Digital Top Stories

Pirate Party publish manifesto – want ten year copyright terms

By | Published on Tuesday 23 March 2010

In sort of related news, the UK Pirate Party has launched its manifesto for the upcoming General Election. Launched last year, though inspired by the more established Swedish party of the same name, this is the political movement who lobby, in the main, for radical reform of intellectual property and digital-data-related laws. They have, of course, been as vocal as the more established Open Rights Group in opposing the copyright sections of the Digital Economy Bill.

As you’d expect, their manifesto centres on their specialist areas, though actually more time is given to privacy laws, especially in terms of data protection, and areas like freedom of speech and libel, than the intellectual property issues which they are more commonly called on to comment about. Still, their IP policies are typically radical, calling for a wide-ranging reinvention of the patents system, the reduction of all copyright terms to a mere ten years, and an obligation on the BBC to release all its content under Creative Commons licences.

Of course, the power of niche interest parties in Westminster will always be nominal, not least because under the UK election system they have no hope of getting anyone elected to parliament. Still, The Pirate Party, like the Greens, presumably hope their existence and profile boost at any major election will counter-balance the more well-funded corporate lobby when IP, data and privacy issues are debated by more mainstream political parties.

Not that the undeniably high profile of The Pirate Party, and the aforementioned Open Rights Group, and others, have had much impact on the copyright section of the DEB, though they have helped ensure the big content owners, and the music industry in particular, are often portrayed as the money grabbing cunts in this debate (aided, of course, by the past cuntish behaviour of some parts of said music industry). Furthering of that portrayal doesn’t appear in the Pirate Party’s manifesto, though it presumably is part of their long-term agenda.