) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:25AM (#31398886)
      No.

      :)

      Basically, I disagree with everything you said. No, you shouldn't be able to retain permanent control over an idea. No, saving the GPL is not worth perpetuating our current broken copyright. And no, a world with drastically reduced creator control over their "intellectual property" would be on the whole far less controlling, instead of more.

      Besides, how often does the GPL come up in non-commercial cases?
    • Here's how it (roughly) works over here (Spain):
      - Audiovisual works can be shared noncommercially, but we pay levies on all kinds of media and copying devices (CD/DVD-Rs, hard drives, media players, cellphones)
      - Software is protected and P2P sharing of software is not legal

      Now, there's a huge SNAFU going on here with our RIAA-equivalent (the SGAE), who are lying bastards and cheaters, the levy system isn't ideal (many people get charged who don't use P2P, and the devices/consumables that get levies are just stupid - I think it'd be better to charge levies on internet connections instead of consumables and devices), and the way the levies are distributed is completely backwards (SGAE execs have been known to use some privately, transparency is nil, and small artists get squat). Nonetheless, the basic premise isnt all that bad: legalize audio/video/book file sharing, but impose some reasonable sort of cash stream from the people very likely to use P2P to the people who very likely have their works shared.

      You also need to realize that legalizing file sharing does not imply removing all copyright. All it says is that sharing copyrighted files is fine (authors have less control over how their work is distributed noncommercially), but it doesn't imply licenses are invalid: You still can't produce a GPL'd derivative work and not provide source, you still can't violate the attribution/share-alike/non-commercial provisions of Creative Commons, etc. I don't think anyone is seriously arguing that copyright should be abolished - there's a huge difference between that and just making the usual P2P scenarios legal.

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        All it says is that sharing copyrighted files is fine (authors have less control over how their work is distributed noncommercially), but it doesn't imply licenses are invalid: You still can't produce a GPL'd derivative work and not provide source, you still can't violate the attribution/share-alike/non-commercial provisions of Creative Commons, etc.

        If it wouldn't affect licenses at all, wouldn't EULA's then just state that to legally run the program or game you need to have a license which is only obtainable via proper channels (ie. buy the product)?

        • No, because audiovisual works don't have EULAs, and even if they forced them upon buyers, a clause preventing you from legally sharing it noncommercially would probably not be enforceable.

          As a copyrighted work, software is considerably different from just media.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        We have those levies in Belgium too, that's why i refuse to buy media & devices in Belgium anymore, sucks for the local distributors, but I'm NOT going to contribute to the 'artist most likely to have their work shared'.

        I buy Cd's, i have over 600 at last count, and none of those are from 'mainstream' artists (whom tend to suck badly anyway), if they insist on those levies, i want to be able to bring in my legal purchases as a reduction against those levies (hell, they'd owe *me* money that way) when
      • by mpe (36238)
        Now, there's a huge SNAFU going on here with our RIAA-equivalent (the SGAE), who are lying bastards and cheaters,

        Isn't that a required "qualification" for such positions?

        the levy system isn't ideal (many people get charged who don't use P2P, and the devices/consumables that get levies are just stupid - I think it'd be better to charge levies on internet connections instead of consumables and devices),

        Which is still going to be just as unfair the only change is that it might be different people who are
        • Which is still going to be just as unfair the only change is that it might be different people who are paying for nothing.

          I submit that making ISPs pay the levy is fairer, as 1) they are the ones who profit directly from downloads, 2) people connecting to the Internet are more likely to correlate to people who download (especially with higher-speed connections, which are marketed quite blatantly as being for faster downloads), at least more so than levies on blank media. Blank media isn't a good match becau

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        The levy system is not ideal, but it's the best thing we have. As far as I hear, Canada likes it.

        Frankly, if I had to pay an extra $1 on a spindle of CDs or an extra $10 on an iPod and in exchange get the right to download whatever the hell media I want, I (as an American) would gladly take that option.

