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Pirate Party Comes to the U.S. 543

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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  • Pirate Bay US (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Miadlo ( 954294 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:46PM (#15577149)
    And I thought they were joking when I saw a comment on Digg or here, (cant remember which), that there was going to become a Pirate Bay USA, will never happen but good to see a little good come out of the RIAA and USA make jackasses out of themselves in the raid.
  • by heinousjay ( 683506 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:46PM (#15577151) Journal
    The everlasting extension of copyright isn't really the issue here, anyway. They should rename themselves "The Entertainment Wants To Be Free Party," because that's all they stand for. Unless you think the Pirate Bay is doing a brisk business in Steamboat Willie.
  • Avast! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cleon ( 471197 ) <cleon42@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:47PM (#15577164) Homepage

    It be about time that someone be takin' up the mantle of IP reform and greater privacy! Fer sure, the twin armadas of the Republicrats and Democans have failed to take it on, and e'en the Libertarians and Greens don't talk too much about it.

    Avast, mateys! Perchance finally there be a Party worth votin' for.
  • by ABoerma ( 941672 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:52PM (#15577212)
    The Swedish party is named horribly as well, and they seem to be doing quite well.
  • Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:55PM (#15577239)
    Honestly, at this point, I *do* support piracy.

    After seeing how the Republicans are selling my ass out to the telecoms in the house*, I--someone who has been registered as a republican for as long as he could vote--am dumping that party until it comes to its senses.

    Keel haul the blaggards!

    * There are plenty of reasons to dump them, not just Net Neutrality. It's just that that's the absolute last straw. At this point, I feel like I'm throwing my vote away voting for either of the two main parties, anyhow so I might as well vote with someone I agree with...
  • by HardCase ( 14757 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:57PM (#15577263)
    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).

    Don't tell Jim Jeffords [wikipedia.org] or Bernie Sanders [wikipedia.org].

  • by VoxCombo ( 782935 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:02PM (#15577310)
    Actually, as logn as we've had the current two party system, single issue parties have really been the only ones that have succeeded..sort of. Works like this:

    1. People found a party around an issue they feel is important but neither major party agrees.
    2. Small single-issue party grows bigger
    3. One major party takes notice, and absorbs the issue, effectively disbanding the party

    I'm not saing it's great, but I suppose it's a kind of victory
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:03PM (#15577324) Journal
    True enough. "Copyright Reform Party", or "Intellectual Property Reform Party" or, I dunno, I'm not one of those political campaign managers, but almost anything would be better.

    Actually, "Privateer" evokes a revolutionary-era image of our forefathers fighting for freedom from the (still) hated British.

    But, these guys cant seriously expect votes, it's just a publicity stunt to get people to notice them and get some press. Unfortunately, they'll likely make a joke of the whole issue and hurt the cause more than help it, like when some elitist hollywood jackass get's all political and drags the party image into the mud.

    Most people would vote GNAA before Pirate.
  • waste of time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spongman ( 182339 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:03PM (#15577325)
    why don't all these groups that want to repeal such and such bad law, or change this law, or whatnot, just get together and lobby for campaign finance reform. once that's done they can actually have a snowball's chance in hell of actually getting done what they originally set out to do.
  • by badboy_tw2002 ( 524611 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:08PM (#15577360)
    I could give a shit if the rights for Ashlee Simpson's latest hot single never expires. I don't really care. Make it a million years or something. The more it cost to use it, the less I'll have to hear it. The real problem here is when the copyright holders have a war against technology, try to shut down communications between people, and basically tell me what I can and can't do because there's a slight chance I might try to steal their shitty music.
  • Not really (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:11PM (#15577378)
    Politicians will totally pander to some groups because they know that if they don't, they'll be punished bad enough to lose elections. In Canada, we have the NDP. They stand no chance of winning an election but they have a huge effect. The Liberals have to steal the NDP's policies in order to win. It is why Canada is very progressive on some issues. Even the Conservatives find themselves constrained because they know that they can lose votes to the NDP. Yes, I know that last one sounds strange; it helps to have been raised in Saskatchewan (it gave us both Tommy Douglas and John Diefenbaker) to understand it.

