Who are the “true” liberals?

The wide ocean. Freedom.

The strengthening of civil rights is a big part of the Pirates party line. But there is already a party who has the same goal, namely the FDP. The FDP is the Free Democratic Party of Germany, that has a liberal agenda…which is somewhat questionable.

In a previous post, the FDP chairman Guido Westerwelle argued the FDP is the party who is perserving civil rights and that his party has proven so in the recent years.

It was nice to see that this eastblished party saw the need to defend itself after being critisized for not standing up enough for civil rights. After all, the Pirate Party was not founded to simply abolish copyright but also to ensure the civil rights on- and offline.
The Pirates have a page on their wiki for the FDP aswell where they list up a couple of reasons why one should not vote for them. (Note: Liberale is put in quatation marks there)

Since the pirates do not have a set position on the economic questions (except of coure those of the internet), they do not have to make decisions based on the balance of market vs. rights of people. I wonder how this decision will look. After all, the FDP did betray some of their liberal ideals in favour of economic efficency (like Tuition fees or subsidies for big hotel enterprises).

I wonder if the pirates will one day have to make similar decisions.
As of yet, they have criticised partys for the betrayal of their ideals..but will this be avoidable for them too, if they get to a point where they are so big that they actually are not this much of a few-issue party?

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Shipping through the world wide web – Wanted: Piracy Party

Hi sailors,

I told you before, that the piracy party lays its focus on the happenings in the internet and with electronical data. But how they do present themselves in this medium they seem to love?

For getting an answer to this question I surfed and sailed through the spacious sea of the world wide web and found several profiles and sites supporting the piracy party. I shipped through blogs and social networks and entered new places, always searching for a pirate flag.

Firstly, I docked at “StudiVZ” and found some “Edelprofile” of the Piracy Party in Germany. Here they present their aimes and latest news concerning the party. On top, you can show your sympathy for the pirates by adding them to your friendlist.

A comparable profile offer the “Young Pirates Germany” also on StudiVZ. Mainly, they want to inform young people of their party and show them their recent plans and successes. Junge Piraten

These two special profiles of the piracy party are also members in several groups with mottos and ideologies connected to the pirates. For example:

Additionally, some politicians of the piracy party have their own certificated profiles on StudiVZ, where they show, like Uli König, chairman of the piracy party in Schleswig-Holstein, what they like and dislike, what they work and where they live. Uli König for example explains why he is a member of the pirates by saying:
Uli König

Ich bin Pirat, weil ich mich nicht später von meinen ungeborenen Kindern fragen lassen will, warum ich zugesehen habe, wie unser Land in einen Überwachungsstaat umgebaut worden ist.

My travel went further untill I reached Facebook. Here, the piracy party Germany also has its own profile, where it tries to explain their founding, their name and their aims. Members of Facebook can comment on it and show their sympathy for them as well.

I left the social networks then and entered the huge sea of the blogosphere. There I also found some interesting blogs created by piracy party fellow-traveller. I only want to show you a few of them:

  • “Offizielles Seemannsgarn” by Daniel Flachshaar: He expresses his personal thoughts concerning politics and pirates and talks about latest issues.
  • “Piraten-Planet”: several bloggers discuss nearly every hour latest news, new problems and ideas.

And here my travel ends so far. If you like, you can also set sail and discover the proposed websites and further ones. Have fun!

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The Pirates fight with copyright

Well…
As the term “pirate” implys, Pirates have a somewhat strong position of the whole intellectual property compelx. There are those who think that piracy is a way of subversion because of the extreme measures that have been taken by the content industry. Others do it because of the desire to simply not pay for culture.
There are also those who want a different way of paying for content.
But all those groups within the Pirate Party are pirates who agree on one thing:
Copyright must be abolished!

Since techincal restrictions fail to control the copying of music, films and software anyway, the pirates think one should recognise the great advantages that arise from this situation and to not just legalise it but to support it aswell!

Of course now the questions comes up: What to do with the people who produce content?
The Piracy parties of the world have some ideas how to remunerate them..but the proposed moddels are still in the beta phase, meaning it will still take some time until they are ready to replace the current model of content payment. But they are being worked on!

