Arrr, it was a real pirate year! (Part 2)

2013: The year in review (Continued)

JULY

”Internet and Social Media as Tools of Freedom” was organized by MEPs Pawel Zalewski (EPP) and Amelia Andersdotter (Greens/EFA). The aim of the conference was to discuss the role of the Internet and social media in revolutions for building civil societies. 
 
..the latest poll showing 3% for PPLU it’s looking very positive for them reaching over the 3.5% barrier…
 
PPUK has been part of Pirate Parties International (PPI) from the beginning, but its ordinary members did not make the decision in the past. In a vote triggered by concerns about PPI from the UK’s executive, the ballots have been counted, the decision made. 
 
In Russia, “anti-piracy” laws are being introduced on 1 August 2013. These laws are a direct attack on internet freedom according to the Russian Pirate Party, who are organising a series of actions, together with allied activists, with four main tactics
 
Announcements such as this do not come as much of a surprise to many activists and campaigners in the UK, who have been warning about the creep of such measures for years. 
 
AUGUST
 
If you have never read a book on politics before then this one, written by Jón Thór Ólafsson, one of the first three Pirates to be elected to a national parliament in Iceland, being easy to read and follow, is the one to start with.
 
A surveillance state is defined as a state which legally surveils all actions, locations, and friends of its citizens, in order to prevent crimes or in order to solve them faster. Nevertheless the term has negative connotations.
 
Young Pirates of Europe (YPE) was founded by its eight founding members: the Young Pirates of Sweden, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Flanders, Norway and Belarus.
 
Our journey began in 2007 when a small group of people, inspired by the Pirate Party of Sweden, decided to join together to create the Pirate Party of Brazil…
 
Throughout these past 12 months we have had 25 article authors write 237 posts with a total 184.149 words. This productivity of news led us to win the “Pirate Blogger of the year” award, on December 2012, from the Young Pirates of East Sweden chapter…
 
The Conference of PPEU in Warsaw, as part of the establishment of the European Pirate Party, was the last of the Conferences that started after the Declaration of Prague nearly one and half year ago.
 
This new youth organisation is called “Ungir Piratar”. Membership is open for pirates from age 15 to 30. According to Stéfan Vignir Skarphedinsson, one of the founding members, the age limit was not chosen because it’s a legal requirement. 
 
The Online Parliament Viewer sources data from publicly available records and presents them in a way that is easy to understand. It shows how MPs have voted on a single bill or on the top 100 most controversial issues in the last term and it also highlights instances where representatives have voted against their own party line…
 
…Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) will have implemented liberalized economic and trade policies throughout the Pacific coastal members. As with all trade-blocs, however, there are grave concerns over democracy, transparency, and privacy, with intellectual Property measures mimicking and even exceeding the notorious ACTA…
 
A public good is commonly defined as one that is both non-excludable and non-rivalrous. The importance of digital goods is media becoming non-rivalrous—meaning one person’s use of the good does not diminish the ability of another from using it. 
 
Next year there will be a “super election year” in Sweden, starting in May with the European Parliament and followed by local, regional, and national elections in September. To prepare for this year, the Young Pirates have recently announced that they will be hiring a full time “Election Admiral”. 
 
Little Mermaid statue outside of Copenhagen turned 100 years old last Friday but was hardly mentioned in Danish newspapers. The reason for the lack of coverage on this important birthday for a national symbol was copyright problems…
 
The Young Pirates of Sweden has nominated the Swedish Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, to the Mars One project. They now hope that she will accept the nomination and leave Earth and politics behind her…
SEPTEMBER
 
New Zealand has announced that they will no longer approve meritless software patents describing age old processes solely because they are now done in a computer. 
 
“When not even Sweden’s Minister of IT is following the copyright law on the net, you can’t really expect normal Internet users to feel obliged to follow such an outmoded law”, said Torbjörn Wester, PPSE’s spokesperson for legal politics. 
 
Those who are open to others about their file sharing are keenly aware of the criticisms that are thrown at us, many times without much thought. Some of the more emotional accusations even equate us with pirates, a term that was easily adopted as a symbol of freedom and liberation from a monopolistic, elite royalty. 
 
For the Australian Pirates, the Senate is the race of most interest as the Australian Pirate  Party has decided to concentrate their efforts there. 
 
From August 30 to September 1, Pirates from the three neighbouring countries Germany, Czech Republic and Poland met in Dresden for the first PP³ conference. As a real and productive surprise, Pirates from Austria and France also made the long trip to join the meeting.
 
