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Application from Pirate Party of New York

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Name of Party New York Pirate Party Application for observer membership
named coordinator: Jay Emerson, Interim Administrative Officer, Founder
generic "info" email:
Press contact:
Logo 26116 115694755108201 115690788441931 272629 4471259 n.jpg
Party Constitution:
Members: Jason Emerson

Aelish Hart

Zacqary Adam Xeper

Lee Weber

Jelena Jovanovic

Joe Fionda

Yitro Ben Yakov Inwald

Martin Marks

Declaration of Platform and Principles:

Pirate Party of New York Constitution


We are the Pirate Party of New York. We are the people. We are originators. We are innovators. We are consumers. Best of all, we are voters.

We have been labeled pirates because our opposition claims that anyone who uses anything created by another person, without payment to that person or their designated representatives, is in violation of copyright, and therefore, according to their ridiculous standard, we are pirates because we speak and use language which was not created by us. We refute their principles of operation as having no basis in logic or reason, except to secure their finances at the expense of guaranteed popular rights. Such principles erode any attempts at creating a positively-oriented culture in which the free flow of ideas can be expressed and expanded upon. Because we disagree with these principles on their face, and because we consider the reasoning behind them flawed, we can thus be considered nothing other than pirates.

We form this party in order to have a party that represents the online and internet community in our democracy. To protect those who have been accused by our government of any non-violent crime pertaining to the use of a computer in committing the act from harsh sentencing and the handing down of egregious draconian laws that don't differentiate between the degree of what crime may or may not have been committed. This approach of our government to label anyone a "Cyber Terrorist" in order to get such harsh sentences handed down is the reason a political voice must be given to this community and a legal channel to voice opposition to these unfair sentences is wish to be made by forming this Party. Currently both parties that control our government have been silent and complacent with such cyber laws in the PATRIOT ACT and in other legislation. We wish to protect our citizens in every form, even on the internet, from unfair due process with such legislation being cited as a reason that someone should recieve a higher sentence and/or denied certain rights during due process especially since the any crimes committed with a computer is non-violent in nature.

We are pirates because we act in a way that effectively counters the assumed right of security in exchange for the guaranteed rights of our civil populace. We are pirates because we care about the values of freedom and innovation, which must be protected for posterity. We are pirates because we dare to claim that the interests of innovation are not well served by the current model of commercial enterprise. We accept their label as a badge of honor, and in defense of freedoms everywhere.

We are pirates, and this is our political party. We are champions of liberty: here we assemble under one banner, to defend our civil liberties which are gravely threatened. Our banner is black, but our aims are red, white, and blue. We are considered illegitimate thieves by those who openly take that which is not rightfully theirs. Action is necessary, and we are prepared to now act. A more perfect time to act will not pass again. We hereby establish the Pirate Party of New York for these and other high aims where nobody will be denied membership and/or from being allowed to hold any position within the party due to race, religion, creed, country of origin, gender, sexual preference, age, and/or disability.

Title 1: General Principles & Resolve

Article 1: Democratic Supremacy

We believe in the principles of democracy: we uphold the right to democratic processes at all levels. We reject the notion that people are incapable of governing themselves; if this was true, democracy would not be possible. Democracy shall prevail for so long as the minds of people remain free. It is therefore the duty of government to ensure democratic ideals.

We shall operate in all ways and in all activities with democratic principles in mind. We are resolved to utilize a veto consensus method in all administrative dealings, as well as with all issues brought to the membership to resolve, within reason and practicality.

Article 2: Innovation, Progress and Freedom

We support the right to innovate, as protected by the United States Constitution in the First Amendment. We respect and support the Constitutionally enumerated demand for Congress to "promote the progress of science and useful arts" in Article I Section 8 Clause 8. We also hold that our Founding Fathers knew how to best motivate people, and we work toward maintaining this standard once we achieve it again. We shall forge new ideas for new kinds of business. Government has a responsibility to foster both competition and open markets while protecting individual rights, but not as less important than those of any organization. We are resolved to do all within our power to preserve the right of innovation, promote progress, and thereby ensure freedom to our population.