There are idea’s like the “culture flatrate” or other newfangled things like micopayment services like Flattr. (Interestingly, Flattr was co-created by one of the Pirate Bay’s founders Peter Sude).

Here is a video on how Flattr works:

I think ideas like a culture flatrate or Flattr could really make a difference in how people approach the entrie idea of paying for content and I am fairly confident that a lot of pirates would become less keen on pirating stuff the way they do now.

What do you guys think? Are models like that to be taken seriously or will the content industry try to perserve it’s old-fashioned we-sell-plastic-disc-because-we-made-more-revenue-with-it-in-the-past attitude?
Remember that the users of content are after all pirates themselves (not in the Pirate Party sense of being politically active) and used to be the people who buy content!

I personally would love to see micro-payment services succeed because I think that in many respects, the content industry has gone to far with lobbying for restirctions on the internet. And of course to see a Pirate Partys of the world play an active role in making this possible 🙂

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Are the pirates one-dimensional?

Hey Ho maties!

As I have read in your comments on my blog, some of you, like many Germans as well, think that the piracy party only concentrates on the world wide web and everything that has to do with this topic. But why do you get this impression? Is it really like this?

Firstly: Yes, the pirates actually concentrate on the topic “Internet” in particular. But on their website you can also find a different topic: Education. Here, they formulated their claims quite clear: They are against dues for studies.

Jeder Mensch hat das Recht auf freien Zugang zu Information und Bildung. Bildungsgebühren jeglicher Art schränken den Zugang zu Bildung ein und sind deshalb kategorisch abzulehnen. Dies ist notwendig, um jedem Menschen, unabhängig von seiner sozialen Herkunft, ein größtmögliches Maß an gesellschaftlicher Teilhabe zu ermöglichen. Bildung ist eine der wichtigsten Ressourcen der Wirtschaft, da nur durch den Erhalt, die Weitergabe und die Vermehrung von Wissen Fortschritt und gesellschaftlicher Wohlstand auf Dauer gesichert werden können. Aus diesem Grund ist auch die Lehrmittelfreiheit zu befürworten. So ist das Schaffen freier Werke, die nicht nur kostenfrei im Unterricht einsetzbar sind, sondern auch von den Lehrkörpern ohne rechtliche Hürden auf den Unterricht angepasst werden können, ein wichtiger Schritt in diese Richtung.

But is this enough? What do they think about issues like economics, ecology or working conditions?

Interestingly, the pirates justify their lack of various political topics with the motto: First think, then act. Theyadmit that they can only talk about issues they are interested in and good at. Because of this fact, they are working on other topics, but want to know enough about it before they talk about it in public.

Moreover, the pirates see themselves as open for new ideas of the voters in a democratic sense. They invite them to talk to them and to comment on new topics and issues on their website. So don’t be afraid  to talk to a real “pirate”. 😉

Also, the pirates know about their low percentage in the Bundestag. Consequently, they have to admit that they are so far not able to accomplish all topics in the Bundestag. But they want to make a beginning with the help of their claims for new Internet-policies and develop further topics if they become bigger and bigger.

So, now you maybe understand the “problems” of the piracy party. Maybe in the future they will not be as one-dimensional as they are seen nowadays? We will see 😉

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Influence of the Pirates grows

Hey!

In the last few weeks something in the Bundestag happend that could be interpreted as the direct influence of the piracy party. The German politicians, especially Interior Minister Thomas De Maizière, dealt with the topic “Internet”.

Our Interior Minister made fourteen thesises for “basics for common net-politics”. He wants to hear the opinions of the public to this topic as well and offers on an official website the opportunity to vote for the several thesises.

There, he asks for better enactments concerning the internet by law. Furthermore, he claims that there should be more liberty in the world wide web for personal users and a fair system which regulates the problematic field of being anonymous or identifiable in the internet.

You can also go on this website and vote for each thesis, whether you think it is positive or negative.

