Over at the Pirate Party of New Zealand website (where I am now a guest blogger, yo ho ho!), the Pirates outline their core policy. Contrary to what you might expect, the Pirates support copyright laws. Here is what they say about copyright.
Because we see copyright as a legal right, not a moral right, we think it should be up to individual societies to democratically decide whether to implement copyright law, and if so, to what extent. The long title of the Statute of Anne 1709 (widely regarded as the beginning of modern copyright law) describes the statute as being for “the Encouragement of Learning” (British Copyright Act, 1709). Similarly, the stated aim of the provision for copyrights and patents in the USA constitution is “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” (USA Constitution, art. I, sec. 8, cl. 8). The Pirate Party believes that modern copyright law is more restrictive than necessary to serve this purpose, and that the purpose could actually be better served by less restrictive law.
So copyright is for “the Encouragement of Learning”. But we have state education for that!
So copyright is also “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts”. But we have the Ministry of Science and Innovation for that, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage!
It would seem that “the Encouragement of Learning” and the promotion of “the Progress of Science and useful Arts” are already more than well catered for by big government with at least three separate ministries with all their ministers, associate ministers and associated minions.
So we don’t need copyright laws!