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Pirate Party of Canada

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by The Watcher, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. The Watcher

    The Watcher TRIBE Member

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    Pirate Party of Canada

    Started in 2009, the Pirate Party of Canada strives to reform Canadian information laws to meet the needs of the new century.

    We are in favour of:
    Our goals

    Reform copyright and facilitate access to culture
    What is the problem?
    If we don’t adjust copyright to today’s realities, artists will continue to be limited in their creative expression as well as their ability to make ends meet while consumers will face ever more excessive measures such as iPod searches by border guards.
    How do we solve it?
    We want to adjust copyright so that artists can better build on previous works and choose the distribution and licensing model that allows them to make a living. We will also help music artists educate themselves about earning money through other means than selling records, for example by performing live shows and selling fan articles and where feasible, we will evaluate the introduction of levies to further compensate artists. In turn, we want to adjust copyright for consumers to make private, non-commercial copying of content legal. This will promote artists and help spread culture farther than ever before.
    Read more »
    Reform the patents system
    What is the problem?
    A patent grants its owner a 20 year monopoly over the use of an invention. In the fast moving software industry, inventions however always builds on previous work. Issuing patents on software therefore exposes all innovators to the risks of major lawsuits. This reduces innovation, meaning that your software will be harder to use and will not offer the features you need.
    How do we solve it?
    We want to ban patents on software to spur innovation and allow new start-ups to enter the market without the fear of being sued for building upon previous work. We also want to ban patents on life forms and plants since we find the notion of corporations owning the ingredients to life downright unethical.
    Read more »
    Strengthen privacy
    What is the problem?
    As almost all aspects of our daily lives are now affected by digitalization, the possibilities to track, analyze and monitor us by looking at our digital traces grow with every passing day. For example, if privacy is not reclaimed and actively protected, your communication will be recorded and your movements tracked (your cellphone is an ideal tracking device already today) simply because it can be done without effort as technology becomes ever faster and cheaper.
    How do we solve it?
    We want to extend privacy laws to provide the same protections to all of our digital data that already exist today for non-digital items such as conventional mail. We also strive to ensure that government access to our data is only granted for specific, well-defined purposes and in criminal investigations where probable suspicion can be demonstrated.
    Ensure Net Neutrality
    What is the problem?
    In recent years, several Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have started slowing down certain types of data sent to and received from the Internet by their private customers. These ISPs have stated that they pursue this practice in order to prevent overloading their networks which would negatively impact service for all customers. The issue however arises from the fact that there is little to no public evidence available which proves that this is actually the case and that ISPs are not simply degrading performance so that Internet services which compete with their own offerings are penalized. For example, a telephone company could reduce the quality of Skype calls over their DSL lines to prevent customers from using this competing service.
    How do we solve it?
    We want to enact legislation requiring all Internet Service Providers (wired and mobile) to offer the same level of service for all applications and Internet services, without discrimination. In other words, we want to ensure that customers get exactly the service they pay for, without exceptions or special conditions for specific services such as Skype or Peer-to-Peer file exchange applications.
    Ensure Open Government & Open Access
    What is the problem?
    In the course of its daily operations, the Canadian government collects and produces large amounts of valuable data. Unfortunately this data is rarely accessible to the public, even though it has been paid for through taxpayer money. For example, results of the Public Service Employee Survey which provides insight into the inner workings of government offices is not made public even though it could inform the public of areas where offices would have to be managed better. This current practice goes hand in hand with the notion of closed doors meetings where government decision are taken out of sight of public scrutiny. With the current practice of non-open government also comes the reality that research results which have been made possible by government grants using taxpayer money, are often not made publicly available either.
    How do we solve it?
    We see it as our goal to ensure that the government works for its citizens and not vice versa. The Pirate Party of Canada therefore stands for the principle of Open Government. It stipulates that government actions and the data it produced must be made publicly available to Canadians wherever possible, using standardized, open and vendor-neutral data formats. We also strive to guarantee that all research funded by taxpayer money must be made available in the same means as above, thereby ensuring the principles of Open Access. This will help maintain Canada’s cultural and scientific heritage by ensuring equal access to these values for everyone in our society.
    Read more »
     
  2. The Watcher

    The Watcher TRIBE Member

    The Moral Arrrgument for Digital Piracy

    The current laws favour private profit over collective good; it’s corporations that are unethical.

    Michael Strangelove
    Adjunct Professor of Communication, University of Ottawa.

    Avast ye scurvy dogs, the House of Commons is soon to be boarded by pirates. The Pirate Party of Canada received official party status on April 12, 2010. One assumes that they plan to steal the next election.

    The Pirate Party’s platform includes promoting the downloading of music and movies for non-commercial uses, and it hopes to rein in government surveillance of the internet. Before we dismiss this new party as pirates who don’t do anything, we should keep in mind that Swedish pirates won two seats in the 2009 European Parliamentary election
    Media scholars and intellectual property lawyers have long argued for substantial changes in copyright laws, but not the kind the entertainment industry is seeking. American lawyer and media theorist Lawrence Lessig argues that we need to resist corporate property claims because they actually threaten to corrupt the rule of law. As the laws stand right now, they effectively criminalize the mass behaviour of internet users and engender hostility between media consumers and corporations. If the law criminalizes what almost everyone does, it calls into question whether the law is acting in the interests of the common good or the greedy few.

    One of the most controversial moral claims for digital piracy comes from the postmodernist media theorist, Mark Poster, who writes that “all citizens have an obligation to violate copyright law.” Corporations are grossly violating our rights to use private property such as music, images, and words to create new art, commentary, and other forms of expression. By overextending their rights far beyond the original intention of copyright laws, corporations stifle creativity and undermine the collective good in the name of private profit. Thus, their legal claims should and must be resisted.

    As I tell my students, copyright law does not establish what is ethical. It merely reinforces property claims on behalf of very powerful interests that seek to define their interests as ours. At this point, some readers are scrolling down to the “Comment” section and preparing to fire back at digital pirates with the argument, “But what about the struggling artists who won’t get paid because of digital piracy?” But entertainment corporations are not bastions of moral behaviour and fair dealing. As Poster notes and many others have confirmed, “The vast majority of [music] artists never see a penny for the sale of their music.”

    The economic arguments against piracy do not hold much water. The industry grossly overstates losses due to digital piracy, which actually has a negligible effect (and sometimes a positive effect) on sales. There is a very weak correlation between digital piracy and revenue loss.

    The current state of intellectual property laws serves to reinforce unequal social relations, unequal distribution of wealth, and unequal cultural power. Civil disobedience is justified, says Poster, because the legal system “no longer provides any semblance of justice.” Corporations are the ones acting in the most unethical manner, in their attempt to reduce the rights of consumers and increase their control over the production and distribution of culture.

    If Mark Poster were running for office under the flag of the Pirate Party, he would have my vote.
     

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