The Pirate Party, which champions issues such as intellectual property rights, free speech and data privacy, is on its way to becoming an official party in Australia.
The party is gathering followers with the hope of achieving the 500 exclusive members needed to achieve official registered party status in the eyes of the Australian Electoral Commission. It is also holding elections next week on Wednesday night at 8pm to appoint a president, deputy president, general secretary, deputy general secretary, treasurer and deputy treasuer. Applications were to be sent in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pirate Party in Sweden, called Piratpartiet, secured one of 18 Swedish seats in the EU Parliament, according to the party's website. Over the weekend, its counterpart in Germany won 2 per cent of the vote in national elections. In the regional elections for the area of Schleswig-Holstein, the party also achieved 1.8 per cent of the votes.
According to ITNews, the party currently has 300 members here in Australia. When it receives its full number, the party said on its Australian site that it hoped to exert political pressure to help change intellectual property legislation. The party has limited the issues it wants to take a stand on to only intellectual property rights and related privacy issues.
The party said it doesn't endorse illegal copying of copyright material, but disagrees with the degree of control the intellectual property laws currently allow. It seeks a better balance between sharing information and recognition for authors, looking for reform.
"[The law] now acts to constrain, rather than foster innovation, and leads to the criminalisation of an entire generation who are sharing knowledge, culture and information freely and for no monetary gain, and a movement by proponents of copyright towards the erosion of civil liberties," the Australian site said.
Issues which were being discussed on the party's forums on its Australian site included the possible three-strike policy, which would shut down the internet connection of anyone who downloads pirated material after warnings; the proposed Australian internet filter; as well as proposed changes to Australian telecommunications legislation, which have the potential to affect the legality of communications interception.