    There are enough people who don't vote that you wouldn't have to turn too many Republicans or Democrats to make a big difference. This is one of those issues where you could get support from both sides. You could also bundle it with America's fading status in the world and the erosion of civil rights. Heck, you could probably even conscript Ralph Nader's followers.
    http://elections.gmu.edu/voter_turnout.htm [gmu.edu]

    It would make some people's lives a lot easier if most people became too apathetic to vote. If you let that happen then you deserve what you get.
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:15PM (#15577410) Journal
    You, and people like you, saying it's "futile" and third party votes are "wasted" are the cause of the two party problem. You've helped brainwash the american voter into thinking it's a coin toss, and he should pick the "lesser of two evils".

    Then on election day, we see some bullshit like "49% people favor John Kerry and 51% people favor George Bush". Which we all know is wrong. Nearly everybody, in the last election, thought both candidates sucked.

    Vote for who you want to vote for. They may not win, but we won't be sending some assclown to the whitehouse with some bullshit "51% american support" argument. The next time the republicrats win, I want to see the number say "7%", followed by maybe Greens or Libertarians with 4% and 5% type numbers. I want the numbers to clearly demonstrate what the people want.

    If that were to happen, and the two parties will realize just how tenuous their connection to the voters are, and things will start to change.

    But instead, all of the apathetic slugs out there contribute the the problem by saying "I really like blah-blahs positions but I dont want to waste my vote so I dunno, Hillary Clinton I guess".

    Vote for the Pirate Party if you like them. They don't have to win to send a message.

  • by Ossifer ( 703813 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:26PM (#15577482)
    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).
    It's even worse for single-issue parties. The design of the American democratic system essentially precludes these parties from gaining power--the lack of a proportional party-based legislature, and the lack of an excutive branch formed out of the legislature. The former situation requires a newcomer to win a substantial number of districts outright to have any real power, and the latter precludes a small number of legislators from such a single-issue party from wielding lynchpin power in forming governments.

    Compare this to say, Sweden, where you vote for parties, and any party garnering over 4% of the vote (country-wide) gets legislative representation, without having to have majority support in any region. Then, such a party can make demands upon the larger parties seeking their support in forming a government.

    I'm not advocating either form of democracy (I've seen the downside of both systems, having lived in both above-named countries), I personally dislike political parties and their influence. In fact the US constitution was intentionally crafted to prevent the influence of "factions" (source: The Federalist Papers), however futile this effort was...
  • by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan...stine@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:33PM (#15577536) Homepage
    One thing to note is that this party seems to transcend traditional left/right ideological lines and subsequently will not "draw" from one of the major parties like the Greens or Libertarians*. If the Pirate Party ever gets anyone to run for office, they won't be decried as spoilers. At least, it would take a master spinmeister to do so.

    *I don't subscribe to this belief, but many do. Perception is reality.

  • thanks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MBraynard ( 653724 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:36PM (#15577569) Journal
    Someone doesn't understand how politics work in this country. The role that parliamentarians have in other governments is actually devolved to the individual voters in this country. We, individually, determine who the actual leaders are rather than voting for a party who may or may not win a majority and then negotiates without consulting the voters on what will constitute a government.

    As such, the Pirate party will, if it gets anywhere (and it won't) would just suck off energy from the Democrat party.

    If they were wise, which they are not, they would recognize the way to have their voice heard and actually get stuff done is to act as a caucus within one of the two established parties.

    Years and years ago the presidential campaign of Pat Robertson did the same thing. After LOSING, they formed an organization known as the Christian Coalition. They decided not to form their own political party but to ingrain themselves and take over the Republican party from the ground up. They were largely successful. The Christian Coalition on the national level is just a shel but their mission has largely been accomplished and they, in many cases, _are_ the Republican Party.

    The Democrat party can be taken over (or at least heavily influenced) in the same way by an organized group - but it seems the Pirate Party is not it.

