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Pirate Party Comes to the U.S. 543

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the emo-kids-want-their-free-tunes dept.
Spy der Mann writes "Wired news has published an interview with the Pirate Party of the U.S., which was formed a week after the raid on Pirate Bay. The group patterns itself after Piratpartiet, the Swedish political party associated with The Pirate Bay, and says it wants to reform intellectual property and privacy laws."
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Pirate Party Comes to the U.S.

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  • by Iguru42 (530641) * on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:40PM (#15577104)
    We could certainly take a long hard look at copyright law in this country. It's become clear to me that the public domain is, for all intents and purposes, closed. Everytime Mickey gets close to falling into PD congress will suddenly find it in their interest to extend copyright.
  • The should not have given their party a self-defeating name.
  • This is exactly what geeks across America have been hoping for: a group intended to defend the consumer's side in privacy and intellectual property discussions. But there's no way they're going to succeed in politics when they've named themselves the "Pirate Party". I don't think I even need to ask whether they realize that they're giving their opponents fodder for later complaints and insults.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:46PM (#15577153)
    With the election system of the US, it's always 2 parties with nobody having thet slightest chance to muscle in, at best in local elections (which, frankly, have no impact on copyright laws).

    But I support the idea. The idea has been picked up by our communists. I guess I'll become a comrade. :)
  • by xiphoris (839465) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:47PM (#15577169) Homepage
    Ah come now, if a political party called the "Whigs" can be reputable and successful enough for the history books, I think an openly tongue-in-cheek Pirate Party stands a chance :-)
  • by Ilsundal (3288) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:48PM (#15577179) Homepage
    I'm not very confident in a group that's set to reform our copyright/patent system when they cannot even have enough common sense to realize that a name such as "The Pirate Party" is NOT going to be taken seriously here in the U.S. This time is investment is better spent on something that has somewhat of a chance in hell.
  • by KevDude (115267) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:50PM (#15577192) Homepage
    Maybe its a bad name, but when I saw it originally, I said to myself, "are these guys serious? I have to see what they're really about." I think a lot more people will think the same way...

    Also this way the "piracy thing" is right there to discuss at the beginning instead of the **AA bringing it up at some other inopportune time.
  • by DirePickle (796986) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:51PM (#15577196)
    A party called "The Reformation of IP Law Party" won't get any press. We already have tons of third-parties that people don't even know exist. The flame-mongering Pirate Party might draw some notice. And in this case, I think any press would be good press.
  • by Elvis Parsley (939954) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:51PM (#15577199)
    It's not closed, but it is narrowing. It'd just take a few deft strokes of legislation to return the limit on copyright to something reasonable, but that damn mouse keeps buying up the legislature. What we need to do is get a time machine and have someone write into the Constitution an explanation to the effect that "Steamboat Willie" must eventually go out of copyright.
  • by vldragon (981127) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:52PM (#15577209)
    A politacal party that fights for all the things mentioned on the pirate parties website is great. I'm all for a politcal body finnaly standing up and fighting angainst corporations that take away from what makes this country great. However a party devoted just to those things will never stand. While the geeks of america may band together for this party it just isn't enough. A political party must be ready to face all the challanges of a society not just a select few. The Pirate party would have to take a stand on things like war, poverty, crime, drugs and so many others. And thats not to mention a party needs support from a majority of people with all sorts of backgrounds and cultures.
    Just something to think about.
  • by xplenumx (703804) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:52PM (#15577215)
    But there's no way they're going to succeed in politics when they've named themselves the "Pirate Party". I don't think I even need to ask whether they realize that they're giving their opponents fodder for later complaints and insults.

    Please. It's not like they're even going to get that far. This is nothing more than a couple of no-names who decided to set up a web page and call themselves a political party because they thought it was cool. Bring in a leader with teeth and some money and we'll talk.

  • overkill...? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AxemRed (755470) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:53PM (#15577221)
    I'm not necessarily a fan of what the Pirate Party represents. But, sometimes, overkill on the other side of the problem may work to balance the mess out. I just hope that we can eventually find a happy medium.
  • by iswm (727826) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:54PM (#15577229) Homepage
    No third party in the US has a chance in hell. So what else should they put time into? Even if their party doesn't have any real chance of getting elected into office somewhere, at least their getting the word out. Who cares what their name is? They're trying to do what needs to be done, and that's all that matters. Plus with a name like "The Pirate Party," they're bound to pick up media attention. All the better.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:54PM (#15577230) Journal
    And yet, it was terrorism (and a form of communism; after all, they had to work and share together) that set America on the path to independence from England.