        • by init100 (915886) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:40AM (#31399488)

          Frankly, if I had to pay an extra $1 on a spindle of CDs or an extra $10 on an iPod and in exchange get the right to download whatever the hell media I want, I (as an American) would gladly take that option.

          In Sweden, we have a levy system, but non-commercial sharing is still illegal, except in a very narrow set of your closest friends and family, where enforcement would be very hard. So you cannot download from people you don't know, but you still pay a levy on blank CDs, DVDs, portable audio players, etc. In addition, you cannot legally get a copy from someone who doesn't have the original.

          When this point is brought up, it is excused with the levy being compensation for the copying between family members and very close friends. If the levy meant that you could download all you wanted, I think far fewer people would have any problem with it (given that it isn't also raised significantly.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by biryokumaru (822262) *

            Couldn't you write a Facebook-like P2P program that just copied files from people you knew personally, or if they didn't have it, sort of copied from someone they knew to them, then to you?

            Like, I don't know Dorothy, but I know Alex. And Alex knows Bill who knows Carrie who knows Dorothy. Alex and Bill and Carrie don't have Timberlake's "Motherlover [hulu.com]" (Low quality, non-hulu link [youtube.com]) song, but Dorothy does. She sends it to her friend, Carrie, who sends it to her friend, Bill, who sends it to my friend, Alex. Now

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by init100 (915886)

              She sends it to her friend, Carrie, who sends it to her friend, Bill, who sends it to my friend, Alex. Now I can get it, and all the sharing has been perfectly legal.

              No, that wouldn't be legal in Sweden, since each recipient must get their copy directly from someone who owns an original (i.e. one they bought in a store).

    • by SharpFang (651121)

      Libraries, recording radio music etc aren't illegal and neither do they ruin the industry.
      If there is an "anti-piracy tax", let that tax cover the perceived losses and let it go at this. I pay tax for purchasing a blank CD, to cover damages to the music industry for pirated songs I'm going to put on that CD. So why I still can't legally put the songs on the CD, if I paid that tax? The music industry is getting paid twice, once in my tax and once as damages from lawsuit against me...

      • Both libraries and radio music have inherent limitations built in that have the potential to make an individual purchase more appealing to some - a library has to actually purchase (or otherwise acquire a legal copy) before they can lend, and they can only lend that copy out to one person at a time. Recording radio means you have to wait around for the next song you want to appear on the play list, and play lists are rarely advertised anywhere in full so you again have to listen to the show (or record the
    • by erroneus (253617) on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:05AM (#31399074) Homepage

      Should creators have rights over their work? Yes. For a limited time. The problem is that the time is no longer limited and it is not the creators who are asserting rights, but huge third parties who are small in number. Small numbers of players in a marketplace means the consumer is screwed.

      Mickey Mouse should have been free LONG LONG ago but is not. Much very old music such as "happy birthday" is still being used as a weapon against people everywhere instead of being released to the public as it should have been long ago.

      The problem isn't that authors are being forced to lose control of their work -- it's that they are not. Worse, the authors ARE being forced into losing control of their work in favor of large copyright publishers.

      Your idealism in in some of the right places, but to see the problems, you have to first see reality as it is practiced.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Creators currently mostly do not have any rights over their work ....

        If I create software, my company owns the copyright not me ..., If I publish a song, then the record company will have control of the copyright even if it is nominally in my name..., If I have any creative ideas it is likely that someone else will have more control than I as the author have .... this is the reality

        Even if I have control over my work, (software I wrote at home, self published books, son

    • by Wildclaw (15718)

      shouldn't content producers, artists, programmers, and basically anyone producing something have a right to their work?

      It is important to separate copyright into commercial and moral rights. It is very possible to want to give copyright holders less commercial rights, while keeping or even strengthening the moral rights such as the right to be recognized as the creator of a work. In my opinion, moral rights should also not be for sale. (from my understanding, they aren't here in Sweden)

      If there weren't copyrights, there couldn't be GPL either, nor Creative Commons Attribution, No Derivative Works and Share Alike licenses.