On Wednesday,  4 September 2013, pirates from all over Europe gathered in Luxembourg city…The purpose of the event was the signing of the statutes for the creation of the European Pirate Party (PPEU). It was the conclusion of a lengthy process that took over a year and a half. It started at the Pirate Parties international conference of April 2012 in Prague. After conferences in Potsdam, Barcelona, Manchester, Paris, Kiev and Warsaw now the work was final. 
 
The Pirate Party of Norway is challenging the conservative-center and social democratic coalitions in the upcoming elections with more focus on transparency, culture and the internet.
 
The Swedish Pirate Party and their youth organisation, Young Pirates, demonstrated in Stockholm on Wednesday 4  September 2013 when US president Barack Obama visited Sweden. 
 
Since 2008 a loose coalition of activists from around the world organizes events in september each year  under the common slogan of “Freedom not Fear“.
 
…Soon after the sentencing, Manning releases a press release verifying what has been rumoured for a while – she comes out as a self-identified woman, saying that she plans to undergo physical treatment in prison, and that she now wishes the media to respect that and refer to her by the female pronoun and her chosen new name of Chelsea. 
 
On 2  September 2013, the Pirate Party of Brazil (PIRATAS) started their second phase of  the formalization process with the publication of the party’s statutes and program in the Federal Official Diary (DOU).
 
Within the debate of the rights of copyright versus our privacy and freedom lies another debate, examining whether file sharing is even a danger to the industries. 
 
The year 2014 is the year of elections for the European Union. The Swedish Pirate Party is now planning on how to keep their two Members of Parliament, and has invited for a member convention on the topic.
 
For a political party that is only a year old getting 0.3% in their first election is a good result. The Pirate Party of Norway managed to get 9.868 votes of the total 2.848.986 votes resulting in 0.3%. 
 
The American politician Sarah Palin and her political action committee has been sued for copyright infringement after publishing a famous 9/11 photograph. 
 
Sunday September 22, 2013 sees the federal elections for the German Pirate Party. Pirate Times sat down with candidate MP Felicitas Steinhoff to discuss these last few days before the election. 
 
Looking at ideas and the execution of campaigning strategies can tell us a lot about a political party. Pirates should be good at remixing and re-using good ideas which is why we hope to write more tips and tricks such as this in the future. 
 
The analogy that attacking piracy is a game of whac-a-mole appears to be quite a good one. Any effects to reduce piracy will be countered with new means of circumvention—if you hit a mole it reappears somewhere else. 
 
Despite the internal issues the German party had this year, their number of voters has increased in comparison to the last federal election in 2009. They did not get over the 5% needed to enter the parliament but they did get a few new seats in regional parliaments. 
 
In a new poll about attitudes towards the Swedish Pirate Party, 13 % could consider voting for the party during the EU elections next year. In the same poll, 9 out of 10 Swedes report being against mass surveillance. 
 
Weeks after the Australian elections, the results have still not been finalized due to the complex preference voting system, but it is clear that the Pirate Party has not been able to win a Senate seat. 
 
The signatures were a “call upon the European Commission to immediately initiate treaty violation proceedings Pursuant to Article 258 TFEU due to violations of article 16 TFEU (right to the protection of personal data) against the United Kingdom”. 
 
Joan Baldovi, a Member of Parliament for the Greens (Compromís-Equo) was persuaded by members of a free software development group to use “agoravoting”, an online voting system that is being used by the Pirate Party of Madrid, to directly ask the Spanish people for their opinion on the Transparency Act bill.
 
One of the new tools, building on ideas from Liquid Democracy, is Wasa2il. It was begun by Smári McCarthy, in conjunction with the Moroccan Pirates, in 2012 in order to address problems in the current Liquid Democracy systems. 
OCTOBER
 
Freedom not Fear. Svoboda místo strachu. Freiheit statt angst. Слобода уместо страха. La liberté pas la peur. In all languages, in many countries, throughout the whole of Europe, a popular event was held in order to point out the importance of freedom in our modern, digitized world. 
 
The Pirates managed to get 36 265 votes placing them at 0.8% of  the total votes. 
 
The debate of piracy can be a fairly complex topic. With numerous actors and issues involved, arguments can quite easily obscure the truth in favor of fallacies and simplifications.
 
Municipal elections in Estonia started already on 10  October 2013 using e-voting and will culminate on 20 October with traditional paper ballots and the Estonian Pirate Party is taking part.
 
…a Manchester City council seat was vacate. This forced a by-election that took place on Thursday 10 October  2013. The Pirate leader, Loz Kaye, was competing for the single seat against several more established parties. 
 
On 2  October 2013, Birgitta Jónsdòttir addressed the Althingi, Iceland’s parliament, replying to the Prime Minister’s plan for the tiny nation and the ambition to make Iceland a better nation. She lauded his ambition but decried the fact that his vision was not based in reality and lacked the tools necessary to bring his plans to fruition. 
 
