Pirate Dictionary is a list of words that are useful in communication of the Pirate Program. The Pirate Dictionary is necessary to avoid expressions that can obstruct the meaning, such as the misuse of “protection of author rights“ instead of the more obvious “enforcement of the copy monopoly“. The advantages of a common dictionary are that
- we can share the materials of one another,
- we can prepare the common press releases more easily, and
- we support the global image of the Pirate Movement.
The Pirate Dictionary is unofficial, but Pirates are free to benefit from it, and the Pirate Parties are free to embrace it.
If you use the Pirate Dictionary, please fill in the terms in your language to the Multilingual Table.
Words to use
- Copy law
- is the law that governs copying; the goal of copying regulation is to promote the useful arts for the benefit of the public. The copy law should support sharing information and should restrict the monopolies that are used to limit the rights of the public, such as the digital restrictions management (DRM).
- Copy monopoly
- is a description for all laws through which the government restricts our freedom to use the books, movies, records and other works. For instance, if you buy a movie in the store, the copy monopoly forbids you from copying it to your friend, sharing it on the Internet or writing the subtitles to the movie.
- Collecting societies
- are private associations such as GEMA (Germany), SGAE (Spain), OSA (Czechia) registered by the authorities that collect fees from media, printers, copiers, radios and television, and distribute these revenues among the interest groups in the entertainment industry. The root of the word should always be the fact that these societies collect fees, not that they are entitled to the collective administration of the rights, as is the case in some languages.
- Free software
- is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things and that manufacturers of consumer-facing hardware allow user modifications to their hardware.
- is the word that is in the center of the Pirate policy. What the combustion engine and electricity were for the 20th century, that is the role that effective use of information plays in the digital age. The Pirates advocate that it is vital that information in digital age be spread as freely as possible. The word Information is also a good substitute for the object of copy monopoly if you want to avoid aspects which are redundant in respect to the reason for the copy monopoly, such as in the phrase "works of authorship".
- Open Access
- refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly journals, and increasingly also book chapters or monographs. Open Access should be a standard for publishing at public universities as it offers the quickest way to spread the knowledge to all researchers who are interested in it.
- Pharmaceutical monopoly
- is monopoly of a corporation to produce and sell the remedies based on patents or drug regulation. The goal of the monopoly is to increase the profits of the pharmaceutical company it receives from the diminished competition. The pharmaceutical monopoly increases the price of the remedies, makes the remedies less available and spends the money that could be used for better hospitals. There are several types of pharmaceutical monopoly: For instance, it can use measures to prevent others from synthesizing certain molecules (patents) or prevent the use of drugs made from herbs that grow in nature.
- is the legal or physical quality that prevents you from using information or machine for what it was devised (sharing or enjoyment). It is customary for the anti-copying lobbyists to speak in terms of “copyright“ or other “rights“ that they have (if they have a funny day, they even speak of “author rights“). Surprisingly, the Pirates are not anti-copying lobbyists and they have should use the term that reflects the effect for the user, i.e. they should, in regards to monopolies, avoid the word
rightthat identifies people with the wrong side.
- is the quality of an organization which discloses the relevant information to the public. This information should include the decision making processes, finances and accounting of the organization.
- Virtual property
- is a term that can be used as an illustrative term to surpass the term
intellectual property. It often makes no sense to talk about all these restrictions altogether, but sometimes it expresses your thought clearly. For instance, it makes sense to say that somebody is stealing things, but you certainly cannot steal virtual property. As opposed to some derogatory terms, the term virtual property can be used among academics as well. As with the copy monopoly, it reveals clearly the nature of the term.
Words to avoid
There are a number of words and phrases that we recommend avoiding, or avoiding in certain contexts and usages. Some are ambiguous or misleading; others presuppose a viewpoint that we hope you disagree with. This list is copied and adapted from the guide of the Free Software Foundation.
- To speak of “compensation for authors” in connection with copy monopoly carries the assumptions that (1) copy monopoly exists for the sake of authors and (2) whenever we read something, we take on a debt to the author which we must then repay.