Article 3: Governmental Transparency and Privacy

We respect individual privacy at the same time demanding all matters of state be open to the people. A government which treats its people like criminals will breed criminals; a government which promotes respect of individuals will breed respect. People will do what is expected, provided they understand what expectations have been set.

All people deserve the right to privacy in their personal affairs. All people deserve dignity. We are guaranteed to be free from interference in our personal effects, papers, and private lives by the Fourth Amendment to our nation's Constitution. That the Fourth Amendment does not specify that such protection is limited only to government. We therefore uphold that privacy in one's communication, one's home, and one's private life where there should be an expectation of privacy is inalienable. We decry any attempts to monitor communications by announcing that privacy is suspended, because an expectation of privacy must be preserved in all communications for democracy to exist. It is thus counter to our nation's Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to permit activities like warrantless wiretapping, since the implied right to security does not exceed the expressed right to be private from governmental interference.

All people deserve to be well-informed and involved within their respective governments. The ideal of democracy must be upheld by the people if it is to survive; and this cannot happen if the government is closed to the public or interferes with the private lives of its citizens. Such interference can also be achieved by failure to safeguard the right to privacy. Privacy is necessary to our society's smooth function. Transparency is the only means by which government can ensure the popular support and involvement in governmental processes. And in the emergent global society, this involvement is critical to the maintenance of our own sovereignty and the timely action of our government. We are resolved to promote transparent operation within government wherever possible, and to demand privacy for individual citizens in all things. We further resolve to fight warrant-less wiretapping on the grounds that such is indeed Unconstitutional and directly counter to the aims of our Founding Fathers.

Article 4: Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks

Copyright law has enjoyed the concept of Fair Use for decades. We uphold fair use as a defense for civil litigation against copyright infringement, as we believe that the large corporations, though operating legally, violate the spirit of the law when they sue unwitting individuals who simply want to enjoy media in the privacy of their own homes through the core mechanism of the internet: duplication. Invasion of privacy demands a response. Even if a government is not the one responsible, it's still wrong. We view the practice of violating citizens' privacy as exploitative, even if it is to protect copyright. Fair use is not infringing use. We will continue to promote legal fair use in all ways possible, including public education; and we seek to expand fair use, instead of limiting it (as the current tendency appears to be). Copyrights are good. Using them to exploit people is not acceptable. We will fight every battle it takes to prevent the exploitation of our nation's citizens.

We support artist rights: artists should be not only correctly attributed, but also compensated. Artists are not compensated for their contractually-forced compliance to large company interests once they sell their copyrights interests for a time to the record companies, and we believe that the attribution (and resulting royalties) should go more to the artists than to those who are producing things that the population is no longer interested in. In addition, copyright is being subverted to erode civil liberties, and as such we find an obligation to eradicate the portions that permit such erosion. We consider the right of use with correct attribution sufficient where the original works may not be recognizable, or where their use is insignificant to the whole of the work. This includes (but is not limited to) the sampling and remixing of original works to create new works. We uphold the right to use and distribute derivative works, provided correct attribution is maintained.

Patents, which are commonly abused and used to prevent progress and innovation, should be far more limited than they are now. Much of the value of patents come from their public disclosure of information enabling others to reproduce the invention. We believe that if no patents existed, it would be to the detriment of progress and innovation; however, we also do not recognize an unchallengeable claim that a patent should be retained if no progress is made in its development.

Trademarks are commonly abused. A trademark should not also have a copyright. In addition, a trademark's use should be allowable in satire, parody, and humor; for so long as no association to the trademark holder is implied, and correct attribution is given, there should be no issue with its use, even by competitors. A trademark should be used for branding, and for identification of a company and its unique products and services. While these uses should be protected, they are not; and other uses are protected which should not be.

We resolve to reform laws to promote innovation and progress, and thereby ensure freedom. It is only a productive society which can ensure its freedom.

Article 5: Due Process, Self-Incrimination, and Freedom of Association

Due Process of Law is required in a free and democratic society and guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. For this reason, we resolve to uphold due process of law, even when contrary to our own stated interests. This does not imply that we agree with all laws, but the process of law must be upheld throughout until either we are victorious in our desire for reform of the law or no further changes are possible.