      This falls under the discussion of what kind of moral rights a creator should have to restrict a work from being used for specific purposes.

    • by init100 (915886)

      it also affects open source coders who release their code under GPL. If there weren't copyrights, there couldn't be GPL either, nor Creative Commons Attribution, No Derivative Works and Share Alike licenses.

      Yes, that is technically correct, but the non-confrontational attitude* of open source people hints that the increasingly aggressive copyright laws of today are not what they are asking for. I think that few open source developers/artists/etc would have any problems with reasonable term lengths (e.g. 10-20 years after creating a work) and lax enforcement w.r.t. non-commercial private use.

      * = i.e. try to work out a solution first, only go to court if an offender fails to rectify problems after several attemp

  • The only question... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jojoba86 (1496883) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:24AM (#31398880)
    The only thing I want to know is whether or not there are going to be some candidates standing for the pirate party in the general election, and if so in what seats? It'd be interesting to see how well they do.
    • by VJ42 (860241) *

      The only thing I want to know is whether or not there are going to be some candidates standing for the pirate party in the general election, and if so in what seats? It'd be interesting to see how well they do.

      yes, Andy is standing himself (I believe it's Worcester, but don't quote me); IIRC there's also another candidate confirmed to be standing, but I can't remember where apart from "up North" ;p

      We're also hoping to field candidates in the local elections on May 6th

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:25AM (#31398888)

    In Principle I really support what the Pirate party works. But in practical sense, there is a left-of-center ground for compromise. Copyright probably needs to go back to what it was around 130 years ago when it was a sane compromise. Now that ever happening in the western world is next to impossible unless there are large scale changes in governments. I'm sorta in favor of the idea that Copyright be fair, not non-existent. And not perpetual, and not in favor of massive IP holder trusts.

    • by Twinbee (767046) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:46AM (#31399000) Homepage

      I'm sorta in favor of the idea that Copyright be fair, not non-existent.

      Interesting, I didn't realize there was a middleground - I thought one had to be either one extreme or the other.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      The pirate part is never going to get a seat in a British election (without major electoral reform). They know this. Single policy parties exist because of the spoiler effect. The people who think copyright reform is the single most important issue will vote Pirate. It's up to the other parties to soften their stance a little to make this more palatable to the voters.
      • Which is one of the problems of a representative democracy, especially those with only two or three parties. If you agree with one party in some major issues, and with another in other issues, who do you vote for?

  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alistair Hutton (889794) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:28AM (#31398898) Homepage
    In a world with no copyright for "non commercial" distribution of work how is anyone who creates a non subscription fee based computer game or e-book supposed to make money given that the work will be freely available on file sharing sites?
    • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by damburger (981828) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:44AM (#31398980)
      Why do they have an a priori right to make money in this way?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AllyGreen (1727388)
        Why would they make the work in the first place then?
        • Lets not go down a silly goose route. Lots of people create works for the fun of creating works, without copyright there would still be creative works but:
          • There would not be the variety as certain types of creative works would be totally unfeasible to create.
          • People would not have the opportunity to make a living from their creative works thus limiting the number that a person could produce
          • Large corporation would be easily able to 'wait out' the little man to then exploit popular creative works (for T-sh
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Because I like new games that require a team of 100 and millions of dollars to produce?

        Of course there is no a priori right to make money from an activity but what's the a priori right behind property laws (one man's property is another indigenous people's theft) or earning a wage for any job? Copyright has allowed us to move beyond the creative tyranny of patronage to an explosion of independent creation and allowing the investment of ridiculous sums of money into creative works.

        Sure the setup we've g

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pv2b (231846)

          How would you suggest copyright be reformed?

          This is the UK pirate party's stance on copyrights, as from their front page [pirateparty.org.uk]:

          Reform copyright [...] law. 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. [...]

