What is Pirate Party politics?
15th April 2011 12:52 | by Loz Kaye
Election season is underway and some people are hearing about the Pirate Party for the first time. Also voters are being bombarded with leaflets and 70 page manifestos. Here is a quick round up of what we stand for- as most people don't want to wade through a whole huge document.
The Pirate Party is the first genuinely 21st century political movement. It is our aim to set digital policy right at the heart of of British politics where it belongs. Access to broadband should be a right for all, whether in rural or urban communities. We want to see an end to laws that hound individuals, we want to see a country where government is truly open and accountable, and where technology is embraced rather than feared.
This forward-looking policy, that touches each part of our everyday lives. Concerned about cuts? We should support free software in the public sector and channel savings in to British technology and jobs. Concerned about the NHS? Then we need to stop subsidising pharmaceutical companies' profits and marketing budgets through the patent system. Concerned about crime? Then we should stop wasting money on ineffective and intrusive CCTV. Here are the main points:
Freedom of Knowledge
- Free culture for the 21st century
We would reduce the duration of copyright to 10 years.
We will legalise sharing files between friends and peers where no money changes hands.
We would bring in the right to format shift, for example, buy a CD then copy it to a portable music player (such as an iPod).
An exception will be made for software, where a 5 year term will apply to closed source software, and a 10 year term to open source, in recognition of the extra rights given to the public by open source licences.
- Protecting the digital consumer
The public needs to be protected from products that can be remotely turned off by the manufacturer, or products that 'phone home' and would therefore stop working if the manufacturer went bankrupt, or that are 'region coded'.
We will introduce a mandatory warning label on products that include DRM (Digital Restrictions Management).
- Opposing digital exclusion
We will oppose laws that threaten to spy on your Internet connection and exclude entire families from the web brought in in the name of 'fighting piracy'.
We pledge to repeal sections 3 to 18 of the Digital Economy Act 2010.
- Open source in the public sector
We would promote the use of free software in the public sector, saving money, and making the UK less reliant on foreign software suppliers.
We will stop the abuse of patent law by raising the bar on how innovative an idea has to be before it can be patented.
We wil prohibit patents on software, business methods, concepts and works of nature.
- Drug companies and health
We will abolish drug patents, which will reduce drug costs drastically, since all drugs will become generic.
The pharmaceutical industry currently spends around 15% of its patent drug income on research; we will increase reasearch budgets with subsidies to the value of 20%.
Freedom of the Individual
- Respecting the privacy of the individual
We will insist that searches of personal property should only be done with reasonable suspicion of a serious, criminal offence.
We will ensure that the public has the right and ability to encrypt their personal data and communications.
We will significantly strengthen data protection laws.
- Ending excessive surveillance
We will forbid third parties from intercepting or monitoring private telephone calls, post, Internet traffic, or emails. Specific warrants must be issued by a court before the police are allowed to monitor traffic.
We will introduce laws on the acceptable use of CCTV. It must not be used as an excuse for unrestricted spying on the public.
Freedom of Speech
We pledge to ensure that the Internet remains neutral and open.
We pledge that we will not allow censorship of the Internet for anything but the most extreme reasons.
Libel law should not be used to smother free speech. We pledge to reform libel law so it serves its intended purpose, by implementing the recommendations of the Libel Reform Campaign.
- The right to expose wrong doing
We will defend the right of citizens to expose illegal practices in the workplace and elsewhere, and we will introduce a new legal right to be a whistleblower.
We aim to raise the standards of computing in schools.
We will encourage the adoption of open source software in schools.
Schools should provide lessons for pupils on the safe use of the Internet.
For more detail you can find the full PPUK '11 document here.