The Pirate Party wants to reform copyright law. They are starting by running in the September Swedish elections — First, they take Stockholm, then they take Berlin! And, hopefully, everywhere else where democratically elected representatives can rewrite the pernicious cancer of over-expanding copyright laws. There are parallel initiatives in several European Union member states and in North America.
The Pirate Party has three items on the agenda: Reform copyright. Abolish the patent system. Respect the right to privacy. And there is also the Pirate Party U.S. that has added net neutrality to the campaign.
Reforming copyright means finding a way to return copyright laws to a useful but non-culturally lethal state. All non-commercial copying should be free including file sharing and p2p networking. Copyright monopolies should be limited to 5 years, and there should be a complete ban on DRM (digital rights management) technologies and contract clauses that restrict consumers’ legal rights in this area.
Abolishing the patent system means completely re-writing patent laws that encourage pharmaceutical companies to risk human lives for market share and profit margins. The Pirate Party has an innovative alternative that would have governments more actively involved in research. In a nutshell, if 20% of what is currently spent on drugs in European Union public health systems was spent on research, there would be more money being spent on drug research than is being spent now by the private sector. Without patents, the price of pharmaceuticals generally falls by two-thirds, so the public money spent is more than made up for — check out the Pirate Party’s more detailed explanation.
And finally, the Pirate Party wants to roll back the invasive levels of state surveillance ushered in by governmental paranoia since September 11.