          Do you have another suggestion as for how the copyright system should be reformed that would be more moderate and still effective? Or are you j

          • "Legalise non-commercial file sharing"

            Is this same as burning it to the ground. Legalised non-commercial file sharing is so close to not having copyright you may as well come out and say it in an honest manner.

            This is a free cake policy.

      • by Targon (17348)

        Copyright is more than just some corporate entity making money for 30+ years based on the work of someone else. Copyright is there so that those who make popular works can thrive, and so, make more popular books/programs. So, without copyright, authors, movie studios, and recording artists would not bring in enough money doing what they do to afford to live a comfortable lifestyle.

        When it comes to movies, how many people does it take to make a movie, and how much money does it cost just to pay the act

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by delinear (991444)

          While I don't take a hardline stance that all copyright should be eradicated, playing devil's advocate for a moment, you can't say that artists wouldn't produce worthwhile work in the absence of copyright, because we already know that for hundreds of years they did just that. Some of them did very well for themselves, too.

          Charging for performances (for music artists, gigs, for movies, make the cinema experience actually something worthwhile to compete with the home cinema experience, for painters, exhibitio

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Easy to answer. Content creators will be paid for the work they are actually doing at the time of content creation, not for the work they have done 20 years ago. The people that need the content---be it music, software, news or books---will pay the content creators. How this works in the detail depends on the domain. Most musicians, for example, already today live off teaching and giving concerts, so for them the changes will not be very huge. Journals and news items will probably become subscription-based

      • How does a computer game get funded under this system?
    • by itsdapead (734413)

      In a world with no copyright for "non commercial" distribution of work how is anyone who creates a non subscription fee based computer game or e-book supposed to make money given that the work will be freely available on file sharing sites?

      Ask for donations? It seemed to go OK for Radiohead, provided you don't use RIAA fantasy accounting to count every non-payer as a $20 loss. (I also know of one independent band who successfully financed their last several albums by getting fans to pay over the odds, in advance for "limited edition" CDs. It worked, because fans wanted to support the band).

      Get a day job and treat writing/making music as an enjoyable hobby? Accept that the technology that enables you to produce and distribute studio quality m

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mpe (36238)
      In a world with no copyright for "non commercial" distribution of work how is anyone who creates a non subscription fee based computer game or e-book supposed to make money given that the work will be freely available on file sharing sites?

      Even with copyright there is no guarentee that you will make money. At least in a "capitalist" economy. The other thing is that plenty of people "give away" plenty of stuff right now. Sometimes without expecting any financial reward, sometimes asking for donations, some
  • PPAU apathy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by acehole (174372) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:31AM (#31398912) Homepage

    I'm wondering if you had any trouble getting members for the party as opposed to what is happening in Australia. The pirate party here is suffering from member apathy, no one is going as far to fill out the paper work in order to help the party get the numbers needed to register as a political party. Has the UK pirate party had any similar issues?

  • by Xest (935314) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:35AM (#31398938)

    Can we have a 3 strikes for politicians so that when they've been caught with red handed with their hand in the checkout 3 times they're jailed and banned from ever entering politics again so that the likes of Mandelson would never have got to a position where he could single-handedly manipulate the Digital Economy Bill in the first place?

    • 3 strikes? What about zero tolerance?

      Politicians are placed in an elevated position of trust, and need to be bludgeoned by the ban hammer for the slightest indiscretion.

      • by abigsmurf (919188)
        I enjoy having a parliament which actually has people in it.

        Everyone makes mistakes, even the most pure and honest people and the rules for MPs are mind bogglingly complex. Do we really want a situation where someone has been in politics for 30 years, has helped move the country into a new age of prosperity, suddenly gets sacked and loses his pension because he ate a cookie a little girl baked for him as thanks for keeping their school open (accepting a bribe/not declaring a gift)?
    • by VJ42 (860241) *

      Can we have a 3 strikes for politicians so that when they've been caught with red handed with their hand in the checkout 3 times they're jailed and banned from ever entering politics again so that the likes of Mandelson would never have got to a position where he could single-handedly manipulate the Digital Economy Bill in the first place?

