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European Parliament coalition adopts Pirate Party copyright policies

By | Published on Monday 10 October 2011

The Pirate Party

According to The Pirate Party, the Greens/European Free Alliance, a coalition of political groups in the European Parliament, have adopted their policies on copyright issues.

The Swedish branch of The Pirate Party, which advocates radical reform of copyright law, won two seats in the European Parliament in 2009, and those MEPs subsequently allied with the Greens/European Free Alliance, a coalition of political groups mainly representing environmental concerns or the interests of ethnic minorities. Although only the fifth biggest coalition in the Parliament, the Alliance did have the most gains in the most recent European elections.

Although its policies are not limited to intellectual property matters, it is The Pirate Party’s views on copyright that are perhaps best known. Its copyright policies include a reduction of the basic term of rights protection to five years, extendable to 20 years on registration.

Also noting that its sister organisation in Germany recently won seats in the Berlin state parliament, UK Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye told The Inquirer: “With the recent election victory in Berlin and now the Green EU Block adopting key Pirate Party positions, the movement continues to grow in its influence. This is because of the strength of our ideas. There are real challenges to digital rights world wide – site blocking, ‘[three] strikes’ laws and [global intellectual property law treaty] ACTA – and people are looking to us to stand up to the industry lobbyists. It’s vital that we work at an international level to combat these threats to the open web”.

He added: “Every country with a Pirate Party presence is a country where digital rights, our right to a shared culture and civil liberties, are put firmly on the agenda. Here in the UK, we plan to follow up on our meeting with [the government’s culture minister] Ed Vaizey to continue to point the government in the direction of digital inclusion, rather than crackdowns like the Digital Economy Act. The time of the big media lobbies having it all their own way is over”.