Our country's Constitutional Fifth Amendment gives freedom from self-incrimination. While the interests of justice and freedom require truth, no individual should ever be compelled to testify against themselves, nor by failing to testify against themselves implied to have admitted guilt by omission. We are against the practice of compelling people to incriminate themselves, and we view it as an abuse of the system. Many times, what someone is hiding is not their own guilt, but rather their associations to others. Such associations, where productive, should never imply complicity or agreement to an individual's motives. Even in cases where someone is clearly evading justice, true justice cannot be upheld if we circumvent the rights of even those whose crimes involve the most heinous acts imaginable. We also have the freedom to associate and gather for any reason we feel is appropriate, as long as we're not engaging in violence, as guaranteed by the First Amendment. We believe in democratic processes, and gathering to show support for or opposition to any policy is an informal request for a redress of grievances. These are protected rights and were made so by the Founding Fathers of our nation.

Our freedom of association is important and fundamental; and thus, by remaining silent, we should not feel compelled to either commit perjury or incriminate ourselves. If we are penalized for remaining silent, such penalties currently imply that we have admitted guilt. Implication of guilt being different from an assurance of guilt, such evidence should never be submitted to any court where it shows that a person was compelled to admit guilt when it was not indeed admitted.

We resolve to advocate due process of law; to discover, ensure, and remove all end-runs around true justice; and to uphold that a person's association with a group does not imply inclusion in, acceptance of, or support for their ideals and goals.

Article 6: Minorities, Prejudice, & Foreign Sovereignty

Minorities are not recognized as separate for the rest of the population. We are all human. Prejudice simply makes no sense, where matters of predetermination are concerned. We recognize that there are differences in skin color, bone structure, belief, thought, attitude, and values. These differences are desirable and important to a free society. Therefore, such differences should be embraced rather than used as a means of separation or limitation. We have no room for prejudgment.

As such, the only limitations for any office within our party is the ability to do the job, and to be either a voting citizen of our nation, or to be of legal resident-alien status and/or to be working on attaining citizenship status.

We also recognize that those who hail from foreign nations deserve the benefit of education regarding our system of government and how it works, as well as addressing any perceived shortcomings therein. However, if they do not want such education, we should not force their acceptance of it. Even if a government requests assistance, it should be the voice of the people which is heard, rather than the voice of the governing body. This is the upholding of democratic principle and operation by consensus.

Foreign nations likewise should not be forced to enforce our laws; nor should we theirs. All nations deserve to conduct their own internal affairs as sovereign. While we can criticize and admonish, democratic principles demand that we allow other governments to operate in the manner they see fit, even if we do not agree with their methods, ideology, or definitions. They have the right to kill and enslave their citizens; they do not have the right to do the same to ours. Likewise, we should not force democratic ideals upon them. We should uphold the right of sovereignty even in our own lands. The principles of democracy should convey to the people the necessity of action, and leave the choice of action to the people. This guarantee of sovereignty does not imply that we should support tyrants. Our nation cannot and should not support or continue to permit tyranny in any form. When a nation that we trade with kills or enslaves its citizens, our nation has a right to speak against such things. We also have a right to cease trade. We must be willing to accept the risks associated with maintaining high ideals and yet not forcing those ideals on others. Even with the cessation of trade, however, we must support democratic processes and continue to encourage democratic ideals, even while we cease trade with those who would enslave or oppress their populations. We must be willing to inconvenience ourselves to uphold our principles, or they are not principles at all, and merely words which convey a nice idea. We must also maintain our own sovereignty. Foreign nations have no right to impede or intrude upon our sovereign status; likewise, we have no rights where foreign nations are concerned. To try to control foreign countries is to invite the ire of others. Our nation does not need or deserve the ire of others. We should therefore support sovereignty of all countries while encouraging democratic ideals, without direct interference in the operation of sovereign nations or their systems of government. If our system is superior, people will naturally see that it is so and adopt it; if otherwise, a better system will surely come into place.

We resolve to help our country understand that foreign powers should remain sovereign in all things, even where we disagree.

Article 7: File Sharing, Distribution, Consumer Rights, and Originator Rights

There is no crime in sharing files, nor should there be. The crime comes when those who created the content of these files are unpaid. We do not aim to legitimize theft; we aim to help create a business model that incorporates free distribution.