      You joke, but our draft manifesto addresses transparency in government: http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/wiki/Drafts:Manifesto_Proposal#We_want_increased_government_transparency_and_accountability [pirateparty.org.uk] it's being voted on as I speak.

  • by jez9999 (618189) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:43AM (#31398976) Homepage Journal

    Why does your treasurer and campaigns officer, apparently under heavy pressure from the likes of Eric Priezkalns, feel that spending almost all of the party funds on the upcoming general election is the right way to go, given that, realistically, the PPUK will not make much of an impact in these elections? Don't you think that the better approach is a long-term one, and blowing all the money available to the party right now on the upcoming elections would be resources badly spent, when they could be better used to garner long-term widespread support/publicity, and apply long-term pressure?

  • by TDyl (862130) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:45AM (#31398996)
    Given that we have issues of such national and international importance do you not feel that another party, campaigning on such a narrow platform will only dilute the real change that is needed which is the ousting of labour and the restoration of faith in the institution of parliament and the fact that it should be working for the whole population of the UK and not the vested interests of politicians?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Labour : Want copyright strictly enforced
      Conservative : Want copyright strictly enforced
      LibDems : Want copyright strictly enforced

      Labour : Caught fiddling expenses
      Conservative : Caught fiddling expenses
      LibDems : Caught fiddling expenses

      Which of the above do I vote for to inspire faith in parliament, and not vote in people who want strong copyright laws for their friends in the media industry?

  • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:49AM (#31399004) Journal

    Why do people believe that I can give the fact that I wrote a story or a song away? Shouldn't the first issue in any copyright negotiations be that the author's right is non-transferable?

    If author's rights are transferable, the "new author" (a publisher, for example) will not write the sequel to the original book, nor write the next song of the original author. In fact, the author is only discouraged to write anything if somebody else can steal his rights.

    • The moral right to be identified as the author of a work is non-transferrable. But if you're going to have distribution rights at all, then you need to make them transferrable. Otherwise any author that wishes to distribute would somehow have to finance the purchase of printing machinery and international distribution channels themselves. Given that that's not feasible, they instead sell their rights to those that do have that capacity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wrook (134116)

      It is quite common in the financial world to sell an asset early for a smaller sum rather than wait for its full value to appreciate. There are several benefits to this. The first is that you get the money now. You may need the money to pay for things like rent and food. A million dollars ten years from now does me no good if I starve to death today. The second (and more important) is that you can offload risk to another person. Your song/book/software *might* be worth millions or it might be worth no

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:00AM (#31399054) Homepage Journal

    What is your stance on erosion of privacy in UK? Will your party only follow the path of Intellectual Property rights, or do you plan to fight for freedom of speech, against invasion of privacy online and in daily life, censorship and other vital freedom-related problems.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VJ42 (860241) *

      What is your stance on erosion of privacy in UK? Will your party only follow the path of Intellectual Property rights, or do you plan to fight for freedom of speech, against invasion of privacy online and in daily life, censorship and other vital freedom-related problems.

      We campaign on all three issues: http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/ [pirateparty.org.uk]

  • Naming Rights (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:00AM (#31399056) Journal
    My mother would never vote for a party called "The Pirate party". An image of Captain Pugwash springs to her mind every time I mention the word.

    Us nerds and geeks get it, but how does The Pirate Party aim to convince normal people that this political party is more than a modern Monster Raving Looney Party?
  • I work hard to produce quality photographs for British newspapers and British news web sites. A major American company recently published several of my photos on their web site without permission. The company acknowledges that the photos are mine but refuses to pay, and says that I must file a complaint under the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act if I want them to stop using the photographs. What could the Pirate Party do to help British copyright holders in situations such as this?

  • What steps/actions are you going to take, to ensure the UK Pirate Party can emulate the success of the swedish Pirate Party? Have you been in touch with them to discuss their approach, how they gained exposure, and how they managed to rally so many voters to their cause?

