EuroFOO: Pirate Party

Sven Riedel gave us an overview of what the Pirate Party’s up to, and we had a great discussion about what ORG does. My rough and ready notes:

Sprouting all over Europe and US, small topic-based party. Swedish Pirate Bay, server confiscation, media attention, more Pirate Parties springing up.

– Goals – copyrights/patents: e.g. no software patents; limit copyright, e.g. disney copyright on Mickey Mouse, so pressure on congress to extend, Sonny-Bono.
– data privacy: who gets access to what dat, show shares the data, how’s it cross-referenced, anti-terorrism rage – thin veil to gather as much data as possible,
– transparent gov’t: what is gov’t doing, why, what contracts are they giving out under what conditions, e.g. toll autobahn system, mfr couldn’t keep to the deadline but didn’t have to pay a fine, was in contract but gov’t wouldn’t tell anyone.
– Open access: particularly in Germany, scientific community has to publish papers in specific journals and not allowed to publish elsewhere, so scientists have to pay for these journals.

[academic papers, digital journals]

Technical reports. Grants were off the back of the papers you’d publish, but people would also publish a significantly “modified technical report” in order to get round it.

Reputation problem.

Change grants system, to get people to publish openly by forcing it as a condition on the grant. Citations – use those to see which are held in esteem even if they are published in lesser known journals.

We agree open access is a good thing, but why is this a party?

Just a few topics that are agreed upon, and are being publicised. For issues like taxation, the party doesn’t currently have any opinions. Is about getting legislation to counter lobbying etc.

In Germany, Pirate Party has status of Greens in the late 70s.

Current opinion in the party is ‘well cross the taxation bridge when we come to it’.

The name is provocative, it’s unusual.

– should publicly support Open GeoData; INSPIRE
– should Open Source be on there? In transparent gov’t but not a major point. Should be able to debug the gov’s tenders to ensure open standards and open source software.

Do deal with DRM. Line is: DRM sucks.

Goal is to be elected to EU Parliament in 2008 elections. Hoping to get one or two people in there.


Personally, I’m interested to see how this all goes. I think that the Pirate Party needs to think a bit beyond its own goals in order to get anyone elected. I would also imagine that if they do get anyone elected, it’ll be in a country with proportional representation, so no chance here.