    Likewise, OSS was labeled as terrorism/communism by some, and now it is pretty much understood that it is one of the truer forms of capitalism (and charity).

    Somewhere down the road, as ip laws are changed, this group may be changed from being consider terrorists to heros.
  • by Mad Dog Manley (93208) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:55PM (#15577242)
    The Pirate Party doesn't need to win any elections to succeed. All they need is some publicity and public support, and major parties will be forced to adopt their policies. Or, one major party adopts it in order to gain an advantage.
  • by Draconnery (897781) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:59PM (#15577284)
    What should they do? Cave to the normal customs of politics and call themselves the "People's Party for Free and Democratic Property Rights"? We've lived with euphemisms long enough that it's a banality that "the longer a country's name is (the more words like 'free' and 'democratic' it contains), the worse the country is."

    This is not a normal political party. They do not want to act within the established sphere of law and government, they want to change them. Maybe calling themselves Pirates will make people (especially the millions and millions of people who want the same things) realize that the *AA's of the world are villainizing intelligent people who contribute to society. If someone identifies with the Pirate Party, maybe they'll say, hey, I don't feel good about being called evil all the time.

    Note: obviously, I see your point, I could have made it myself and I don't think you're dumb, nor do I disagree with you all that much. But c'mon. Would a party by any other name be able to get attention, respect, and votes if they had the same agenda? I think if anything, somebody else would give them the nickname "the Pirate Party," and then they'd be guilty of dressing that up, but the public would still see the name "Pirate Party" being thrown around.
    Have you seen '8 Mile'? In the battle at the end, where Em/B. Rabbit throws out all the obvious ammo his opponent would have? I see this as pretty similar.
    It's an uphill, probably impossible battle in either case; it's just a bold stroke to come out with it and call themselves "the Pirate Party," and I'm interested to see where they go with it and how much we'll hear about it from other outlets.
  • by swarsron (612788) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:59PM (#15577285)
    Publicity is essential. I don't think that it's a big loss for them if they are critiziced over their name because they'll be killed by the media cons just for their agenda
  • by Mad Dog Manley (93208) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:59PM (#15577292)
    The Pirate Party doesn't have to get elected to get their point across. Political parties whose platforms are based on a single concept (e.g. intellectual rights reform) merely have to prove they have popular support, and then one or more major parties will pick up (or pirate, lol) their idea to add to their votes.
  • It's in there. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:02PM (#15577318) Homepage
    It says "securing for limited Times". What needs to made clear(er) in the Constitution is that Copyright laws that demonstrably do *not "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" are not valid.
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <`wgrother' `at' `optonline.net'> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:03PM (#15577329) Journal

    With the election system of the US, it's always 2 parties with nobody having thet slightest chance to muscle in, at best in local elections (which, frankly, have no impact on copyright laws).

    But that's the best place to start, locally. Some small town, say here in NJ. A Pirate Party candidate runs, solicits donations via Internet, runs a clean campaign and overwhelms some lowlife local mayor by making him/her look out of touch with the modern world. If elected, that candidiate becomes a news item; next up - city council elections! You just work your way through, starting at the grass roots level, shoe-horning your way into every nook and cranny of local politics until you have a large enough power base to build state organizations. It's only a couple more jumps until you're in the national spotlight. The whole thing hinges, however, on getting youth to vote, because they would probably identify more strongly from the start with a Pirate Party candidate.

    As an aside, the name is fine; after all there used to be "Whigs" and "Tories"; how lame are those?

  • Please spare me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bryankwalton (872344) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:04PM (#15577330)
    I agree that we need to seriously reform the patent system in the United States. But the Pirate Party isn't going to do this. In fact, one might argue that all it will successfully accomplish is marginalizing the issue and its supporters. There are dozens (if not more) third parties in the US. It is very hard (and in this day and age almost impossible) for a third party to have any electoral success (it does happen on a community level in certain places around the country). There are key differences between the electoral systems of most European countries and the US. In the US, we have a single-member district system that is winner take all. It makes our system functionally a two-party system. Most of Europe has a proporational representation system. Voters in Europe vote for the party, not the candidate. All that is needed for a small party to gain seats in a parliamentary body is to get over the threshold (whatever that threshold may be). Sometimes, that threshold is as low as 5%. Here in the US, you need a plurality of the vote at least (in some parts of the country, you need an outright majority). The pirate party getting 50.1% of the vote? I don't think so. Even 40-45%, not likely. To insist on something like this, just because it works in Sweden is to deny the reality of the electoral constraints place upon the US system.
  • by Mad Dog Manley (93208) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:04PM (#15577335)
    From the interview:

    Sigal: I think the raid is what brought this whole thing to my attention, and to the attention of people around the world. The raid in Sweden could turn out to be the best thing that happened to the internet community. I think it backfired on the MPAA. They wanted to take down a site they thought was illegal, but everyone noticed that the MPAA is terrorizing the people.

