Who the … is the Pirate Party of Canada?
And, why am I writing about them?
I am writing about them because, for the first time ever, I have come accross so very many people who are so reluctant to give their votes to the ‘traditional’ politicial parties that they are – for the first time in their lives – considering not voting at all. Or spoiling their ballot in protest…
And, the Pirate Party of Canada may be a strategic place to trust one’s vote to. They don’t stand much of a chance to get elected (though, in Sweden, the home of the Pirate Party movement, they have 2 seats in the European Parliament), but the more votes they get, the more their central message will be strengthened, perhaps even reach the ears of the policymakers…
What is theie central message message?
It my never-humble-opinion, it seems to be this:
- Current copyright and patent laws are unbalanced
- Anti-copyright-infringment and anti-terrorism laws are too invasive and can (and will) be tools of oppression. Therefore, these must be reformed, with an eye to privacy rights
But, don’t rely on my imperfect understanding check them out yourself. Even if they are not your cup of grog, their message is worth thinking about.
If you are interested in a bit of the background – the zeitgeist that gave rise to the Pirate Party, it is well described in’Steal This Film‘. Here are Part 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and (better) Part 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5.
Some of these very serious issuess – without the ‘pirate mentality’ – are presented inMichael Geist’s movie, ‘Why Copyright‘.
Why raise this issue now?
Well, the ‘gatekeepers’ who profit from manufacturing ‘culture’ have now began convincing governments that having file-sharing capability on one’s personal computer automatically means they intend to breech copyright laws – and so they are passing laws against this.
According to these laws, my son would be a criminal, for ‘filesharing’ when he submits his homework to his teacher electronically – which he does, because it is easier, neater and he gets immediate feedback…
According to this, my husband and his brother would be criminals because they file-share family photos and have programs on their computers that allow them to back-up store all of each other’s photofiles…
And now, the Conservatives want to pass a law that would give civil servants complete access to all the ‘internet activity’ of Canadian citizens – without judicial oversight!!! As in, any civil servant could listen in to all your VOIP phone calls, read all your emails, follow each click you surf – without telling you…. In Michigan, cops routinely download all information from a person’s phone during a traffic stop…this would, in a very real way, permit each and every civil servant to do the same when your phone is sinked-up to your computer.
Even if you have nothing to hide, do you trust your civil servants not to abuse these new powers?
We need to bring balance to our IP and copyright laws.
Right now, there is not even a pretense, not even a lip service to privacy (not to mention all the other violations of liberty)!
Which is why taking a look at the Pirate Party of Canada – just taking a look – does not seem like a bad idea.