Following the European trend set by Sweden and Germany, the United Kingdom now has its very own Pirate Party. The message that greets visitors to its website reads as follows:
"The world is changing [well, that's one thing we can all agree on]. The Pirate Party understands that the law needs to change to match the realities of life in the 21st century [this rather implies that the law has to change in order to accommodate the realities of life. Law has no norm-setting role, presumably ...].
We have 3 core policies:
• Reform copyright and patent law. We want to legalise non-commercial [viewed by the file sharer, it's non-commercial, but from the point of view of someone who's trying to sell rights in copying, downloading, etc, it isn't. If I help myself to an apple from the fruit stall for my own private consumption, that's non-c0mmercial too] file sharing and reduce the excessive length of copyright protection [now, this is a vote-winner], while ensuring that when creative works are sold, it's the artists who benefit, not monopoly rights holders [are they never perchance the same people?]. We want a patent system that doesn't stifle innovation [is there any evidence that it is stifled? Seems to be lots of innovation in the shops] or make life saving drugs so expensive that patients die [a bit simplistic, this? Why are off-patent drugs so expensive and so unattractive to make and sell, when they can save so many lives?].
• End the excessive surveillance, profiling, tracking and monitoring of innocent people by Government and big businesses [quite right! We only want to survey, profile, track and monitor the ones who aren't innocent].
• Ensure that everyone has real freedom of speech [as compared with what?] and real freedom to enjoy and participate in our shared culture [!].
In recent years we have seen an unprecedented onslaught on the rights of the individual. We are treated like criminals when we share entertainment digitally, even though this is just the modern equivalent of lending a book or a DVD to a friend. We look on helpless as our culture and heritage, so important for binding our society together, is eroded and privatised.
Now there is a democratic alternative. We, the people, can take back our rights. We, the people, can overturn the fat cats [the IPKat is not amused] and the corrupt MPs who hold our nation's cultural treasures to ransom [I didn't realise that the all-party group of corrupt MPs had taken a line on this issue. If they were so corrupt, wouldn't they be ignoring the law and unlawfully sharing all those files ...?], ignore our democratic wishes and undermine our civil liberties.
The internet has turned our world into a global village. Ideas can be shared at incredible speed, and at negligible cost [What! even in a world full of evil IP rights!]. The benefits are plain to see, but as a result, many vested interests are threatened. The old guard works hard to preserve their power and their privilege [damned rude of them. Why don't they just surrender it and become consumers, like everyone else?], so we must work hard for our freedom. The Pirate Party offers an alternative to the last century's struggles between political left and political right. We are open to anyone and everyone who wants to live in a fair and open society.
Following on from the wildfire success of our sister parties in other countries [sounds as though wildfire may not be so dangerous, after all ...], the Pirate Party UK offers a new way to tackle society's problems, by releasing the potential of ideas, at the expense of corporate monopolies and the interests of a controlling state.
Outdated laws must change, and will change. The only question is when will we change them. Join our cause, and help make this change happen now!"