Dear readers (and fellow Pirates among you!),
Welcome to OlbrychtPalmer.net — my blog where I post (largely original) articles relating to the Pirate Movement, and especially my own party, Pirate Party Australia.
Who am I?
Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer, B. Mus.
Press Officer (2011–) and Inquiries Officer (2014–) at Pirate Party Australia. Formerly Deputy Secretary (2012–2014) and Policy Development Officer (2013–2014) and a judge of the Pirate Parties International Court of Arbitration (2012).
The Pirate Party and me
I became aware of the Pirate Movement when I was still in high school. A friend introduced me to BitTorrent, piquing my curiosity, and I started researching, eventually coming across a documentary series called Steal This Film. It resonated with me. In the documentary was a rather eloquent speaker from the Pirate Party: Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish (and first) Pirate Party. “What was this Pirate Party thing?” I thought to myself. A bit more time on Wikipedia led me to discover that there was a Pirate Party in Australia!
When I was old enough (17 or 18) I checked the site again and decided against parting with the $20 membership fee. The site looked like an absolute scam. At the time I was working in a pub band and couldn’t throw money around.
While studying my Bachelor of Music I had an argument with a former university friend about copyright and the morality of sharing a PDF textbook with other students. In a fit of defiance I looked again at the Pirate Party Australia site, saw that the membership was free, and signed up.
After some settling pains (I edited the Party Platform that was stored on a wiki with a big sign that said ‘HELP DRAFT OUR PLATFORM’ which was apparently not the right thing to do) I became increasingly involved.
In October 2011, about a month after joining, I was bumped into the position of Head of Media Relations (now Press Officer). The meritocracy that is Pirate Party Australia gives you titles after you earn them — within the first few months I had contributed to many press releases and almost singlehandedly written a submission on patent reform.
I formed a pretty good working relationship with the then Secretary (now President), Brendan Molloy, which helped when his Deputy Secretary wasn’t available for almost half his term. This experience led me to nominate myself for Deputy Secretary in July 2012, which I won.
Prior to this, I was successfully elected to Pirate Parties International’s Court of Arbitration in April 2012, dealing with disputes within the organisation. After, ironically, some dispute, all five members of the Court resigned in September 2012.
In January 2013 we registered Pirate Party Australia, meeting the required 500 eligible members. The Australian Electoral Commission has strict limits on how many members can submit, so each of the members submitted was verified manually in order to avoid a repeat of the 2010 registration failure. It was a tense six weeks waiting for the decision.
In July 2013 I was elected Policy Development Officer, with a whole committee devoted to making sure Pirate Party Australia’s policies are, forgive the pun (but I need to get at least one in there!), shipshape.
Having occupied the position of Deputy Secretary for two years (nearly three de facto) I decided to leave the National Council for a year in order to focus on studying law, assist the Party in non-administrative ways, and hopefully being overseas for the first half of 2015. In August 2014 I was appointed to the newly-created position of Inquiries Officer, reflecting my de facto responsibilities of writing submissions to government inquiries and reviews.