The Pirate Party

This past weekend someone told me that a candidate from the Massachusetts Pirate Party was seeking nomination signatures in Lowell to qualify for the November ballot for an elective office (I’m not sure which one). Perhaps confusing the Pirate Party with International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I dismissed it as a joke. Then this morning I spotted a New York Times Op-Ed that reviewed the recent success of the German Pirate Party in that country’s recent parliamentary election and predicted the Pirate Party might soon become a force in American politics.

The focus of the Pirate Party has been copyright reform and online privacy but as the NYT contributor Steve Kettman contends, the party has the opportunity to grab the rising ranks of Internet-savvy voters who are largely being ignored by the major parties. Historically, any time a third party begins gaining traction, one of the major parties co-opts its issues and the reason for the third party’s existence fades away. Still, a generation of new voters who have known no life other than one dominated by a computer will increasingly demand the integration of technology in politics and government.

2 Responses to The Pirate Party

  1. Ike Sharpless says:

    I enjoy following your blog on my Google Reader feed, and thought I should chime in on this – I’m an adjunct political science instructor at UML (, and JP is actually a former student of mine. Partially I think he’s running on the Pirate ticket precisely so he can get some press for breaking ground. His views on IP are a bit to the left of mine, but he’s a smart, caring, and thoughtful guy who I think would make a great representative.

  2. C R Krieger says:

    I think IP needs to be looked at.  The artists and their producers should have their fair share.  However, I believe the current Copyright laws provide more than a fair share—and thus stifle creativity.

    Further, the recording industry failed to use technology to liberate its audience.  We went from the 78 to the 45, with one desired track and something the record producer stuck us with.  Popular music went to the 33 1/3 and then to tapes and then CDs.  The industry could have sustained itself by letting people cut their own tapes and CDs at music stores.  It didn’t.  Acting in a rapacious manner, it stuck us with stuff we didn’t want as the price for buying what we did.  Humans being what they are, people moved to get around this abuse.  Now we have iTunes.

    Laws need to adapt to society and to technology and the Copyright laws are not adapting.

    I can see the reason for the Pirate Party.

    Regards  —  Cliff