It will be the first time PPLU participates in a national election.
 
Right after Fyssas’s assassination, the Pirate Party of Greece, issued a press release entitled “Fascism revealed; It does not strike “what you do”, but “what you are”, calling on Greek society to rise against Nazism and condemn such excesses and phenomena. 
 
The Czech Pirate Party (Česká pirátská strana) is going into the elections with a solid platform that is based on the idea that they want to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the new digital age. 
 
The Pirate Party of Luxembourg were hoping to get 2% of the vote, in their first ever election and were overjoyed to see their share of the vote reaching the 2.94% over all and 3.37% in the north of the country. 
 
Jerry Weyer, candidate and election campaign manager of the Pirate Party Luxembourg talks to Pirate Times.
 
fter the manifesto of the European Pirate Party (PPEU) in Warsaw, Pirates will gather in Athens next weekend, 2 – 3 November , to jointly develop a common  programme for the Euro-elections in 2014. 
 
…the proposed amendments of the National security law in Hungary, enables the government to monitor all public officers inside and outside their offices (also including their homes and families). According to Scheppele, the amendments enable people at the top of the government to legally spy on all people that hold important public offices.
NOVEMBER
 
The Czech Pirate Party treble their vote from 42,323 votes, since the last elections in 2010, to 132,417 votes (2.66% of the total vote). They managed this on a budget of 250,00 Czech Koruna ( 9,700 Euro). Now the Pirates  will  get 13,241,700 CZK  ( 514,000 Euro) from the state. 
 
This proposal of a copyright and culture reform comes as a response to the ACTA rejection as a way to create a new regulatory and policy framework which has been adapted to our new digital era.
 
Based  not on simple majority butby consensus , European Pirates adopted a  common political agenda in Athens.
 
The Spanish Pirate Confederation has been born. Last week, representatives from five different Pirate Parties in Spain (Andalusia, Extremadura, Galicia, Madrid, Catalonia and La Rioja) signed up to the official statutes of the new political grouping. 
 
The Estonian Pirate did not achieve stunning results in the local elections but for a first appearance on the political scene they have done well… 
 
On the weekend of 30 November – 1 December  2013 the Pirate Party of Germany will be holding its second general assembly of the year in the Hanseatic city state of Bremen. 
 
Updates from the German Pirate Party’s Second General Assembly in Bremen.
DECEMBER
 
The Swedish Pirate Party has now presented its list for the upcoming elections to the European Union. The list is led by Christian Engström and Amelia Andersdotter, the party’s two current parliamentarians. 
 
European Pirates looking for a logo for their international organization.
 
The main aim of the congress was to elect a new board and to enable that board to work as effectively as possible.
 
In February 2013 an asteroid exploded over the Russian city ‘Chelyabinsk’, and showed another case of the potential threat of astronomical objects – an area covered by some but certainly not all Pirate Parties.
 
Great news from the Americas: the Brazilian Pirate Party has been officially registered by a notary public.
 
Swedish politician Kent Ekeroth, of the nationalist Sweden Democrats, is now using copyright as a means of silencing a critical newspaper 
 
Chelsea Manning won her fair share of unwanted fame in May 2010, when she was betrayed by confidant Adrian Lamo and arrested for having leaked a number of confidential documents and video clips to WikiLeaks. 
 
The further progress and development of the party were the dominant topics of the second congress of Pirate Party of Greece.
 
The Young Pirates of Sweden criticised the sentencing in a press release, and said that the filesharer instead should be thanked for his cultural achievements. 
 
Edward Snowden, former consultant for the NSA and accused of spying for leaking sensitive information detrimental to U.S. security, said in a letter published this Tuesday (17 December 2013) that he can help Brazil to defend their network against the United States surveillance agencies.
 
Blocking has become default for every new subscriber to an ISP service and will soon be extended to all existing subscribers, with each given a “choice” of several different filtering levels.
 
The Spanish Ministry of Justice has been working hard on legal reforms ever since the People’s Party came to power in 2011. Most of these reforms have to do with the Judiciary itself, but -contrary to the Government’s statements- they seem to be aimed at separating Justice from ordinary citizens. 
 
‘Shit happens’ Erdoğan probably thought, eating seeds in front of the telly, when he first saw young hipsters gathering with nationalists, hooligans, Kurds and radical Muslims, in the most unlikely protest movement of recent memory.
 
A big “Thank you” to all our Flattr supporters. Here’s how we were flattred on November, October, September, August, July, May, April, March , February and January 2013. 
 
The Pirate Movement on Facebook and Twitter on January, February, March and April 2013
 

 
Stathis Leivaditis

About Stathis Leivaditis

The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.

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