    No kidding. Whether or not the party manages to elect any members, its time to bring these issues to the public on every front possible, including the political front. A strong grassroots effort behind the Pirate Party would throw these tactics right back in the face of the *IAA organizations.
  • Right. Through history, a lot of names that originally were "stupid" have lost their insulting nature and turned into respected titles. Actions do in fact speak louder than words, so if this party can actually accomplish something I'd think their choice of words for their name will cease to be a bother.
  • Re:YRO stuff (Score:1, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:07PM (#15577356) Journal
    The state can block whatever they want on their own computers, it doesn't affect YRO until they start blocking it on your computers.

    In fact, to say that an organization or individual (government, business, or regular Joe) doesn't have the right to block whatever they want on their own private computers, certainly does directly interfere with my right to set my firewall and spam filters up however the fuck I want.

    Go back to China, Commie.
  • by DigDuality (918867) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:10PM (#15577373)
    bashing the name. Most of the time i agree. I, myself, support things like the Green AND Libertarian parties over the Republocrats. I love Defective by Design, much like how i have much respect for the Green and Libertarian parties in the US, the Pirate Party in Sweden, and quite a many groups that may or may not be political parties. There's lots of great advocate groups out there fighting for noble causes.. for smaller government, tech rights, privacy rights, IP law, workers rights, environmental rights, you name it. But most of all of these groups suffer a similar fault and that's one of presentation. Very rarely do they show us that they're professional, they're websites look like crap, they're protests are childish, their statements to the public.. while i might agree with, can get a bit ridiculous at times. Groups like these people who can do something about it.. simply will never take seriously. I'm suprised Defective by Design has done what it has. But frankly if Richard Stallman wants to be taken seriously his needs to quit being a sappy bitch, cut his hair, trim his facial hair and learn how to dress and address professionals, government leaders, and the public. None of these groups that i adore so very much stands a chance in hell, until they can present themselves in a manner the rest of the world will take serious. Generation after generation, people simply don't seem to grasp this concept... and it's a trivial fact of life that makes a huge fucking difference that none of us are going to change. And until people wake up and quit prancing around in obnoxious outfits outside of corporate and government offices, they will be written off as nutbags, hippies, drug addicts, radicals, etc.. Now all of this being said.. The language has already been firmly planted about pirates and piracy. It's engrained into the entertainment and technological culture as it stands. This word isn't going away. I sit and i watch as the word "liberal" has become a dirty dirty word.. and watch the Democrats and Greens try to re-identify themselves as "progressive".. and it's not really working. This country is leaning towards Dems, not b/c this nation is liberal..but b/c they're tired of Republicans. It's really hard to escape a word and play semantics and hope you're new identification for what you do will take a stronger hold. As we've seen with the word "nigga" (though this has nothing to do with professionalism or politics), it's much easier to make an insulting word.. empowering. It has a very "stick it the man" attitude about it and gives way for great marketing. While i don't find it to be the height of professionalism and the ability to be taken seriously.. what are they going to call themselves? The Sharing Party? You think tree huggers get picked on.. that'd be nothing compared to this. I mean seriously.. there's not many names i could think of that would fit. The "lets not always maximize profits party". I mean.. maybe i'm not creative, but you tell me what would be a better idea.
  • What's in a name? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by matt328 (916281) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:11PM (#15577384)
    It won't be their name that keeps them down and anyone who thinks it will is being very naive. It will be the **AA's endless flow of money that keeps them down.
  • Re:Please spare me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HikingStick (878216) <z01riemer@ho t m a i l . com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:15PM (#15577404)
    I think the real power in the pirate party will be as a gauge to the primary parties as to how important this issue is to consumers. If the party posts large numbers of members, Donkeys and Elephants may consider addressing some IP issues, just as a way to grab those potential votes. Of course, RIAA may simply try to hack/buy the pirate party roster as a list of possible new defendants in their next round of lawsuits...
  • by Panaflex (13191) <convivialdingo@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:20PM (#15577436)
    Hey, if the "youth" voted,
    * The drinking age would be 18 again.
    * Publicly owned Colleges and Universities would be Free
    * Insurance rates would be equitable
    * etc.. etc..

