Written by: Mark Chapman

Written by: David Elston

Written by: David Elston

Written by: David Elston

Written by: David Elston

Written by: Danfox Davies

Written by: Danfox Davies

Written by: Danfox Davies

Written by: Mark Chapman

Written by: Loz Kaye

Written by: Andy Halsall

Written by: Adrian Short

Written by: Loz Kaye

Written by: Loz Kaye

Written by: Andy Halsall

Written by: Andy Halsall

Liam Dolman : Day One of the Pirate Parties International Conference

Its the end of the first day of the Pirate Parties International Conference, so its natural to ask "what has been accomplished? " At the opening of the first day, Pirates took an 'open space' approach to let them get some work done, they put together an agenda for the day's groups and split out into groups based on what they were interested in and got on with it. The groups covered everything from methods in dealing with pro-Copyright Lobbying and the future of PPI through to crypto-parties and the future of Europe wide Pirate policy making.

Sadly for those watching the live stream the action was sparse as the conference split off into groups. Twitter updates varied between people asking delegates to wave as they wandered past, to posts criticising the PPI.

At the end of the day, a lot of ideas were communicated back to the whole conference and those watching - I won't cover all of it here (no doubt we will see something from the PPI or the groups in due course).

The first group that reported back had looked at how to best fight against copyright industry lobbyists. This is about as core as it gets in terms of Pirate issues!

They came to the conclusion that the best thing to do would be to campaign against the misconceptions the copyright industry uses to dupe policymakers and the public. The gist was that whilst the lobbyists and their patrons were very rich, we aren't and way to combat the misconceptions was to use the truth: To run a face to face campaigns, to talk to people and disprove these misconceptions. From our end, this looks like a great idea. This seems like a good idea - it would be fantastic to see some collected information about the way lobbyists are presenting the argument globally.

Andy Halsall : Why it's good to be right - Making an impact.

We often talk about the progress the party is making and the things we want to change, but beyond some of our larger national successes we don't say as much as we could about when we do make an impact.  Its time to change that, so:

It is starting to feel like we are making real progress on some of our core issues - maybe not as much or as quickly as we might wish, but enough to show that we can be a real force for change, now!

In Manchester, we have been facing off with the Labour Party in elections for the best part of 4 years on a raft of local issues, including digital. It's significant, then, that this week Manchester Labour have decided that they finally want to follow our lead and push for 'Better Broadband' in the run up to the local elections!  Granted, they have been a bit slow off the mark and in the past have been dismissive of such issues, but we have shown them the way and they are now at least talking about it... and it is an important issue.

Andy Halsall : Take your phone on Holiday (well, almost)

If there is one thing the EU does manage to get mostly right on a fairly regular basis it is consumer protection. Maybe as a bloc it has more clout when facing big business, maybe it's more responsive in dealing with transnational issues, it's certainly better placed. Whatever the reason, we have the makings of a success story today with the vote on the excitingly named 'Telecoms Single Market Regulation'.

One of the issues dealt with was roaming fees, and it's about time: With roaming data fees of up to 46p/MB in EU countries, and up to £8/MB around the rest of the world it has been expensive and confusing to take your phone or tablet abroad and use mobile broadband services. Essentially the practice left people out of touch, or out of pocket.

Right now as a UK Virgin Mobile customer it would cost you £20 for 250MB of mobile usage within the EU using your UK Virgin account. That compares to £1 per 100MB in the UK, an 800% difference. It would be £1250 for the same outside of the EU, but that's an issue for another day.

Sephy Hallow : Copyright Reform: We're Getting Somewhere

Participation in politics is something I've been thinking about a lot recently, and one of the common complaints I hear from friends of a politically apathetic persuasion is that politics no longer represents the views of the people; we aren't consulted, and when we are, our politicians make policies that go against public opinion or welfare. That's why I'm thrilled with the outcome of the UK copyright consultation, the first sign in a long time that the government listens to its people.

As one of the Pirate Party's flagship policies – and yet one of its most abstract – copyright reform has been one of the most difficult ideas to promote. With big business at stake, copyright reform was always going to be our most difficult policy to push, and we have met with resistance from many stakeholders, including the infamous BPI. However, after years of fighting, we finally have our first major breakthrough: namely, that new copyright exceptions are set to come into law (pending review from both houses) on the 1st June 2014.

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