  • Re:It's in there. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cptgrudge ( 177113 ) <{cptgrudge} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:44PM (#15577640) Journal
    Perhaps new copyright legislation should define the "limited time" as one half of the total average lifespan of an American citizen, according to an unbiased source (where do we get this statistic now?). Have it be measured and applied every 10 years. That way, copyright holders and their agents will have a real interest in the extension of the human lifespan as well, not just copyright!
  • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @02:47PM (#15577668) Homepage
    You're right, and that's Moglen's [groklaw.net] reading, but I was encouraged to find this in the Eldred decision:

    "...when, as in this case, Congress has not altered the traditional contours of copyright protection, further First Amendment scrutiny is unnecessary."

    By implication, this means laws that do alter the "contours" can be challenged constitutionally. I'm thinking DMCA, esp. anticircumvention... which goes beyond the prohibition of copying and denies mere access to works, as pointed out in a good chapter of a very mediocre book: Protecting Ideas by David L. Hudson.

  • 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.

    I agree with you, the world's nuts. One of these days we'll have a Finnish kid and a beardy hacker saying "Hey, let's make an operating system!". And I bet they'll give it a cryptic name and a penguin for mascot. And then they'd say stupid things like "Software should be Free". How can a stupid idea like that prosper in today's capitalistic world? Sheesh.</sarcasm>
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:01PM (#15577790) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps new copyright legislation should define the "limited time" as one half of the total average lifespan of an American citizen, according to an unbiased source (where do we get this statistic now?).

    The US Census Bureau exists to implement the constitutional requirement for an enumeration. A hard limit of half a life expectancy would be easy to implement based on data that the Census Bureau and similar government agencies already publish. But then pegging the copyright term to the progress of medical arts it might make the copyright industry support the drug industry.

  • by General Fault ( 689426 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:04PM (#15577810)
    Right! And just the opposite as well. Many names that start as a publicly positive term can be turned into an insult. Just think Liberal:
    1. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
    2. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
    3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
    4. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

    And now it somehow means "damn pot smoking hippie".

  • by jb.hl.com ( 782137 ) <joe&joe-baldwin,net> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:19PM (#15577922) Homepage Journal
    Yes, but their name refers to copyright infringement. Not exactly the best way to get across the message that what you REALLY care about is cheap drugs for everyone and privacy for all (admirable goals).
  • by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @03:43PM (#15578103) 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

    This problem of always having to go with the lesser of two evils constantly frustrates me. I rather like this proposal by Rand Simberg over at Transterrestrial Musings: [transterrestrial.com]

    I'd love to see ballots printed with "None of the above" as an option. If that option wins the election, we start over, with no incumbents, and new primaries. Call it the American form of lack-of-confidence vote.

    It turns out that there's a "Voters for None of the Above" organization dedicated to this, but they seem to be mostly inactive:

    http://www.nota.org/ [nota.org]

    From their page:

    How would a binding "None of the Above" on the ballot work?

    In any state with a permanent, binding "None of the Above" on the ballot, the list of candidates for each office would be followed by the votable line "NOTA - For a new election", or something similar. If NOTA gets more votes than any candidate for the office, then no one is elected to that office; instead, a follow-up by-election with new candidates must be held to fill that office, until a candidate wins a plurality of votes among all other candidates including "None of the Above." "None of the Above" on the ballot has many thoughtful advocates, including The Wall Street Journal and Ralph Nader. Nevada has had a non-binding NOTA on the ballot since 1976. (See NOTA bills and laws for a list of all NOTA bills and laws. See NOTA options for the full range of binding and non-binding NOTA Voter Consent ballot options.)

    Why are Voter Consent Ballot Options, such as a permanent, binding "None of the Above" on the ballot, a good idea?

    * All legitimate consent requires the ability to withhold consent; "None of the Above" gives the voter the ballot option to withhold consent from an election to office, just as voters can cast a "No" vote on a ballot question.
    * Would end the "must hire" elections where voters are often forced to vote for the least unacceptable candidate, the all too familiar "lesser evil."
    * A candidate must obtain voter consent to be elected, even if running unopposed.
    * Voters would decide the fate of the political parties' choices, instead of the parties deciding the voters' choices.
    * It should reduce negative campaigning by encouraging candidates to campaign for their own candidacy rather than against their opponent's candidacy.
    * Many voters and non voters, who now register their disapproval of all candidates for an office by not voting, could cast a meaningful vote.
    * The meaning of elections should become more clear, since voters would no longer be tempted to vote for a presumed losing candidate, with whom they really do not agree, as a protest vote.
    * Establishes flexible, voter controlled term limits of one term for every office, as the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended.
    * Campaign contributors who give to all candidates to insure "access" would no longer be sure they backed the winner; in general, buying elections should become a more uncertain enterprise.
    * Improves checks and balances between voters and political parties, especially needed in jurisdictions with one dominant political party or nearly identical alternatives.
    * Political parties would nominate candidates knowing those candidates must be a better choice for voters than "None of the Above."
    * Follow-up by-elections are far less costly than electing unacceptable candidates to office.
  • Re:Approval Voting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:09PM (#15578273) Journal
    I think the Libertarian party would get less votes in a system such as you describe, as people would be scared that the Libertarians might actually win.

