UK Pirate Party launches

A reader writes, "The UK Pirate Party is officially registered as a party."
Now the party can really start. It's time for us to tell the world that we exist, to recruit members, raise funds and gear up to fight the General Election. The officers and web team have built the framework that the party needs to get going, now it's time for YOU to make things happen. Join the party, tell the media about the party,tell your friends about the party, take part in policy and news debates on the forum, join our Facebook group, donate or set up a regular payment to provide financial support, set up a branch in your constituency, school or workplace, join the specialist workings groups for members with key skills like lawyers and journalists and volunteer to take part in canvassing and campaigning in your constituency at the general election...
The party is registered!


  1. Sorry, I’m ignorant.
    I’ve been following the blog for a few years now and I’ve managed to miss the boat on the Pirate Party.

    What do they stand for? Maybe a little write up on their beliefs and what they stand for would be helpful.

    Pirates are a cool internet meme right now, but real life pirates are thieves and murders. Why should I support a Pirate Party?

  2. From the country that brought us “Screaming Lord Sutch” and “The Monster Raving Looney Party.”

    Need I say more?

    P.S. Rest in peace, Lord Sutch.

  3. I hope this becomes better and bigger than the Pirate Party in Germany at least, which has become a typical case of cyber-activism v.s. real-life activism. There’s massive online support for the PP here in Germany, but very negligible voter turn out (compare it to the “Jedi” Census movement a while back in the UK). Even ignoring voter support, they have achieved nothing so far except perhaps convince the general public that they are a bunch of cooks, and this is largely the fault of the movement that started it: they, from the onset, espoused views that appeal to the typical liberal bloggers, which back in the real world attracted very few people (the one representative, Mr. Tauss, not withstanding). That’s not meant to be a commentary on the validity of those views, just a comment on how well a 1:1 translation of what is said onlint about them translates to real voter turn out. The Green Party in Germany started out on a similar footing (albeit with different goals) and they managed to become a recognisable and serious political force, but given their current conduct, that is not in the foreseeable future for the Pirate Party.

    I don’t mean to be a party pooper here (no pun intended), but unless the UK Pirate Party starts to immediately recruit serious people, it will likely take a similar course.

    A political offshoot of the Open Rights Group would be much more useful.

  4. @13 This was my thought also when a friend pointed me to the party’s page.

    Having a Pirate Party eems to make no more sense than having a Automobile Association Party or a Home Educator’s Party or a Lazy Slob party. Government of any country involves a complex web of issues which include (in the UK) state education, NHS, Agriculture, economic status and controls, immigration, membership of the EU, foreign policy, defence, UN … and oh an endless list of other concerns which don’t seem to be covered by the agenda of the Pirate Party.

    I believe that this may be why people support them in theory on websites – because then they can restrict their support and their attention to the minimal manifesto and narrow concerns of the party; but once at the polling booth, maybe that interest does not convert into a vote because the voters realise that the life of the country and the running of the country isn’t just free music and films.

    Ironically, currently this is the party for Big Brother contestants it seems to me… superficial and narrow in its interests, it surely does need to develop policy and opinion in all areas if it wants to be elected in the UK.

  5. @16 – it’s not just about free movies, freedom of speech and the right to privacy are two of the main points of the party manifesto.

    Having policies for all areas arn’t important at this point as no one expects the PP to win a majority share of seats, just getting a few seats would ensure that these important policies are at least heard.

  6. arg, you all draw the ale and i’ll start lining up the buxum wenxshes.
    and we can move to reform ludicrous copyright law, ease legal restrictions on information/education to the people who can really use it, untangle the snarl of mature capitalism without anyone losing their heads or wubbly bits, solve the problem of prepackaged and processed disposable culture and technology, save the planet, ourselves, get laid and most importantly… keep their damn hands off our internet.
    i’m in :)

  7. pirates = illegal.

    why do people think that taking something that someone has worked very hard on – work that people are supporting their families with – why it’s other people’s right to take it.

    working in the film industry – i am making way less money than before and it’s very hard to get jobs these days.

    all the rates are lower and there’s less work.

    i am not a big wig producer – i am a technician – was making lower middle income – now i’m barely surviving hand to mouth – trying to see how far i can stretch out groceries…

    it feels really messed up that people are having a party while so many people i know, families, are suffering.

  8. • Reform copyright and patent law.
    • End the excessive surveillance.
    • Ensure that everyone has real freedom of speech..

    I can see how you could read the copyright reform intentions as advocating ‘stealing’, but non-commercial sharing is not the same as commercial piracy.

  9. they are calling this “PIRATE” party
    come on – we know what they really want to do.
    let’s not play around.

    the corporations play around like this infringing on people’s rights

    these people are playing around saying we need our rights preserved

    but they want to be pirates – they openly blantantly say this. but they can’t of course put this down on their manifesto because it is just wrong to take things from others – it is called stealing – it is … pirating – oh wait – they are saying that’s what they want to do.

