Pirate Party Look For Filesharer Support In Elections

With the election race heating up and the main political parties sending out the big guns to secure your vote we were surprised to hear about a small party called Pirate Party UK. They are a movement inspired by the success of Sweden’s pro-internet file sharing Pirate Party in the European elections and are hoping to make waves in the UK on May 6th.

Pirate Party UK are fielding nine candidates in this general election and although they have fewer than 900 members, they are still looking to stir up mutiny among sections of the electorate unhappy with “criminalisation” of file sharing, “excessive surveillance” and what it sees as limits to free speech.

Andrew Robinson, the party’s leader hopes to make enough of an impact in 2010 to build momentum for the next European Parliament elections (likely to be 2014) and equal the success of their Scandinavian inspiration.
Sweden’s Pirate Party was founded in 2006 and has more than 50,000 members, making it the country’s third-largest political party in terms of membership. It also secured two MEPs in last year’s European Parliament election.

Essentially a single issue party the Pirate Party is opposed to copyright controls on the internet, it wants people to be able to download any song or movie free on the internet as long as no money is changing hands and wants it to be decriminalised. It takes its inspiration from the well-known Pirate Bay, whose founders were last year found guilty of copyright infringement and sentenced to 12 months in jail.

Pirate Party UK, and similar organisations springing up around the world, share the same core policy principal that copyright law should be changed to allow file sharing over the internet.

Here is what Mr Robinson has to say…
“Internet copyright laws have to change, or else you are criminalising a whole generation. […] Sharing music over the internet for example, shouldn’t be considered an offence, as in reality it is free advertising for the band in question.In the old days record companies would pay a plugger to get their music on the radio, today it is all about people listening to it over the internet, which a far more democratic process.”

In addition to decriminalising file sharing, Pirate Party UK wants tougher rules to protect people’s privacy on the internet, requiring the police to get specific warrants before they can monitor an individual’s communications.
It also wants stricter limits to prevent companies from keeping excessive personal data on their customers, and laws to prevent government censorship except in the most extreme circumstances. On a more prosaic note, it wants internet users to only have to pay for the actual speed they get from their provider, and not what was advertised.

Whether you agree with them or not they are here.

For a more full article check out:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8644834.stm

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