    If you read the party platform, Libertarians come across as scary nutcases. They deny the existence of natural monopolies and state that all monopolies come from government regulation, overlooking hundreds of years of economic theory. In a Libertarian country, the schools, police, fire, roads, water, power, and sewer systems would all be privatized. All regulations would be abolished. Tainted meat? Sue! Airplane crashes due to poor maintenance? Don't fly with them, the free market will sort it! Environmental disasters? Sue, after the damage has been done of course.

    There are two answers to any problem in Libertarian La-La Land: Vote with your wallet, or sue. Of course, if you don't have any money to begin with, you're pretty much screwed, but that's Social Darwinism for you. Obviously, the fact that you are poor proves you are inferior, Q.E.D.

    Now that I'm done bashing Libertarians (they make such an easy target, almost as much fun to taunt as hippies) let me just say I like Condorcet voting [wikipedia.org] better than approval voting.
  • Re:Please spare me (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:14PM (#15578301)
    > 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...

    You're absolutely right. Of course, "there's no such thing as bad publicity" so it might be possible to turn that against them...

    Shouldn't the average person get angry if a business is buying laws to extort the general public? And isn't that exactly what they'd be proving by going after the members?
  • by Fulcrum of Evil ( 560260 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:19PM (#15578321)

    hey should rename themselves "The Entertainment Wants To Be Free Party,"

    Pirate Party rolls off the tongue - your name sucks. In today's media saturated world, that's important. I for one would love to be the first Pirate President.

  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @04:30PM (#15578411)
    Perhaps the best thing the Pirate Party could do is try to fuel a grassroots compaign for a Constitutional Amendment that sets in stone the fourteen year terms and registration requirements of the original US copyright laws so that Congress can't use the "harmonizing" excuse anymore. This of course would have to be done by the states themselves since the **AAs and gerrymandering have pretty much ensured that Congress itself would not introduce the necessary legislation.
  • by Chris Pimlott ( 16212 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:00PM (#15578586)
    Of course their name refers to copyright infringement! Of course they identifying with criminals! The whole point of the party "infringment" shouldn't be a crime. The whole point is disagree with the current laws regarding copyright and that a large portion of the general population be on the wrong side of legality because of it. The head of the Swedish Pirate Party, had a good response in a recent Wikinews interview [wikinews.org]:

    Oh, [piracy of software, movies, music, etc.] is a crime. That's the heart of the problem! The very problem is that something that 20% of the voters are doing is illegal by punishment of jail time. That's what we want to change. Where the established parties are saying that the voters are broken, we are saying it's the law that is broken.
  • Re:Approval Voting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:18PM (#15578696)
    First of all, the Libertarians are a party of ideology. This makes them a bit crazy. However, a tiny bit of their idealogy would be a good influence for both of the main parties. The same goes for the Green Party, etc. Choice never hurts. Secondly, when suggesting a change in voting practices, you want to chose a path of easy migration. Condorcet voting is just to complicated to score properly (face it, election workers are 90% retired people with less than amazing eyesite, etc), and is too different from what we have already. Approval voting can be enacted on a regional level, and if it had some press it might actually have a chance once things get fucked up enough.
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:31PM (#15578756) Journal
    An AC post, replying to what could easily be considered flamebait at best (I should know, I wrote it that way ;-), that is rational and insightful? Wha?!? Where's the real AC, what have you done with him?