Those who share music should pay the artists directly. No middle-man is necessary, as no fee is needed for distribution. We therefore do not recognize the legitimacy of organizations whose main purpose, in their current incarnation, is to protect corporate interests above those of the artists and the consumers.

We reject all claims made of benefit to the artist and the upholding of artists' rights until such time that either their practices significantly alter to permit such benefit, or such benefit becomes plain for all to see. So long as industry organizations of any kind continue to exploit either consumers or the originators of the products such organizations (or their members) produce, our purpose in the defense of democratic principles is compounded. Those who share movies should pay the producer(s) of the film, not the distributors. Again, distribution should be free. There is already sufficient capital exchange that occurs in the production and theater showing of any film; there is no need to burden consumers by requiring their further purchase of media where no purchase should be needed.

Those who share software should pay only if that software is useful to them, and then only what that software is worth to them. Programmers should be the ones paid; not distribution companies who are no longer necessary. Specifically, game designers should have the same status as rock stars in our society, because what they do excites us just as much. Large distribution companies should not be necessary in a system built around our modern infrastructure, particularly when such infrastructure virtually eliminates the need for physical media. The challenge, then, becomes one of convincing users that a particular game is worth paying for. Profits increase and price decreases at the same time. It benefits the programmers when a game is sold; but if people are unwilling to buy, then the game's value to the population decreases. Simple economics are no longer possible when a company seeks to hide its resources behind one distributor.

Market-savvy consumers are no longer loyal to branding, but to the originating studios--and thence, to the programming team itself. If a team is unsuccessful at amalgamation but they produce a perfect product, then amalgamation is not necessary. Likewise, if consumers are best served by the presence of a given form of entertainment and can obtain it for free, they should obtain it for free and only pay what they believe it is worth. The enjoyment of gaming is found in the challenge to win, not in the winning itself. Excluding people on the basis of ability to pay means excluding potential talent.

We intend to work toward the establishment and maintenance of a profitable business model in all aspects of distributed-media industry, a model which does not exploit artists or require the originators of works to sign away their rights to their innovative works. We want to help a flailing industry to realize the errors of its ways in a new and market-savvy society, because the old ways no longer work. We reject the idea that in order to profit, one must exploit others or force them to our will.

We do not accept that there is anything inherently wrong with file sharing. It is our wish to create a climate in which the free exchange of cultural ideals can occur. We do not accept that entertainment should be our top priority , nor do we agree that any one person, group, or industry (short of humanity itself) can own the rights to any culture, nor to the product thereof.

We have a business model to base things from. It's a matter of risking the loss of control that those of industrial thinking believe is necessary to profit. Many companies have proved that it's completely unnecessary to continue the old methods of market domination. The best company in the world is the one which is best able to adapt to the changing needs of society; not one which seeks to override these needs with an outdated business model. We must find a means to work within the system, but so must those who oppose us. The stakes are high, and one entire industry's existence hangs in the balance. It is time they listened instead of making demands.

We resolve to educate the public about lawful uses of file-sharing, its beneficial purposes, and why it should become legal to share all manner of files. Article 8: Unpopular Beliefs, Free Speech, and Network Neutrality For millennia, unpopular beliefs were held to be criminal. The adherents of many ideas now widely accepted were persecuted for hundreds of years before finally finding acceptance. Endless persecutions still exist for new ideas. We are willing to allow unpopular beliefs because it is only when unpopular beliefs are permitted that we are also permitted to hold our own unpopular beliefs.

We uphold the right to be unpopular. Where there is a difference of opinion, people should be at least willing to listen. The less people are willing to listen to things they personally find distasteful, the less those who express such things will be able to learn.

Likewise, we are against others determining our desires and shaping our apparent will against our wishes. Free speech demands that computer networks likewise remain open and free from the interference of others. The right of the people to be free from governmental infringement upon our communications is guaranteed in our nation's First Amendment to the Constitution. However, commercial interference must also be protected against. While we are not opposed to the use of self-regulating "smart" networks, we are opposed to the use of such for the purposes of profitability, and we are likewise opposed with regard to human-managed networking apparatus because of the high potential for abuse. Selfregulating networks are neutral, as the rules regarding their operation are unchanged. We therefore support network neutrality, rather than any kind of "equal" network. A neutral network is required for democracy to prevail.