    Good luck!

    • by muffen (321442)
      In Sweden I think they got the support they did for a number of reasons.

      1) The Pirate Party got the votes in the EU elections, not the national one. The Swedish national elections are coming up too and they don't even show up in the polls yet (meaning they have less than one percent). Basically, it seems like people in Sweden do not care about the EU elections that much, or alternatively they believe copyright is a European issue and not a national one.

      2)There is a history of personal freedom where pe
  • While there's nothing wrong with standing on a single issue 'point of principle', and it's admirable that you've been able to raise money enough to stump up the deposit(s) required and you're willing to give up your own time and energy to further the cause, isn't it moronically stupid to then torpedo* your chances running under a banner that will conjure such negative associations for most of the electorate?

    In my opinion "Fair Use" copyright infringement should not be a crime, and those who do it should not

  • Although I'm glad the Pirate Party is drawing attention to these very important but under exposed issues I feel the UK electoral system is an insurmountable barrier to a party with little more than a single issue.

    Is reform from the present first-past-the-post system to for example the more democratic representative system maybe part of the Pirate party's program?

  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:18AM (#31399120) Homepage Journal

    (for the yanks, it was and is a genuine political party)

    Knew all the old crew (Sutch, Hope, et al) well, great social events and parties, no hope of ever actually winning, just thumbing your nose at the system.

    Why is the UK Pirate party any different, apart from the lack of great social events and satirical candidate names? Oh, and the lack of any other decent policies to counter the insanity worked by the likes of Harman etc.

    Whereas a vote for the BNP (British National Party, often called British Nazi Party) really would be a protest vote, as more than a handful of seats might actually go to them, and NOTHING would shock british politics more than a notable proportion of the population electing wannabe Hitlers to the House of Commons.

    This is not a troll, this is a serious question.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Seconded, wish I had mod points. The Pirate Party UK comes across as earnest and angry [pirateparty.org.uk]. Since it's a tiny insignificant protest party, that's a rather risible position to take. If you don't develop some levity, shouldn't you expect to be mocked?

      Why not (and this is also a serious question) lighten up and try and project a fun, positive message, rather than just impotently bitching and moaning?

    • by VJ42 (860241) *

      Why is the UK Pirate party any different, apart from the lack of great social events and satirical candidate names?

      Because we have some actual principles? If you believe in IP reform, greater individual privacy & more freedom of speech, we're the only party to vote for.

    • by fantomas (94850) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:54AM (#31400028)

      Voting for the BNP is not a "protest vote" - this is not a warm and cuddly hippy protest option like voting for the Monster Raving Loony Party.

      Voting for the BNP is voting for an extremist party, a party that grew out of the National Front (look all these up on wikipedia) and until they were forced to change by European law this year had as part of their constitution a ban on people that weren't "white" from joining the party membership.

      To my mind that's quite an extreme position for a party to take if it declares its goal to be getting political power, ruling over people of a variety of different ethnic groups. I think voting for the BNP is a dangerous way of expressing your protest at the current political system. The BNP is serious about some of its extreme politics, and is likely to get some seats and have real influence in UK politics if people start voting for them in the misguided belief that they are just offering up a protest to the system.

  • "Fielding candidates" not "Fielding elections".

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:52AM (#31399276) Journal
    You've quickly gone from forum member [telegraph.co.uk] to party leader in about half a year. It appears your background is graphic arts and music, not politics. How do you plan to convince your voters that you are competent and qualified? On top of that, your site only lists three core policies [pirateparty.org.uk]. Voting (to me) shows more than support. It shows I am confident in that person or group as leader of my country. As if by voting for you, I genuinely hope you are to be the next Prime Ministers, replacing Gordon Brown. Right now, privacy and copyright are important issues but possibly more important are things like foreign policy that might govern how you feel about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars or about the social programs in the UK. Could you extrapolate on your core issues to give us an idea of how you stand on the other major issues that will be debated among the more popular parties? I agree with you on your stated issues but being a one issue voter can result in disaster for the whole country, do you mind giving yourself more depth than just privacy and copyright?
    • by Cederic (9623) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:34AM (#31399828) Journal

      Your question appears to be based on a flawed premise.

