Old California Pirate Party Platform
At the very core of the Pirate Party is a desire for direct democracy and public participation made possible on an unprecedented scale through the Internet. In other words, this is not a traditional party controlled from the top. We have no all-encompassing ideology. What we propose is radical – that all the mechanisms are in place for people to genuinely take back the reins of their democracy. The platform of the California Pirate Party represents a set of conditions that must be in place for this new community to thrive. They are as follows:
1. Defend the Internet – It is our belief that the Internet has become an invaluable public good, and as such, the California Pirate Party will resist all attempts to censor, survey, wiretap, or regulate the Internet. We believe that the First Amendment protects an individual's right not to have their mail read over the Internet, and will push for legislation making illegal infringements on data privacy and anonymous communication.
2. Reform Copyright Laws – It is our position that current copyright Laws are imbalanced, and must be changed to respect the free flow of information made possible in the emerging digital society. Copyright should be limited to commercial use of a product, ending the campaign of repression aimed at users of digital file-sharing. Data is not stolen when it is copied. Data is not stolen when it is copied.
3. Reform of Election and Lobbying Laws – We find it disturbing the level of influence private concentrations of wealth and power are able to wield in our country's political process. The California Pirate Party will support legislation for campaign finance reform that curtails the effect of private wealth on the election process. We will push for more reasonable limits on the amount of private donations to any public official, and eliminate the revolving door by which lobbyists get appointed to the industries they are supposed to regulate.
4. Direct Democracy and Participation – We will defend the rights of individuals to protest the current government, to assemble in public space without the fear of repression. We will encourage the grass-roots political process, through debate and discussion both online and in our communities. The California Pirate Party is committed to fostering a new democratic community, open and transparent in its mechanisms, accessible to all.
5. Social and Economic Justice -- We value people over corporations. This necessitates a deep concern for civil rights, especially in light of increasing suppression of gay rights and immigrant rights in California. In addition, compounding income disparity and lack of economic opportunity for the population at large need to be addressed at the policy level. The needs and voices of the 99% can no longer be ignored, and we intend to be the party for them to voice their concerns.
Restored United States Pirate Party Platform
Putting People Before Corporations
The Supreme Court and Congress have expanded the power of corporations for over a hundred years and made them more powerful than people. Whether it is the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allows corporations to buy elections, or Congress’ cuts in corporate tax rates while raising payroll taxes, real people end up with the short end of the stick. The Pirate Party will make sure our laws put people before corporations.
Opening up Government
In order for citizens to control their democratic destiny, we need to know what our government is doing and which special interests are influencing our public elected officials. Increasingly government officials ignore open meeting laws, make deals favorable to corporations behind closed doors and sell off your public information to private interests. Some state laws prevent people from recording public officials in their duties, such as a police officer making an arrest, but the police cameras can record your actions without your permission. The Pirate Party will make sure that our government is transparent and accountable to the people.
Defending Your Privacy
Whether it was the PATRIOT ACT, illegal NSA wiretapping or local surveillance cameras, our government has used 9/11 to increase its surveillance and control over us. Corporations have increased their spying on employees in order to get more work out of them. The arguments for each step on the road to a surveillance state may sound convincing, but that road leads to less control by people and more by government and corporate elites. Terrorists may attack the open society, but only governments can abolish it. The Pirate Party will prevent that from happening.
Promoting Culture & Knowledge Through Copyright Reform
The Founding Fathers created our copyright laws to promote knowledge & culture by giving the creator a limited monopoly over their creations. Congress, under the influence of corporations, has extended the duration of that government granted monopoly to seventy years after the death of the creator. Increasingly corporations have sought broader laws to ensure that they control and profit from more of our culture. Through Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies they have locked down our culture, hindered sharing and criminalized their customers.
The Pirate Party will:
limit the copyright to five years for electronic media and fourteen years for tangible objects, make sure that all non-commercial copying, sharing and remixing are legal and ban DRM software. There is no reason for copyright to continue until 70 years after death.
Everyone must have equal access to the internet, and the Pirate Party will foster network neutrality so that internet service providers cannot give preferential treatment to preferred web sites and we oppose three strikes laws that ban anyone from using the internet because of copyright violations. The internet has the potential to be a new Library of Alexandria, if we don’t let corporations and government lock it down.
Fostering Innovation by Abolishing Patents
We seek the abolition of patents. The patent system stifles innovation by making it difficult to incorporate an existing invention into a new one. It discourages researchers from sharing their new ideas until after a patent application. It prevents hundreds of thousands of people in poor countries from receiving the drugs they need. Currently pharmaceutical companies spend only 15% of their revenue on new drug research. The remaining 85% is spent on activities such as marketing and profit taking. A reformed system would dramatically increase the money available for innovation, while removing the obstacles to innovation posed by the current patent system.
Positions on Other Issues
The scope of the Pirate Party was originally limited to a few core issues. However now the United States Pirate Party, in common with many other Pirate Parties, is drafting policies on a variety of different issues. We need your help in deciding positions on every policy that matters to US voters.
Restored United States Pirate Party Values and Name
For these values, we have been derided as “pirates”. For our hope that every person may be free to access all of human knowledge, we have been called “pirates”. For our belief that one need not ask permission to participate in governance, industry, culture, and other aspects of society, we have been called “pirates”. For our insistence that citizens should not be surveilled and distrusted as if they are criminals, we have been called “pirates”. For our rejection of authority and profit-seeking when it does not serve the common good of all people, we have been called “pirates”.
We reclaim this label of “pirate” and abjure its derogatory, incendiary implication. We are Pirates. We stand for the liberty, equality, and solidarity of all human beings, and against all threats they may face.
1. We stand for open culture. No one should have the power to prevent the free exchange and expression of ideas, tools, or works.
2. We stand for transparency and openness. Government activities should not be hidden from the public.
3. We stand for individual privacy. The amount of oppression in a society is inversely proportional to its privacy protections. Individuals must be free to make personal decisions that do not harm another person.
4. We are anti-monopoly. No monopoly should be able to prevent works, tools, or ideas from: being freely used, expressed, exchanged, recombined, or taught; nor to violate individual privacy or human rights. A creator’s right to be compensated for their work or idea is only acceptable within these limitations.
5. We stand for individuals over institutions. Universal human rights apply only to human beings, and not to corporations, limited liability organizations, or other group entities.
6. We are a post-ideological values-based meritocracy. We place all options on the table. We choose a specific approach because the available evidence shows that it is the best way to promote our values. We do not make decisions based merely on tradition, popularity, authority or political expediency.
7. We are egalitarian. We believe in equality and a level playing field. We accept input from all sources, and we value all people equally. We actively practice these values. We hold ourselves accountable for our own adherence to these principles.