Free Speech

Press Hit: Christians joining the Pirate Party

"There are Christian Pirates standing. Mark Chapman is an Anglican and is the Pirate candidate in Vauxhall for the snap General Election. Morgan Hill is an Evangelical and is the Pirate candidate standing in Eddisbury. If we live in these areas, we should prayerfully consider supporting these men."

Wednesday, 10 May, 2017 - 19:30

Free speech victory as Wonga backs down on parody copyright claim

Payday lender Wonga has backed down on its attempt to remove a parody advert criticising them from Twitter after thousands of users (and the Pirate Party UK) defied the company by reposting the picture.

Wonga said:

"We accept that we were a little heavy-handed last week when we issued a Twitter Takedown notice for @BrandySnap's image, and having seen the full ‘Streisand Effect’ ourselves, we won’t be pursuing the notice"

The Streisand effect occurs when an attempt to remove or cover up information leads to it gaining significantly more attention than it would have done otherwise.

Wonga was on shaky legal ground by using a copyright claim under the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to ask Twitter to remove the image, although Twitter complied at first. Parody and criticism are protected as "fair use" under US copyright law.

Opinion: Free Speech

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Dylan Maryk - Contributor

On 15th December 1791, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted, stating, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech”. The concept of free speech, I submit, must be considered core to democracy and a fundamental human right, for it allows for completely open and honest discussion and debate, which is surely ideal and necessary for a society that collectively desires, at least in theory if not entirely in practice, liberty and freedom. Over two centuries later however, the upholding of such an essential value continues to repeatedly fail, and in my defense of freedom of speech and freedom of expression I intend to portray, condemn and argue against such weakness and cowardice that disappointingly suggests democratic populations will take what they themselves consider their rights for granted, as though they need not be defended, to then allow them to crumble.

Concerns over Royal Charter role in the Internet

Tuesday, 19 March, 2013 - 17:45

The proposed Royal Charter establishing a new press watchdog system has now been published. This follows the Leveson Inquiry in to the culture, practice and ethics of the press. Concerns have been raised about the Royal Charter's effect on the Internet and bloggers, and potential attempts to regulate reporting on the Internet.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:

Defamation Bill: Coalition Fails On Free Speech

Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 - 21:15

The long promised reform of libel law was significantly watered down in a House of Commons vote on the Defamation Bill last night.

The changes to the bill, introduced by the Conservatives and backed by their Liberal Democrat coalition partners, removed proposals that would have required companies to show financial damage before they could sue journalists, researchers or bloggers.

Pirate Party UK Justice Spokesperson Loz Kaye said:

Positive steps on social media prosecutions

Wednesday, 6 February, 2013 - 10:45

Loz Kaye commented on the statement made on Monday by Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, regarding the chilling effect that prosecutions of users on social networks for their comments can have on free speech as well as the The Crown Prosecution Service's consultation on new guidelines over when it is appropriate to prosecute for messages placed on Twitter and other social media sites.

Pirate Parties condemn Tunisia's unjust arrest of Pirate Party Members and Free Speech Activists.

Friday, 7 January, 2011 - 17:00
Since mid-December 2010, waves of protest have engulfed Tunisia, where throughout the country, people have expressed dissatisfaction with the government of Zineel-Abidine Ben Ali, the current president.

How to spot an extremist political party

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 Today, the BBC published a survey on worldwide public attitudes to the internet. The results are a loud and clear wake up call to political parties that thought they were safely in the middle of the road.

75% of UK adults agree, or strongly agree with the statement "Access to the internet should be a fundamental right of all people." To put this into some perspective, that's a wording that we, the Pirate Party UK, thought was too extreme to put in our manifesto. All the major political parties in the UK are collaborating on a Digital Economy Bill that will give copyright holders an unprecedented new power of collective punishment, a power to cut off people's internet connection. They will be able to do this to you even if you can prove that that you are innocent of any copyright infringement, and prove that somebody else is responsible.

The Pirate Party UK Launches its 2010 Election Manifesto

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After a huge amount of work by our policy groups, policy group leaders, our manifesto co-ordinator, by the web team who built voting software, and most of all by the members of the party who put forward the proposals and voted democratically on every point, I am very proud to announce that our 2010 general election manifesto is now ready.

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.