[NetBehaviour] The Pirates Hold a Party.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Jun 22 11:33:11 CEST 2006

The Pirates Hold a Party.

By Eli Milchman (Wired).

A fledgling new political movement calling itself The Pirate Party of 
the United States has emerged from the dust of last month's police raid 
on The Pirate Bay in Sweden. Six days after the May 31 seizure of 
BitTorrent servers, the new organization's website, was up and running. 
Organizers claim the newly launched site drew over 100,000 hits in a 
little over a week.

The group patterns itself after Piratpartiet, the Swedish political 
party associated with The Pirate Bay, and says it wants to reform 
intellectual property and privacy laws. Piratpartiet was launched 
January 1, and by the end of that first day had gathered the 1,500 
signatures it needed to participate in Sweden's upcoming parliamentary 
elections in September.

Wired News interviewed the founder of The Pirate Party of the United 
States, Brent Allison, 30, a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia, 
and his provisional co-chair David Segal, 20, a computer science major 
at the University of California Santa Barbara. They shared their 
thoughts on the stormy seas ahead.

WN: When did the party start, and who started it?

Allison: The party started on June 6, 2006 with two members, myself and 
my friend Alex English. A couple of days later, I received around 300 
e-mails from people I didn't know expressing interest in joining and 
helping out. This was thanks to publicity from the original Swedish 
party, Piratpartiet, who found out about it when I edited their 
Wikipedia entry to include mention of the U.S. version I founded.

On June 9, faced with not being able to finish a dissertation, hold down 
a job and lead a rapidly growing party at the same time, I handed 
control of the party to Joshua Cowles and he appointed David Sigal as 

WN: What sparked you to form the U.S. version of the Pirate Party, or in 
David's case, to get involved?

Allison: I have always been concerned that trends in intellectual 
property policies have been going too far in favor of entertainment 
conglomerates and major pharmaceutical firms at the expense of ordinary 
citizens and patients. The passage of the DMCA (Digital Millennium 
Copyright Act) in 1998 first awakened me to this trend. The RIAA's and 
MPAA's interference in P2P-sharing networks, through lawsuits, political 
lobbying and flooding them with bogus files, seemed to threaten one of 
the most democratic institutions in the digital sphere.


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