      Do not vote on who you want to be the Prime Minister. Vote on who you want to represent your interests in parliament.

      Yes, it's useful if that representative doesn't present views with which you agree on broader issues (foreign policy, education, healthcare, taxation being the usual suspects) but in reality a PPUK vote isn't even voting in a candidate; it's voting for a given issue ahead of the others.

      If you really care strongly about foreign policy then vote for a candidate that will represent your views. If you care about a range of issues, find a candidate that represents you the best across the range.

      If you find that the three main parties are all corrupt and pushing broadly the same policies, the Greens have no sense of reality, the BNP are a bunch of racist fuckwits and none of the independent candidates have knocked on your door to tell you what they're standing for, then why not vote for a single issue party. If you hate Europe vote UKIP, if you want greater transparency and online rights then vote PPUK.

    • by VJ42 (860241) * on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:36AM (#31399858)

      Voting (to me) shows more than support. It shows I am confident in that person or group as leader of my country.

      And this is why we're in the mess we're in. Our politicians are meant to be our servants, not our masters; I don't vote for a leader, I vote for a representative that I can hold to account.

  • Questions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717)

    (In order of importance)

    1. How are you going to improve our Schools and Hospitals?
    2. What is your stance on the "War on Terror"?
    3. The economy is facing another nosedive before the end of the year, how are you preparing for it?
    4. How are you going to tackle the uncontrolled immigration problem?
    5. Do you have any plans to control anti social behaviour?

    (loads of other more important questions later)

    4432. What will you change in copyright law, whilst still making sure that the 2 years+ unemployed bloke next do

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      More importantly, how good of a job have the "other" parties done to address your areas of concern? Obviously not so well, since they are STILL problems that you see as needing a fix.

      Your kind of thinking is what keeps democracy enslaved in a useless two-party system where both parties do an absolutely terrible job at everything. Why don't you take a chance for once and assume that a new guy might do no worse than predecessors on all the "other" issues but at least do a damned good job within one special ar

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      I see the point you're making - but most of those questions are only relevant for a party forming a Government.

      There's no chance of that happening here - I don't mean that in a "they won't get that many votes" sense, but I mean in the sense that they don't have enough people even standing for election. So such a thing is impossible.

      It's still important I think to have policies on a wide range of issues, because if you had one as your MP, you'd still want to write to him, and hope he has an opinion on more t

  • What the UK population is most concerned about is a sustained, healthy economy (with continued free quality healthcare, education and welfare at the point of delivery).

    How will the Pirate Party's policies demonstrate that a sustainable healthy economy is a necessary outcome of degrading the copyright and patent laws?

  • by muckracer (1204794) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:09AM (#31399636)

    Pirates versus Ninjas...who'll win??

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Monday March 08, 2010 @11:15AM (#31401492)

    The "Pirate" in The Pirate Party's name implies the duplication of digital information. One side of the "Pirate" argument, mostly being represented by large digital distributors such as the Music Industry [wikipedia.org] and Motion Picture Associations [wikipedia.org], believe that our society needs strong legislation enforcing Artificial Scarcity [wikipedia.org] into the digital medium via treaties such as ACTA [michaelgeist.ca]. In other words, they appear to hold the view that only certain rights holders should have exclusive legal right to make and sell unlimited digital copies for fixed cost [wikipedia.org], just like any physical good for sale. On the other side of the debate we have the "Pirates" who appear to hold the view that digital information should not be treated as a scarce good [wikipedia.org], that digital distribution [wikipedia.org] is just a natural property of any digital medium and should be available to everyone.

    How does the Pirate Party intend to allow those wishing to distribute original creative digital works to make a profit without legislating artificial scarcity into the digital medium?

The bogosity meter just pegged.

Working...