The “pirates” also noted De Maizière’s ideas and commented it on their pirate-wiki. They think it’s a very good approach for the government and see it as an attempt for a dialogue between pirates and other politicians. Here you can also feel free to comment on it.

So, in the sense of the pirates I would say to you: Ready on the keypad, steady, go!

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pirates go “hollywood”

Hey guys!

Today I want you to present some German”celebrities” who are in favour of the pirate party. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to notice it, but I did it:) And that is what I `ve found!

This is the German producer Dieter Bohlen(former Modern Talking member),who was invited to Johannes B. Kerner, a famous German talkmaster. This is only a cutout but Bohlen favours free downloading of music.Saying that youngsters shouldn`t be treated like criminals if they do so, as his generation did this stuff as well, when they “copied” music from the radio on the cassette.

“Wir sind Helden” is a German Alternative Rock band woho hasn`t got any label or record contract.

This is what Joachim Deutschland a German “rockstar”, said:

“Das Internet muss eine Freie Plattform bleiben, damit wir nicht wieder vor Zuständen stehen, die man nur aus Hitlers Zeiten kennt.”

Dr. Motto the father of the famous German Loveparade does also favour the pirate party

This was only a little foretaste. But you see… step by step we get new supporters. Ahoyyy!

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The new Greens?

PREFACE:
This post will deal with Germany

In the 2009 German federal elections the pirates ran for the first time on a federal level and reached 2%.
In terms of numbers 2% is not that much. Some people were even disappointed over the outcome because of the Pirate Party hype that took place prior to election night!
However, what most of those people forgot was that in 1980 a party which was in a similar situation ran for the first time on a federal level too! That party was the Green Party of Germany (Bündnis ’90/Die Grünen) which reaced only 1,5% of the total votes.

When I observed the elections and looked a little back in history I found some interesting parallels between the two parties!
The most striking one was the Green party adressed a problem that, virtually, none of the then governing parties adressed, which was environmental protection. The relatively young environmental movement was beginning to put things like sustainability of the economy, nuclear energy questions and of course protection of the environment on the political agenda. In doing so, they achieved a change in mindset of other parties on the importance of such topic (even the conservative forces in the Bundestag have a opinion on the environment nowdays).

The Greens were a party founded out of the necessity to get the topics they were standing up for into the Bundestag to change the policies that were regulating those.

So did the Pirates!
We live in a time where the internet is getting more and more important in the lives of people. While major parties (in Germany) are still failing to see the vast social potential it offers and mainly view it from an economic side. This of couse leads to great discontent amongst the people who do realize what can and will be done with the internet in a few years. They realize that the future of the internet is directly intertwined with the future of society. Just like the future of the environment has a direct impact on the future of the economy and – as we now realize – the future of the entire planet.
“Netzpolitik” (roughly translated net politics => internet policy) is a topic that is now starting to enter the Bundestag in a way that is percieved as not adequate by many people in the German internet, because the laws that are passed are resticting, policing and inhibting the possiblities of the net and they are passed by parties who do not realize the importance of a free internet and pirvacy for the future. (Interestingly, one of the first parties who had any kind of position on internet questions were the Greens, wo are, as of today, the party after the pirates who are the most active in this field.)

Another interesting similarity is the organization of parties!
Unlike any other party in the Bundestag, the Greens are (still) employing the concept of grassroots-democracy to organize (further reading).

The Pirate Party has another approach which they call “liquid democracy” (actually, this is used in Germany aswell. Sometimes it’s also called Direkter Parlamentarismus.) The concept itself would deserve an entire blogpost for it’s own I guess…but here is the gist of it. (If you do not speak German: I highly suggest you make use of GoogleTranslator or similar because the english language version of the page is rather thin and incomplete).

Both kinds of organition differ significantly from the usual inner-party structure that German parties usually have.

The question arises: Are the pirates the “next” Greens only with a somewhat different topic?
Do the nerds/geeks succeed the hippies/environmentalists in the spirit of bringing a new approach to issues of utmost importance into German politics?

I sure hope so :)!

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