Freedom of Knowledge
The Pirate Party is the only party that stands for radical reform of copyrights and patents, to ensure freedom of ideas and the knowledge based economy we need for the 21st century. We support a right to file-share for non-commercial purposes. We will strive to promote free culture in Scotland. We intend to put digital policy at the heart of Scottish politics where it belongs.
Broadband for all
Broadband Internet for all in Scotland should be a right not a luxury. We recognise that the future of the economy and jobs in Scotland will depend on a modern Broadband infrastructure supporting a free and open Internet.
We aim to end the "Digital Divide" in Scotland so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of being part of a connected information society. This would be achieved by encouraging the adoption of the recommendations in the Royal Society of Edinburgh's 'Digital Scotland Report' with the ambitious aim of making speeds of 16Mb/s accessible to all by 2015.
Promoting Free and Open source in the public sector
Pirate MSPs would push strongly for the adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) alternatives to the dependence on proprietary systems throughout the public sector, wherever practical. As computers have more and more impact on our everyday lives, we believe it is vitally important that we think about the software that runs them. FOSS means giving users control over their machines, not big businesses, and the transparency to know what the software is actually doing. FOSS in the public sector can act as the first step to encourage FOSS as an option to individuals, business and society as a whole.
Open source- Saving Money, Saving services
Our policy of adoption of Free and Open Source Software would save millions of pounds each year, we estimate £40 per desk in the public sector. This money would be reinvested to reduce the impact of budget cuts on jobs and services.
Investing in Scottish technology
We would ensure that taxpayer's money spent on software would be reinvested in our FOSS communities and enterprises in Scotland, rather than handed over multinational software giants.
Opposing the Digital Economy Act
The Digital Economy Act is a major challenge to the freedom of the Internet. It is disproportionate to threaten to cut entire households off the web for allegations of file-sharing. It is Pirate Party policy to repeal sections 3 to 18 of the Digital Economy Act 2010. We would strongly oppose its implementation in Scotland.
Protecting the digital consumer
The Pirate Party is concerned about the spread of so-called Digital Rights Management technology, which restricts the use of an individual's own legitimate property, invades their privacy and retains control over their devices. The most ironic case being Amazon deleting copies of Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty Four' from users devices without their knowledge or consent.
Our policy is to introduce a mandatory warning label on products that include DRM which will warn purchasers of the defects built into these products.
We will promote the inclusion of accessibility features, such as subtitles and audio descriptions for the disabled. Our aim is to make content accessible for disabled people, which is especially important in the public sector.
We would introduce an obligation for publishers to provide a DRM-free copy of their product where necessary to allow the use of accesibility programs (for example, voice synthesizer software to "read out" an e-book to a visually impaired person).
Digitalise Library + Museum Content
We will encourage libraries and museums to digitise their content, and make it available online wherever possible. This applies especially to unique items (for example if a library has the only known copy of a book).
Better Computer Education in Schools
Scotland should be a world leader in computing education. We will encourage the adoption of open source software in schools, so that children won't be reliant in the future on buying a particular software package from a particular company. Schools should emphasise understanding of computers, including programming for those pupils with an interest or aptitude for it.
Schools should provide lessons for pupils on the safe use of the internet.
Patients not Patents
It is Pirate Party policy to abolish drug patents, which will reduce drug costs drastically, since all drugs will become generic. This would save the NHS a massive amount of money, and part of that saving will be used to subsidise drug research. We would strive to implement the use of generic drugs in Scotland.