Party Sovereignty

It might come as a surprise to many non-Pirates that there is no real organisation of the international movement. Rather, each Party has complete sovereignty over its own affairs.

There are a few multi-party organisations:

  • Pirate Parties International (PPI). This organisation does not dictate policy, and has only a few rules of membership. It’s primary function is to assist collaboration, facilitate communication, and help local parties start up.
  • European Pirate Party (PPEU). This does not dictate local policy, but instead works on a joint platform for the European Parliamentary elections. It’s effectively just another tier of government.
  • African Coalition of Pirate Parties (ACPP). An organisation about which little is known, but appears to be led by one of the two Tunisian Pirate Parties.
  • Pirate National Committee/United States Pirate Party (PNC/USPP). A national committee in the United States. As the US cannot truly have federal parties, this organisation works similarly to PPI, and cannot dictate local policy. Not all US Pirate Parties are members.

There are two key issues I want to talk about that this relates to. The first is Kopimism, the second is incest. The reason for these will become apparent below.

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The Trichordist Strawmen

Many readers would be familiar with the strawman fallacy. As I wrote in my previous post, the strawman fallacy works like this:

Person A: “Defense is necessary. We should spend more on protecting the nation.”

Person B: “I don’t think we need to spend more on defense.”

Person A: “Person B doesn’t think defense is important! They would see us be at the mercy of more powerful nations!”

A very simplified version of it, but it gets to the point. Person B has put forward the statement that they think defense is fine as it is. Person A has distorted that argument, and transformed it into something that can be more easily argued against. The easiest option is to reinterpret that statement, and present an emotive argument against it, putting the onus back on Person B to clarify and defend their statement. It’s frustrating being on the receiving end of this.

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Moderating Trolls ≠ Censorship

As many would know, Pirate Parties are about stealing stuff, right? That’s all we’re for. We want to rip the artists and film makers off and throw them in the gutter. We’re anti-culture. We’re nerds. And the future we aim for is a bleak world filled with zeros and ones and sterile electronic music, just like you see in the films of the writers, directors and actors we’re putting out of business. We want to stop the film, television, publishing and music industries getting all their lost money back by suing teenagers and their families for downloading songs. How dare we? We actually want to allow students to share textbooks with each other so they can afford to live on something other than two minute noodles. It’s stealing that we want to legalise at the expense of the publishing companies.

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Illegal Sound Musical Quotation Research Paper

Illegal Sound –

A brief look at attitudes toward musical quotation and copyright infringement in the twenty-first century

Copyright infringement has in the last decade become a hotly debated topic, a direct result of the ease with which copyrighted material can be distributed without authorisation via the Internet. Music industry organisations have pursued these ‘pirates,’ while artists are divided on the issue. Musicians including Thom Yorke (of Radiohead)1, Neil Young2  and Courtney Love3 have publicly taken the side of the pirates, while on the other hand Metallica4, Lily Allen5 and Till Lindemann (of Rammstein)6 have been in support of anti-piracy campaigns and measures. The issue has entered the global political landscape with the Pirate Party movement established in over forty countries. The German Pirate Party has taken nearly fifty state parliament seats and is polling just behind the Greens. However, the debate is often centred around file-sharing, and fails to address the issue of ‘read-only culture.’

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Review: “The Case for Copyright Reform” by Christian Engström and Rick Falkvinge.

Christian Engström, MEP, and Rick Falkvinge are two names all Pirates should be familiar with. For the unacquainted – Engström is one of the two Pirate Members of the European Parliament, and Falkvinge is the founder of the Pirate Party movement. The Swedish copyright reformists have written what could well be the most succinct argument for reform, and a detailed explanation for why the Pirate Party exists that rivals any other literature I have come across. The Case for Copyright Reform (2012) is available for free online, and is in the public domain.

In The Case for Copyright Reform, they don’t waste time on any long-winded introductions. In two short pages the authors get straight to the point – file-sharing must be legal to uphold privacy, file-sharing can co-exist with professional creators, and file-sharing will not destroy our culture. Chapter 2 reinforces the notion that the Pirate Party is not anti-copyright. It explains the key elements of the Pirate Platform in regard to copyright: (1) moral rights unchanged, (2) free non-commercial sharing, (3) 20 years of commercial monopoly, (4) registration after 5 years, (5) free sampling, and (6) a ban on DRM.

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