  10. i would say non-commercial sharing IS stealing.

    it’s a very tricky philosophical situation i know…

    the intent of the person is in question.
    i would say both parties – desseminating and receiving.

    why is this person putting up a movie they watched for the whole world to download? the person is not giving it to a small group of friends.

    why is this person downloading this movie for free when they know it is not legal and they know they can just as easily download it from netflix or amazon or any other pay on demand sites.

    people have this weird feeling that it is their right to do this. why? how did this happen?

    let’s say you just finished baking all these cookies and you are selling them at your store.
    someone comes in and clones your cookie and puts up a stand right next to your door and starts giving away the cookies.

    this person knows exactly what will happen. your store will be ruined and close.

    i suppose this issue has been thought about for decades – where this world is headed….

    i guess in a world of mechancial / digital reproduction you just can’t make a living on media / information.

    so strange to think this.

    so gradually the only thing people can make money on are physical material items? until the cloning thing…


  11. Zeepoli, given the reality of how easy it is to copy bits, we can choose between either rampant copyright infringement or totalitarian control of everything we do on digital devices. To reach any kind of reasonable balance, we do need politicians arguing for both sides. In that respect the Pirate Party fills an important gap.

  12. The reason the word Pirate is used, is exactly because we are all called pirates (wrongly) by BigMedia, for doing things we should be allowed to do anyway. Not just sharing media, but the various uses of that media that we are suddenly not allowed to do (like it being illegal to rip a cd to my ipod).

    Copyright/Trademark laws and the term piracy (in the media sense) were both originally intended to apply to the commercial reproduction of works and the counterfeit trade, not home taping/sharing.

    For instance in China, 90% of all videos tapes sold are pirated. And 10% of the video stores in the US sold pirated tapes. That’s real money changing hands for counterfeit products.

    You seem to be pretty set in your opinion of both the general internet user, and the intentions of the Pirate Party. Maybe you should do some actual research into them both, and find out that there is more at stake than downloading free movies. This is an organised ‘push back’ against all the Rights Restrictions and myriad forms of surveillance being implemented recently.


    No. Cookies are uncopyable objects. When I take a cookie, there is one less for you.

  13. Pirate Code of Conduct
    Bartholomew Roberts Shipboard Articles 1721
    ARTICLE I – Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment. He shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and shall use them at pleasure unless a scarcity may make it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted.
    ARTICLE II – Every man shall be called fairly in turn by the list on board of prizes,
    because over and above their proper share, they are allowed a shift of clothes. But if they defraud the company to the value of even one dollar in plate, jewels or money, they shall be marooned. If any man rob another he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.
    ARTICLE III – None shall game for money either with dice or cards.
    ARTICLE IV – The lights and candles should be put out at eight at night, and if any of the crew desire to drink after that hour they shall sit upon the open deck without lights.
    ARTICLE V – Each man shall keep his piece, cutlass and pistols at all times clean and ready for action.
    ARTICLE VI – No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man shall be found seducing any of the latter sex and carrying her to sea in disguise he shall suffer death.
    ARTICLE VII – He that shall desert the ship or his quarters in time of battle shall be punished by death or marooning.
    ARTICLE VIII – None shall strike another on board the ship, but every man’s quarrel shall be ended on shore by sword or pistol in this manner. At the word of command from the quartermaster, each man being previously placed back to back, shall turn and fire immediately. If any man do not, the quartermaster shall knock the piece out of his hand. If both miss their aim they shall take to their cutlasses, and he that draweth first blood shall be declared the victor.
    ARTICLE IX – No man shall talk of breaking up their way of living till each has a share of l,000. Every man who shall become a cripple or lose a limb in the service shall have 800 pieces of eight from the common stock and for lesser hurts proportionately.
    ARTICLE X – The captain and the quartermaster shall each receive two shares of a prize, the master gunner and boatswain, one and one half shares, all other officers one and one quarter, and private gentlemen of fortune one share each.
    ARTICLE XI – The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favour only.

    Pirate Code of Conduct
    Bartholomew Roberts Shipboard Articles 1721

  14. Zeepoli: if you work in the film industry you should already have a clear understanding of what real theft is by watching your producers. They steal from the government, from their communities, from the writers, from the actors, from the crews and from each other. I believe Tom Cruise summed it up in Tropic Thunder.

  15. Hi Arkizzle, yes, Zeepoli may be being slightly obtuse/ignorant in their assessment of this, but then I have a real problem with this debate. I can’t find any proper discourse on the subject.

    For example, the general civil liberties infringements that BigMedia and so forth seem to be intent upon foisting upon us jar deeply with my socially libertarian instincts and yet… And yet, I just feel that there is no *real* debate. Both sides seem to be convinced of their own morally superiority (sorry…not to be OTT) but there are elements that, I’m sorry, I just don’t get. But entrenched opinion on both sides means I never learn anything new (*cries*)

  16. RedRichie, I agree 100%

    It’s a big confusing mess, and it really depends on which of the many intertwined debates we are actually having.

    I am not arguing for the abolishment of copyright, nor is the Pirate Party. But there are so many nuanced stances in between no-copyright and a locked-down state, that mean there are many rights to be negotiated amongst the many parties involved.

    It should not be an us vs them conversation, which it always seems to end up as.

  17. Hurrah! Oh, well, I’d always worried that I was the only one that thought that way!

    Not sure that it makes me feel any better though :(

    Sorry about the double-posting, btw.

Comments are closed.