2008 - Pirate Manifesto First Draft - Pirate Party International
Pirate Manifesto First Draft
1.2 About Civil Rights and Liberties
1.3 About Restrictions of Ideas and Information
1.3.1 About Patents
1.3.2 About Trademarks
1.3.3 About Author's Rights
1.4 About Information Society
1.5 About Government Accountability and Transparency
1.6 About non-core issues
The stated purpose of democracy is that the government represents the people. When a government does not represent the people, but a certain subclass, that is not democracy, that is aristocracy. When a government does not listen to facts, but listens to beliefs, that is not democracy, that is theocracy. When a government does not listen to the people, or to the rule of law, that is not democracy, that is dictatorship. We believe that democracy is the ideal, and it is to this end that we do aspire and work.
When laws, when constitutions, when the fabric of a society is ignored, to prop up the power bases of those in control, when rights, liberties, freedoms, are ignored, or deemed less important than protection from some rare event. When the protections themselves are the cause of the actions they are supposed to defeat, when punishments and protections do not deter but incite, when the greed of the few is deemed more important than the rights of the many, we must question the motives of those that sought them. When corruption and ignorance run through the streets of our cities, having left common sense and forethought for dead, we must act, or be trampled.
To this end, we do establish these Pirate Parties around the world, and state our common purpose in this our manifesto of action, so that society will not collapse as people grub for whatever they can grab now, without thought or care for the future.
About Civil Rights and Liberties Full democracy can only be achieved through defending civil rights and liberties by protecting the rule of law. This is the true foundation of democracy. By defending five basic human rights: freedom of speech, privacy, presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, equality before the law, no discrimination, the right to life and moral and physical integrity. For understanding the context the two last points we can say that everyone has the right to life and to physical and moral integrity, under no circumstances may be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment and may not in any way be discriminated against on account of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance.
No political claim or position has any validity if it is not expressed through reasoned rational thought and argument; violence is by no means a way to achieve political objectives in a democracy.
Existing and future criminal laws, including anti-terrorist laws, must be reviewed for compatibility with human rights and civil liberties, and reformed where they are in conflict.
About Restrictions of Ideas and Information Usage of expressions like intellectual property has to cease because of being harmful and misleading since they confuse different aspects of laws on immaterial goods with the aim to confuse it with the property a person can have on material goods.
About Patents The current patent system is not sustainable; biopatents and software patents are two fields where it has become obvious that there is a need for a change.
Also, pharmaceutical patents should not be allowed to cause pharmaceuticals to become unavailable for some countries or social groups; this is most blatant in the case of pandemics and natural emergencies. These measures, combined with others like reduction of patent term, will be pursued aiming to lessen the impact of the monopolies created by the patent system.
About Trademarks Trademarks are intended to be, as the name suggests, a label to identify a good or service. We are all for trademark law, as it benefit everyone.
The abuse of trademarks, such as a substitute or addition to author's rights, is something that can not be allowed to continue, as they undermine the public trust. Accordingly, material subject to author's rights should be ineligible for trademarks, and similarly trademarks should be ineligible to be subject to author's rights.
About Author's Rights The term intellectual property is most often used to mislead people, allowing the extention of authors rights; authors rights are rights, they are not property, and should not be treated as such, to be handed across generations. In no other field is a persons work still providing income to their descendants. Further, since it is not, and has never been, property, the notion of theft is in this context, utterly meaningless.
These facts require laws regarding author's rights to apply the following principles: reducing term for commercial author's rights; free non-commercial sharing of cultural works, which implies ceasing the prosecution of tools for non-commercial culture sharing like P2P tools; and, given our stance that increased culture sharing should be seen as a positive development within society, abolishment of private copying levies.
Balance between author's rights and citizens' rights on culture is necessary. Today, the balance is biased, but not towards authors, but towards publishers who have alienated author's rights, and the bias grows without control and with the connivence of authorities; balance has to be reinstated, not only to restore citizens their rights regarding culture, but to also restore authors theirs preventing them to be alienated anymore.
About Information Society Advances in technology has enabled the whole world to exercise our rights and embrace our liberties in ways previously unimagined. It has allowed increased involvement in democracy, and helped to remove the barriers between people all around the world; however, unwisefully used, they could become a tool of division, discrimination and lessening of rights and liberties. To avoid this and take the most advantage from all that an Information Society can offer, there are three goals to be fulfilled.
Universal availability of wired and/or wireless Internet is necessary if we want everyone to enjoy the benefits of an Information Society and avoid a digital divide that would, and is, arising due to social, personal or geographic condition. Preservation of Net Neutrality, as it is one of the main ways to keep an Information Society safe from dangers like censorship, attacks on privacy, and telecom monopolies from arising. Technological neutrality at public offices, through mandatory use, by them, of open standards and formats, which will enhance relationships between citizens and public offices, while increasing accesibility. About Government Accountability and Transparency The primary duty of elected representatives is to represent their constituents. The primary role of government officers is to ensure the smooth running of the government. Both must do this while observing and abiding by both the rule of law, and civil rights and liberties. In order to ensure this, such officials much be transparent in their actions and activities, and public scrutiny into the affairs of state should not only be allowed, but must be.
The act of election produces a compromise between the electorate and the elected, one based on a promise, a manifesto, or a statement of intent. As such, they should not enter into such promises lightly, and be held not just legally accountable for their actions, but politically accountable for their actions in respect of their electoral campaign.
Without either transparency, or accountability, there can be no trust. A government that is not trusted, can not be a government of the people for the people, and thus can not be considered democratic. Because we believe in democracy, the citizens deserve to be represented by politicians who have made serving the people their highest priority.
About non-core issues Having stances in every single issue does not make a party start caring about people's problems; instead, it just makes parties offer monolithic platforms in which most of their voters do not feel properly represented, as less represented as higher is the amount of votes for that party. Voters of mainstream parties just try to find themselves reflected in those platforms, only to discover that in controversial issues like tax policies, education, health care and others, they are not able to find all what they are looking for in a single party; monolithic platforms are just a mere take it or leave it approach.
For parties like those which are united in our movement, focusing on enabling and enhancing the foundations of democracy and the civil rights and liberties that rest within, securing the freedom for information and culture to flow, bringing the world into the Information Society, paving the way for innovation, is the best way to achieve our goals as such goals, goals for allowing citizens to choose the kind of society to live in, require us to be strong as a movement; because that strength comes from unity; and unity is usually brought in democracy by consenssus.
By achieving our goal, we will be allowing citizens to express themselves in those controversial issues, increasing chances of conssensus; and we will be paving the way for a true pluralism in parliaments, as opening the knowledge and information to citizens will allow individuals to choose the voice that best represents their interests, one of those voices being ours. Thus, supporting us constitutes the best way for citizens to achieve all those goals that lie outside our core issues.
Pirate Parties International (PPI) is a non-profit international non-governmental organisation with its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Formed in 2010 it serves as a worldwide organisation for Pirate Parties, currently representing members from 43 countries. The Pirate Parties are political incarnations of the freedom of expression movement, trying to achieve their goals by the means of the established political system rather than through activism. Since 2016 the seat of PPI is Geneva/Switzerland.
The PPI advocates on the international level for the promotion of the goals its members share – such as the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the digital age, consumer and authors rights-oriented reform of copyright and related rights, support for information privacy, transparency and free access to information.
The name “Pirates” itself is a reappropriation of the title that was given to Internet users by the representatives of the music and film industries, and do not refer to any illegal activity.