    Fact is that they DON'T get involved in politics in large numbers because Public Schools, by and large, arn't preparing kids to be adults - they're makeing "human resources."

    Ohh, and Mom and Dad are too busy working or playing with their riches to notice that big bright place outside the front door.
  • by hador_nyc (903322) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:22PM (#15577447) Homepage
    The Pirate Party doesn't need to win any elections to succeed. All they need is some publicity and public support, and major parties will be forced to adopt their policies. Or, one major party adopts it in order to gain an advantage.
    You've just described the history of all the successful third parties in American history.
  • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:23PM (#15577454)
    I actually have a lot more respect for Pirates that wear it on their sleeve than the usual Slashdot Bitch about RIAA/MPAA/BitTorrent/DRM/etc that tries to dance around the issue or pretend it isn't really about downloading whatever you please for free.

    Take the EFF -- one one hand they try to be a legit public policy/civil rights organization, and on the other they wink and nod to downloaders with slick ads in Wired magazine. It's duplicitious and undermines their credibility. It's better to be honest and say ARRR. Go Pirate Party!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:31PM (#15577524)
    But without punctuation and paragraph breaks, I'm afraid I can't read it.

    Good luck next time, and don't get offended -- a lot of folks write like that when they first get their shiney new AOL trial CD in the mail.
  • Unelectable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:32PM (#15577530)
    The problem with parties with a limited scope on issues is that there is far too much room for the elected officle to slide in his own agenda. What would a party with such a small target issue do when it comes to other issues is anyones guess and it makes them a political loose cannon that serious political party supporters are going to have a problem funding even if their target issue is a good one.

    Granted, no established party is going to really take this issue on in such a way either so I guess it leaves the public that wants this type of reform SOL.
  • by maillemaker (924053) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:32PM (#15577531)
    >Everytime Mickey gets close to falling into PD congress will suddenly find it in their interest to extend copyright.

    Disney and all the rest of the those with vested interestes in intellectual property have more money than anyone could possibly counter with enough votes to make a difference.

    It's all about the cash. Votes are just something to make you feel like you have a representative government.

    Steve
  • by Firehed (942385) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:35PM (#15577560) Homepage
    Well, at this point, the only way for something to enter public domain is to specifically release it there. Creative Commons and whatnot are a good step forward - I quite agree with the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 (do whatever you want with it, just don't profit without the creator's permisson or release derivative works under some other license) - but last I heard, someone was trying to abuse that too. The 90+ years after the death of the original author is insane right now, seeing that the grandchildren of the author have probably died by that time - methinks something like 5-10 years depending on the medium (how long is content really profitable for anyways?) then it goes into a CCANCSA2.5 or similar for another fiveish, then goes into public domain. I'm all for Information Wants To Be Free, but the creators of the work should be able to profit from it for a reasonable amount of time.

    At first, I thought that the views of the Pirate Party were even a bit too extreme, but after reading a bit deeper, it seems that I agree with them on almost everything - reward the author for a reasonable amount of time, and don't patent the third world into a slow, painful death.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:38PM (#15577582)
    WRONG, Cyborg-Ninjas are the ultimate weapon.
  • they cannot even have enough common sense to realize that a name such as "The Pirate Party" is NOT going to be taken seriously here in the U.S.
    Sir, no minor party is taken seriously here in the U.S.
  • As do I. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:41PM (#15577620)
    Copyright is supposed to be a compromise whereby both the creator of the content and society (most importantly, society) benefit. Since the content "owners" are no longer holding up their part of the bargain, I see no reason why we should continue to hold up ours!
  • And this is why the "Pirate Party" will never be taken seriously. There are legitmate organizations like the EFF, etc., that are all for copyright overhaul. Creating "The Pirate Party" removes a degree of legitimacy from anyone calling for copyright reform.