We resolve to uphold the right of free speech, because even if we disagree with the message, the right to speak and be heard should be upheld in all cases. This includes the right to express unpopular beliefs in a rational manner, as well as the right to be free from interference with our expression by the unscrupulous.

Article 8: The Next Article "Let's" You Protest, Like You Wouldn't Anyway...

Article 9: Acting Within The Law & Civil Liberties

We do not promote, advocate, support, or engage in illegal activities. Where there is a disparity between individual action and the law, the law wins. However, if the law is incorrect, based on incorrect or invalid principles, or created because of political pressures rather than because it's right, we hold that these laws should be changed or abolished. We recognize, using our nation's history as a reference, that changing a law sometimes requires non-violent civil disobedience. No member of the Pirate Party of New York may be denied or revoked membership for participating in a social movement for people's rights that is within the platforms and/or beliefs of the State Party. Whether or not the members participation in a social movement is "within the platforms and/or beliefs of the State Party" is left to the discretion of Officers in the party.

We uphold the civil liberties of all peoples. Freedom to innovate is at all levels the right of the people. It benefits government when the people innovate, because governmental interests in the promotion of progress and the upholding of popular rights is based in the ability to express new ideas.

We reject the notion that civil liberties must be sacrificed in order to maintain order or to serve justice.

We resolve to further civil liberties in our own country through education and public service.

Article 10: Voting, Voting Rights, and Taxation

All citizens are entitled to participate in their government. We will promote the right to vote for all citizens, regardless of legal status. Our Declaration of Independence explains that taxation without representation under the law was abhorrent to our founding fathers. We hold this to be a timeless truth, and so if any portion should be disallowed voting rights, the same should be entitled to be free from taxation.

This includes unpopular segments of society, such as criminals, as well as more popular segments, and members of our elected government.

Our candidates are free to support or oppose the Electoral College system, as this system has not been shown to either uphold or denigrate democratic principles, the values of a free society, or anything that opposes these. However, we do recognize that this system is in need of reform. In a well-regulated democratic society with open communications, representative voting is not really necessary, as our infrastructure is capable of clearly indicating the will of the people.

Gerrymandering circumvents the reason for having free and open elections in a democracy. Though gerrymandering is common practice in our country, we are opposed to it, and would seek to establish a nonpartisan committee to review and establish boundaries for each Congressional district based on both predetermined and more current fair criteria, where voting is concerned. We would also seek to establish new criteria by Constitutional Amendment, if necessary to secure a nonpartisan method of dividing Congressional districts. If such is not necessary, we would see no need to continue working toward it. We resolve to uphold the right of truly universal suffrage among our citizens. What the population demands, it should receive, even if against the wishes of a governing body. As such, we also resolve to ensure democratic processes at all levels of our operation.

Article 11: Freedom, Societal Advancement, and Being a Pirate

A free society recognizes that freedom comes at a price. This price is responsibility to the government. Government and the governed should be an equal, symbiotic, and interdependent relationship, whereby the government provides what the people demand, and the people provide the needs of government in return. Where one has more control over the other, there can be no stability or balance in the long term.

We understand that society is advancing into a new era of thought, and this era is marked by extended opportunities and competitive generosity. Beginning with several thousand consumers, it has become several hundred companies, and this movement is growing not only in scope, but also in magnitude.

We recognize that in order for society to advance, there must be an appreciation of values. The advent of the internet in the average person's life universally causes social change, and this is a global change that cannot be legislated against. We support this transition into a new society, with new values and new ideas. Our aim is to promote this change, and to assist those who have difficulty with it.

We also see that others label us pirates because we disagree with them (regardless of whether or not we actually engage in piracy, we are so labeled because of our opposition to their ideals). We are told that any time one uses something that doesn't belong to them, that one is engaging in infringement, and therefore piracy. Because we all use language (which doesn't belong to us), we are infringing on those who created it. Because we don't pay a royalty, we are all Pirates.

We resolve to continue using the name "Pirate" for our political party, in the name of freedom and social progress.

Yeah, that's what's up.