Culture is a vital part of our country - it shouldn’t be a luxury. The Pirate Party wants everyone to be able to take part in and share culture. Art can be controversial, but it is important we don’t squash freedom of expression. After all, that is what so much of the successful culture of Britain has been about. Let’s once and for all get rid of the idea that “pirates” are destroying culture.

Artists should be the focus of culture sector funding, this is where the research and development of the creative industries happens. Success in increasing and protecting money going to artists, rather than administration or overheads, must be one of the key performance indicators of National Portfolio Organisations.

We will encourage and support libraries, museums and other organisations that hold collections to digitise their content and make it available online, in open formats, wherever possible. This will both preserve access to culturally important artefacts and increase accessibility. We would prioritise the digitisation of especially rare items.

Paper books are free from VAT yet e-books are not. A book should be defined by what it provides, not the material that is used to produce it, and any tax on books is a tax on reading. Like paper books, e-books should be zero-rated for VAT as soon as possible.

It’s time to update our laws for how we consume film, music, TV and books for the 21st century.

A fair and balanced copyright regime that is suitable for the 21st century is an absolute necessity for the UK to remain competitive in a global economy that is built upon ideas and innovation. Copyright should give artists and innov ators the chance to make money from their work; however, that needs to be balanced with the rights of society as a whole. We will work for copyright reform and reduce copyright terms to 10 years to balance everyone’s needs. Under current copyright law it is unlawful to circumvent effective technological measures that restrict access to copyrighted material, even if doing so is required for lawful use. This includes both civil liabilities and criminal offences. In the event that such a “technological measure” prevents permitted acts, the only current remedy is to apply to the Secretary of State for a permit.

The Pirate Party seeks to abolish these laws, making it legal both to circumvent “effective technological measures” and produce, distribute and possess tools to aid in doing so. This would not change existing copyright law, merely remove the extra layer of illegality.

It’s vital that we protect the new arena of digital culture for future generations. We will support preserving digital culture and introduce IP exceptions to allow the archiving of digital culture.

We would seek to remove restrictions from broadcasters on satirising footage of Parliamentary proceedings. Comedy can bring politics to a wider audience and we believe that MPs’ and peers’ actions should not be immune from humorous criticism.