Pirate Party Declaration of Principles/3.0/Abstract

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The three core beliefs of the Pirate Party are the need for protection of citizen's rights, the will to free our culture, and the insight that patents and private monopolies are damaging to society.

Ours is a control and surveillance society where practically everyone is registered and watched. It is not in the best interests of a modern judicial state to impose surveillance on all its citizens, thereby treating them as suspects. Democracy presupposes a strong protection for citizen's rights.

Copyrights were created to benefit society by encouraging acts of creation, development and spreading cultural expressions. To achieve these goals, we need a delicate balance between common demands of availability and distribution on one hand, and the demands of the creator to be recognized and remunerated on the other. We claim that today's copyright system is way out of balance. A society where cultural expressions and knowledge is free for all on equal terms would benefit the whole of the society. We claim that widespread and systematic abuses of today's copyrights are actively counter-productive to these purposes by limiting both the creation of, and access to, our own culture.

Privatized monopolies are one of our society's worst enemies. They lead directly to price-hikes and large hidden costs for citizens. Patents are officially sanctioned monopolies on ideas. Large corporations fight each other in a race to file more and more patents they can use against smaller competitors to prevent them from competing on equal terms. The goal of any monopolist is not to adjust prices and terms to what the market will bear, but rather use their ill-gotten rights as a lever to raise prices and set lopsided terms on usage and licensing. We want to limit the opportunities to create damaging and unnecessary monopoly situations.

Trademarks are primarily useful as consumer protection devices. We feel trademarks mostly work fine today, and do not suggest any changes here.