    I know it feels good to support the Pirate Bay or something, but this will amount to a hill of beans - or The Pirate Party's servers being raided periodically.
  • Re:Unelectable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:44PM (#15577644) Homepage Journal
    To some of us this doesnt matter. I actually do not care whether abortion is legal, what the drinking age is, how the latest airline strike is handled, or which way any of a dozen other "hot" issues go. The things I care about are the things no current spotlight politicians talk about, such as privacy, freedom, and Freedom.
  • What's in a name? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattis_f (517228) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:45PM (#15577654)
    Actually, that's what I thought at first when they showed up in Sweden too - but I've come to the conclusion that "Pirate Party" is pretty darn clever. It's provocative and attention grabbing ... with the "Copyright Reform Party" or your other suggestions, all we're getting is another EFF. Who are doing an amazing job, of course, but they're not exactly well known (beyond slashdot circles).

    These guys are trying to throw a wrench into the machinery; calling themselves "The Pirate Party" helps.

    If they can get themselves sued over the name, all the better. They need all the mainstream attention they can get.
  • by alaloom (966252) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:48PM (#15577676)
    We are so accustomed to our government's BS, we are actually asking for it. Our government has been feeding us beautified names for a while now: - Patriot Act - Republican polls shown the more descriptive "Spy-on-all Act" name was not popular. - Medicare Medicine Bill = hidden name for more money to the drug companies; why else would the bill prohibit the governments from negotiating better drug prices. I wonder who thought of that rule! - Fair Tax sounds better than Sales Tax. Fair to whom is the real question. - We are fighting insurgents in Iraq, even though more than 90% of them are Iraqis! Oh and Iraqis are not in a Civil war, even though they are two or more factions fighting to rule the same country. Our "Civil War" was a civil war, even though the South was not trying to overtake the US governent, they were just trying to liberate from it. It's actually refreshing to see something boldly named to reflect it's real function. Pirate Party, I like it, now all we need is the Anti-Medical Party, the Freedom Party, the.... you know what, it's about time for a revolution, isn't it?
  • by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:55PM (#15577732) Homepage
    It seems to me that a limit is in there -- the term and scope have to serve the purpose of the clause. Any number you pick is going to seem arbitrary to someone; what's needed is a method, developed by an impartial party, for counting the costs and benefits of any proposed term. Hint: retroactive term extensions are B.S. You don't need to provide incentives to produce things that already exist. It'd be great to just start there and fine-tune as we learn more.

    Hint 2: it doesn't take 100+ years to realize a profit on your intellectual endeavor, if that's your taste. Especially nowadays. As a general rule, your book/record/film is going to profit in its first five years of life or never. If anything, terms should be getting shorter as distribution & marketing technologies continue to improve.

  • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:58PM (#15577766)
    It's all about the cash. Votes are just something to make you feel like you have a representative government.

    Just a quick reality check to counter this sort of complete cyncism -- Crappy popular culture is pretty much the only thing of value that the US exports nowdays. The entertainment business is a critical national industry. So, of course politicians naturally support it.

    Not to mention Hollywood being the largest industry in California, the most populous state. I can tell you that here in CA politicans aren't pro-*AA because of the money, but simply because that's what the jobs and economy is based on.

    Entertainment is pretty much the perfect political storm -- you've got unions, you've got social liberals, you've got big business, you've got finance, you've got cultural imperalists, and a host of other groups supporting them. It's perfectly natural they have a ton of political power -- they don't *need* to bribe people.

    There needs to be opposition to educate people and prevent the draconian types of proposals that always seem to be floating around in congressional committees. But ultimately is the US political establishment going to do anything to undermine entertainment? Never. What's good for Hollywood is good for America.
  • by toad3k (882007) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:01PM (#15577794)
    Well on the other hand, "Electronic Frontier Foundation" doesn't make headlines. "Pirate Party" does.
  • by esper (11644) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:06PM (#15577828) Homepage
    No, I'd say the Twelfth Amendment [usconstitution.net] is the cause of the two-party problem:

    The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.
    If no Presidential candidate gets a majority of the (electoral college) votes, then the House picks from the three highest (electoral) vote-getters. It does not go to whoever got the most votes (either popular or electoral). Having a third party prominent enough to compete against the Republicans and Democrats would just split the vote such that nobody ever gets a majority and we get a string of Presidents chosen by Congress - ultimately selected by the people, sure, but even more indirectly than in the current electoral college system.
  • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:11PM (#15577857)
    What sort of IP Reform is needed in a New Jersey town? This platform is inheritly national.
  • by koreth (409849) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:14PM (#15577879)
    You, and people like you, saying it's "futile" and third party votes are "wasted" are the cause of the two party problem.

    I see. So the lack of proportional party representation in the legislature, a century of gerrymandering, winner-take-all electoral college voting, and a bevy of exclusionary state election laws have nothing to do with it.

  • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:14PM (#15577882)
    You assume the political establishment sees the EFF as legit. At best they're perceived as gadflies or the ACLU B-Team. At worst, pirates or piracy sympathies.
  • by Software (179033) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:16PM (#15577896) Homepage Journal
    Since none of the issues important to the PP are decided at the local level, can you explain how a PP mayor would govern differently from a non-PP mayor? You'd need to broaden the PP's platform to include issues that have some local effect, such as free municpal Wi-Fi.

    I think that starting a 527 committee and/or hiring a lobbyist is a better idea. Put together some well placed bribes^H^H^H^H^H^H campaign contributions to existing Congressional representatives (since your chances of getting one elected are, to a first approximation, zero) to get them on your side.

  • by srvivn21 (410280) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:20PM (#15577926)
    Personally, I think copyright should be perpetual as long as someone decided to will on the ownership it and folks paid to keep it current in the copyright system. Why? Because as an artist, if I create something, you should not take enjoyment or admiration of my piece to meaning that you now own a piece of my property. Lot of people like my house -- should it revert to my neighbors just because they like what I own? Some of them think so and have acted upon these beliefs.

    Ugh. If someone likes your house, and they take it away from you, you no longer have it. If someone likes your house, and replicates it on their own property (the method is unimportant to this discussion), does that diminish the value of your home?

    Why do you, as an artist feel that you should be able to mooch off your one big work for the rest of your life (and your children's lives, etc.)? Do you think it would be equitable for the person who painted your house to receive a royalty check every time someone admires your house? Should the plumber get a check every time you flush your toilet?

    This is not intended as a flame. I seriously want to know, from someone who feels this entitlement, where do you draw the line? How can you make these comparisons with a straight face?
  • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:24PM (#15577954)
    So if the EFF is seen at worst as "pirates or piracy sympathies", what on earth makes you think the political establishment will take the Pirate Party seriously? At *best* they'll be viewed as being worse than the EFF.
  • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:34PM (#15578041) Homepage
    I don't know if I fully agree with IP lifespans getting shorter.. With production costs of things like movies and games getting higher and higher due to consumer demand of better looking special effects/graphics (interesting enough music production costs are getting lower due to equipment costs getting cheaper) it's in the best interests of those industries to continually piggy back off of the same franchises (see Mario version X, Fast and the Furious 3, etc.)

    I think the biggest problem is the fact that corporations can hold copyrights. If something like a copyright is there to protect "artists" then corporations should have no say in it. If you have it attributed to an individual then I think that individual should be able to transfer it to another individual when they retire/die if they would like someone to continue their legacy.

    If anything I think there should be more of a "use it or loose it" policy where if the content hasn't been published/manufactured/etc. for 10 years then it becomes public domain. So if "Music Group X" makes an album in 2010 and it only gets pressed for 2 years and production stops then in 2022 that music becomes public domain. If in 2019 one of the songs pops up on a sound track then that song get's it's clock reset until production of the sound track stops. Public performances by the copyright owner (movie in a theater/TV, band playing live, painting on display, etc) would also reset the clock. If a copyright is worth having then these things will still occur ANYWAY.
  • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:34PM (#15578043)
    Because they wear their goals on their sleeve and aren't pretending to have some bogus policy wonk solution to make everybody happy. Does the EFF really support some mandatory RIAA Tax, or are they just trying to condone piracy with a wink? They're not fooling anybody.

    And, I'm pretty sure the Piracy Party is not supposed to be a 100% serious organization.
  • by HarbingerKtS (979609) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:50PM (#15578157)
    Copyright, patent reform, and privacy reform will only take a political party so far. If this party is going to succeed in any major way it also has to develop a clear stance on issues that white-bread america will be interested in. What are the party's stance on things like preventing the FEMA fiasco in the wake on Hurricane Katrina? What's their policy on the minimum wage laws? Where's their stance on drug policy and education and taxes?

    These are what most people will want to know before signing up for a party.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:55PM (#15578187)

    It would also be good to go back to having to explicitly register copyrights with the Library of Congress, and to require that the LOC gets a free, non-DRM-encumbered copy in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Considering that the Public Domain is designed to foster modification, it only makes sense that a "compiled work" such as a software binary or lossy-compressed digital video wouldn't be useful, and therefore shouldn't be sufficient to use as collateral to earn copyright protection.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:16PM (#15578311) Journal
    The Pirate Party doesn't have to get elected to get their point across. Political parties whose platforms are based on a single concept (e.g. intellectual rights reform) merely have to prove they have popular support, and then one or more major parties will pick up (or pirate, lol) their idea to add to their votes.