    You hit the nail on the head about Libertarians. They are idealogues, and a bit crazy, but they have some good ideas. And I hadn't even thought about migration difficulties in voting systems, you are right, Condorcet may be more fair, but it is really complicated. You basically have to take every possible pairing of candidates and say who you would prefer given those two choices. Approval voting is not as fair in some ways, but much simpler to implement.
  • Re:It's in there. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:36PM (#15578780) Journal
    How about have it so copyright extention is paid for. You get your first 10 to 20 years as it is now, then you have to pay a renewal fee every say 3 to 5 years that doubles each time. Eventually it would become unprofitable to continue to pay the renewal and you'd have to release to the PD.
  • Re:Approval Voting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:42PM (#15578815) Homepage
    The Libertarian platform, taken and implemented as a whole, does seem a little nutty. On the other hand, I'd love to see a term with a Libertarian president and a Democrat congress, or a Libertarian swing minority in the senate.
  • by shark72 ( 702619 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:10PM (#15578989)

    "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?"

    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?

    Put another way: you can buy a house for $200K. It costs that much because it took time, effort and materials to build. Or, you can get an identical house next door for free, because of the aforementioned magical machine. The person who offers to give you this house did not invest in its creation. What incentive would you have to buy the house when you could get it for free?

    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.

    "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?"

    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.

    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?

    One can judge a society by the value they place on their artists, composers, educators, and so on. You likely hope for a society where mooching artists can be put in their rightful place -- and that's fine. But I think it's sad.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:23PM (#15579063)

    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 does it matter ? The question is whether the voters will take them seriously - no, on second thought, it only matters if the voters will vote for them, even as a joke.

    You know, I'd really like to see an eyepatch-wearing and cuttclass-wielding pirate march into the White House and declare himself the High Captain of the United States. And the parrot will be the Vice-President.

    <flamebait>Hey, a murdering maniac who's actually been in battle (hence the eyepatch) is a step up from one who hasn't, since he might actually know better than to march headlong into a quagmire. And pirate captains actually led the assaults instead of hanging back and coming to reap the glory once the fight was (thought to be) won.</flamebait>.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:13PM (#15579325)
    As the author of the above (and still anonymous because I really just don't want the hatemail my posts seem to generate, though its probably not hard to figure out my username if you looked for similar comments in the past) --

    "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.)?"

    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.

    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.

    It was a fair deal -- I would have actually made more money on the royalties after several years (the album became a decent seller for a few years) -- but it was fair. If I could sell all my music like this, I would and I would never care what the person who bought it did with it.

    But if its a crap shoot where I don't know what I'm going to make or I don't get what I think its worth, I will still rent the music to you and not feel bad about it. Right now, royalties from 10 years in the industry buy me a decent dinner with friends every month or two.

    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. 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...
  • by siriuskase ( 679431 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @08:23PM (#15579595) Homepage Journal
    First, we need to do something about how in the USA, it is almost impossible for a third, fourth, or fifth, not to mention more, party to win an election. When the Repulicrats talk about election reform, they talk about small tweaks that don't do much of anything useful. They stay from any fixes that give more than 2 parties a fighting chance. The Libertarians, Greens, Pirates, etc, don't have much in common except that they aren't electable under the current system. Everyone needs to get together with only one plank, to replace the current election system, then we can hold another election a month or two later. There are democratic governments all over the world we could study and emulate. I kinda like what they do in Australia - voting is mandatory for all citizens, but they have some really cool parties ye can choose as a protest or whatever.
  • by dolphinling ( 720774 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @06:50AM (#15581309) Homepage Journal

    Easy. Over 30% [cptech.org] of drug company money is spent on marketing. With no patents, all drugs become "generic". No marketing is needed for generic drugs, because they're all the same. That's 30% of costs that drug companies aren't paying, and therefore 30% of costs that aren't passed on to consumers. Consumers now save 30% on their drugs. Tax them 15%, and spend that money on R&D grants. Consumers now save 15% over the original amount, and R&D has doubled.

    Yes, that's a very simplified chain of events. However, the people who research this kind of thing are pretty sure that yes, that's about what would happen. If you're interested, I suggest you read up on it (I have only in small amounts, I'm more interested in the other parts of the Pirate Party platform).

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.