- The first assumption is simply false, and the second is outrageous.
- You can compensate somebody for work to create something, but you do not compensate anybody just for copying stuff.
- The term consumer, when used to refer to computer users, is loaded with assumptions we should reject. Playing a digital recording, or running a program, does not consume it. The terms producer and consumer come from economic theory, and bring with them its narrow perspective and misguided assumptions. They tend to warp your thinking.
- In addition, describing the users of software as “consumers” presumes a narrow role for them: it regards them as cattle that passively graze on what others make available to them. The shallow economic conception of users as consumers tends to go hand in hand with the idea that published works are mere content. Use the word people or citizen instead.
- If you want to describe a feeling of comfort and satisfaction, by all means say you are content, but using the word as a noun to describe written and other works of authorship adopts an attitude you might rather avoid. It regards these works as a commodity whose purpose is to fill a box and make money. In effect, it disparages the works themselves.
- Those who use this term are often the publishers that push for increased monopoly power in the name of the authors of the works. The term content reveals their real attitude towards these works and their authors.
- You can use the word information instead.
- The term creator as applied to authors implicitly compares them to a deity (“the creator”). The term is used by publishers to elevate authors' moral standing above that of ordinary people in order to justify giving them increased copy monopoly, which the publishers can then exercise in their name. We recommend saying author instead. However, in many cases recording industry or publisher is what you really mean.
- Digital Goods
- The term digital goods, as applied to copies of works of authorship, erroneously identifies them with physical goods—which cannot be copied, and which therefore have to be manufactured and sold. Use the word information.
- Digital Rights Management
- refers to technical schemes designed to impose restrictions on computer users. The use of the word “rights” in this term is propaganda, designed to lead you unawares into seeing the issue from the viewpoint of the few that impose the restrictions, and ignoring that of the general public on whom these restrictions are imposed. Use the alternative Digital Restrictions Management.
- Intellectual property
- Publishers and lawyers like to describe copy monopoly as “intellectual property”—a term also applied to patents, trademarks, and other more obscure areas of law. These laws have so little in common, and differ so much, that it is ill-advised to generalize about them. It is best to talk specifically about “copy monopoly,” or about “pharmaceutical monopoly,” or about “trademarks.”
- The term “intellectual property” carries a hidden assumption—that the way to think about all these disparate issues is based on an analogy with physical objects, and our conception of them as physical property. When it comes to copying, this analogy disregards the crucial difference between material objects and information: information can be copied and shared almost effortlessly, while material objects can't be. To avoid spreading unnecessary bias and confusion, it is best to adopt a firm policy not to speak or even think in terms of “intellectual property”.
- Publishers' lawyers love to use the term “protection” to describe the copy monopoly. This word carries the implication of preventing destruction or suffering; therefore, it encourages people to identify with the owner and publisher who benefit from the copy monopoly, rather than with the users who are restricted by it.
- It is easy to avoid “protection” and use neutral terms instead. For example, instead of saying, “Copyright protection lasts a very long time,” you can say, “Copy monopoly lasts a very long time.”
- Software Industry
- encourages people to imagine that software is always developed by a sort of factory and then delivered to “consumers.” The free software community shows this is not the case. Software businesses exist, and various businesses develop free and/or nonfree software, but those that develop free software are not run like factories. Use the term software business.
- The term “industry” is being used as propaganda by advocates of software patents. They call software development “industry” and then try to argue that this means it should be subject to patent monopolies. The European Parliament, rejecting software patents in 2003, voted to define “industry” as “automated production of material goods.”
- Apologists of copy monopoly often use words like “stolen” and “theft” to describe infringement. At the same time, they ask us to treat the legal system as an authority on ethics: if copying is forbidden, it must be wrong. So it is pertinent to mention that the legal system rejects the idea that copy monopoly infringement is “theft.” Apologists of the copy monopoly are making an appeal to authority and misrepresenting what authority says.
- The idea that laws decide what is right or wrong is mistaken in general. Laws are, at their best, an attempt to achieve justice; to say that laws define justice or ethical conduct is turning things upside down. Use copy monopoly infringement instead.