    Does this happen in practice? What other issues have been picked up by major parties due to a third party getting public attention? It's a nice theory, but are you sure it actually works this way?
  • But pirates have cannons that can kill ninjas before they get close enough to use their ninja-fu.
  • by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:59PM (#15578573) Journal
    >So if the EFF is seen at worst as "pirates or piracy sympathies", what on earth makes you think the political establishment will take the Pirate Party seriously?

    What makes you think the EFF isn't seen in this light anyways? More importantly, what makes you think it's relevant to many people in the political establishment if they are pirates or piracy sympathizers? I was under the impression that politics focused on either providing what the people want or trying to push people into issues so they'd decide based on them. The "pro-public domain" camp fits the former (clearly this new party is about issues that voters care about). The only real issue is that it's hard to compare "Iraq War" and "Public Domain" as talking points, so it's hard to use it to drive votes. To that end, I'm not sure it's possible to make the political establishment really care at all until these "pirates" go about looting ships.

    Ie, I really don't see this changing much of anything.
  • by ryusen (245792) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:07PM (#15578640) Homepage
    but just how many votes can they really get? and how many candidates can they field? seems to me liek a waste of time. the time and money would be better spent on public awareness campaigns and lobbying.
  • by mike_the_kid (58164) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:12PM (#15578672) Journal
    Right, but piracy doesn't accurately refer to copyright infringement.

    Piracy is robbery committed at sea. Copyright infringement is ... copyright infringement.

    See, one involves killing and stealing. The other involves copyright infringement.

    One has the effect of immediate and tangible harm to the victim. The other has the effect of infringing on someone's copyrights.

    They're both crimes, but they're different kinds of crimes.

    If someone tries to rob you at sea, and you fight back and kill them, you're probably justified. If someone is tries to infringe on your copyrights, and you kill them, you're probably a psychopath.
  • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:05PM (#15579293)
    what on earth makes you think the political establishment will take the Pirate Party seriously?

    What on earth makes you think they should give a fuck? If you stand around politely waiting for permission from the "political establishment", you'll never get anywhere.
  • by srvivn21 (410280) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @08:25PM (#15579605)
    First off, thanks for the reply. I get the distinct impression that we are on opposite sides of the fence and will never see eye to eye on this issue. Your taking the time to reply and keeping a civil tone with someone who poses a question that might seem threatening speaks volumes of your character. Anyway, on to the discussion...

    Because its my creation. Why should Bill Gates 'mooch off' his millions of dollars he has in the bank every year? Why should office workers mooch off their salary? To me, this line of questioning is just as assinine as yours. I create something, I control it. It doesn't matter if it can be duplicated -- in fact, it makes it all the more morally right for me to control if it can be copied.

    He didn't create the money in the bank. He created something of value (to someone) and was paid for it. He got paid for the perceived value he added. If he stopped adding that value, he would stop getting paid. Now he has enough money that he can invest it in other venues that add value, and claim some of the reward for that added value, but that is neither here nor there. It's the same thing for office workers. They stop adding value they stop getting paid. Let's say I'm a psychologist. I create contentment (if I'm any good). Do I get to control the level of contentment in the people I treat after I'm done treating them? I created it (it wasn't there before I did my work). Is it not mine?

    If I build a house and sold it, I got paid and thus no longer need to get paid for someone admiring my house. You pay me upfront for a song what I think its worth and I'll sell it to you wholesale. I've done this a few times. I had a song I worked on that ended up on an aging pop singers album a few years back -- the guy wanted his grandson to get some writing credit even though he did absolutely nothing. I told the guy that I'd just sell it outright as opposed to waiting around for the royalties (which anyone in the music industry knows the songwritting credit is where the money comes from). The singer agreed and cut a check and we signed over all rights to him and his grandson.

    No problems here. This is really how I feel it should work. You created something, you got paid for your work. As a painter, or a sculptor you charge admission to view your work. As a singer you hold concerts. As a songwriter, you write music for singers to sing.

    Oh yeah -- if I were a plumber, I wouldn't install residential toilets -- I'd buy a storefront and set up the cleanest pay toilets downtown and charge everyone $10 a plop.

    And if you found that people were not willing to pay this much, would you complain about the fact that you couldn't make a living at it?

