Party Blog

Robinson on Radio 4's Click On

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Pirate Party leader Andrew Robinson was interviewed on the radio 4 programme Click On this Monday, discussing how the Pirate Party got started and where it's going. Until next Monday, you can listen to it on the BBC iPlayer; the segment begins at 6:15.

PRS threatens shop worker for singing

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The Performing Rights Society don't like bad press. Today, the BBC are reporting that the PRS have backed down after threatening 56 year old Sandra Burt of the A&T Food store in Clackmannanshire, Scotland with a fine of "thousands of pounds" for the serious crime of singing to herself while stacking shelves without purchasing a licence.

Threats from the rights organisation had already forced the shop to get rid of the radio that Sandra Burt used to enjoy listening to, despite the fact that the radio station had already paid the monopoly's self dictated rate for the right to broadcast music to the public.

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Falkvinge's open letter to the music industry

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Rick Falkvinge, leader of the Swedish Pirate Party, is attending a conference in Manchester today. For the event, he's written an open letter to the music industry. It is reproduced below:

Dear music industry,

Thank you for inviting me to be the opening speaker at your conference In The City in Manchester, UK. I am inspired by your courage to bring what must be seen as a threat into the midst of your ranks.

MPs start to 'get it'

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Wouldn't it be good if MPs understood the futility of disconnecting alleged copyright infringers because it is so easy for file-sharers to mask their identity and activity?

Wouldn't it be good if MPs acknowledged that illicit file-sharing only costs rights-holders money when people download infringing content in preference to buying it, and that identifying offenders using the IP address of a specific machine may punish those who share a web connection?

Wouldn't it be good if MPs called on the Government to ensure that anyone accused of illicit file-sharing is given the right to legal redress in a court of law before sanctions are imposed?

Trafigura - a battle won, but a war still to fight.

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Two days ago, very few people had heard of Trafigura. Yesterday, Trafigura took legal action to try to keep it that way, but obtaining a court order stopping The Guardian from printing the already public information that an MP was about to ask a question about them in parliament. Today, thanks to an avalanche of outrage that made Trafigura the number 1 most talked about topic on twitter, nearly everyone on the net knows who they are and what they did.

It would be easy to congratulate our society for overturning an obvious injustice, to pat twitter users, the Spectator and many brave political bloggers on the back for kicking up enough fuss to force a climbdown. We could say that justice has been done, and that all's well now, but a bigger, more fundamental problem remains.

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