Canada’s Pirate Party receives official status.
Take a seat, Tea Partiers. There’s a new batch of troublemakers taking names. On April 12th, the Pirate Party of Canada – a party whose platform includes securing the downloading of movies, music and other media for noncommercial purposes – was granted official party status. Aside from promoting what is now “illegal” downloading, the Pirates also intend to curtail government surveillance of the Internet. The central argument is this: With regard to current copyright law, if it criminalizes an act nearly everyone commits, it begs the question of whether the law is designed to secure the common good of the people, or whether it was designed to support the desires of the avaricious minority.
According to Michael Strangelove, a communications professor at the University of Ottawa, “Corporations are grossly violating our rights to use private property such as music, images, and words to create new art, commentary, and other forms of expression. By overextending their rights far beyond the original intention of copyright laws, corporations stifle creativity and undermine the collective good in the name of private profit.”
Strangelove cautions that copyright law does not establish what is ethical.
For more about the Pirates, see The Mark.