    Or I'd just put in toilets as normal plumbers do and be happy that I had a decent job that didn't worry about going out of style and that I was pretty much guarenteed a specific amount of money a year that was well above the nations average. Being a plumber is a lot less of a crapshoot than being a musician...

    I imagine the pun was unintentional. In any case, this is simply not true. If you are a good plumber, then people will continue to call on your services. If you are a good artist, people will continue to call on your services. If your plumbing skills are sub-par, you are likely not going to be able to make a living at it*. Same thing for an artist. If nobody likes your work enough to make it worth your while to continue to produce it, why should you continue to get paid for the work that you did in the past? The biggest difference I see is the potential glamor of being a big name artist means there is a glut of supply there. Contrast the number of people who wish to be a rock star as a career, versus the number of people who dream of being a plumber.

    I still feel my question is left unanswered. Where does this sense of entitlement to be paid for past work come in?

  • by srvivn21 (410280) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @09:16PM (#15579781)

    You build and sell houses. Somebody invents a magical device to copy your houses and build them at no cost, and then gives them away for free. Does that interfere with your ability to sell the houses that you have built?

    I'm going to answer your rhetorical question. Yes. Obviously it does. But the person who created the magical device is obviously putting more value into society than I am. He has found a far more efficient method of building houses. Assuming that his method is not stealing the resources (and I do mean stealing in the sense of depriving someone else of them), more power to him. Looks like I might need to adapt. Perhaps there will be those who value a hand built house more than a "magicly" made one (look at the cost of Amish hand made furniture versus machine built for an example). Perhaps I can continue to build houses and even charge more for them...

    Or, more to your point: somebody duplicates your house next door. When it's time to move, they sell it for far less than you paid for yours. Your other neighbors who copied your house do the same -- after all, they got their house for free. Does that diminish the value of your home? Absolutely.

    By the same respects, the next house I'll buy is going to cost much less (or be free). Sure I have incurred a net financial loss (the money I invested in purchasing the house in the first place), but the value of the house to me has not dropped at all (it is still home, sweet home). By the same respects, such a shift in the value of the housing market (a very different beast from entertainment) would have a profound effect on the economy. This is really where that analogy falls apart.

    In any case, I have a job. I get paid for the work that I do. I would feel guilty holding my past work ransom. It's just who I am. As such I don't understand how someone else feels no guilt (quite the opposite in some cases) at doing so.

    Poets, novelists and musicians pretty much have the lowest per capita income. It is far, far, far easier to make a decent living as a house painter or as a plumber. This is why copyright exists: to incent people to participate in a profession that largely pays shit, but has the potential to improve society. That "promote the progress of science and the useful arts" sort of stuff. This is what many laws do: they address inequities if the value to society makes it worth it.

    That's all well and good, and a choice that each of us has to make. I can see granting a limited monoploly on the work to promote the creation of more work as a compromise... But how does that excuse passing the benefits to those that had no part in the creation of the enrichment? How does that justify a perpetual reward for a fixed amount of work?

    If you truly believe that this is unfair -- if you think that artists are mooches and don't deserve to have their rights respected -- you can conduct a thought experiment. Rewind your way back to the time you were 18. Would you have rather have taken the path of trying to make a living as a composer, songwriter, author or poet? Making enough money off of your ideas to support yourself and your family? Or, do you think it was a safer -- and ultimately more lucrative -- choice to follow the path you have?

    I have no artistic talent. I can't draw my way out of a paper bag, I can't carry a tune worth a spit, when I see a block of wood, I don't see the scupture within, I see a bock of wood. There was never any question of which path I was going to take. I'm also a bit risk adverse, so I didn't become an investment banker either. But I do a little trading as a hobby. Do you see a parallel?

    The funny thing is I'm paid for my mind and my ingenuity. I do make money off my ideas as a problem solver (at its most basic level). Just not perpetually. I have to continue to solve problems to be paid. *shrug*

    One can judge

  • All in the name (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Moflamby-2042 (919990) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:30PM (#15580094)
    How about the 'Free Information' party instead? Many of the comments around here defending the Pirate party name come from that other <insert awkward name> doesn't sound as good or grab the attention that is needed. That's fair but before running to call your party the Murderer's party or Rapist party, when your party has absolutely nothing to do with either of those seems counterproductive. It tips the scales against you before you've said anything. There are many more decent sounding names than ones with criminal denotations that people can rally behind. They surely would be more popular at first sight with average citizens of America than something already subverted by its incorrect literal interpretation.

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