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Pirate Party demonstrators at a rally in Stockholm, Sweden on June 3, 2006.  (Source: Marcus Andersson)
Early predictions of America's newest political optimistic

Citing the state of Utah’s “strong history of political diversity and technological progress,” the Pirate Party of the United States has officially opened its doors for signatures in the state of Utah. The Utah branch, known officially as The Pirate Party of Utah, has until February 2008 to collect the 2000 signatures it needs for official recognition.

Ray Jenson, interim Administrator for the Pirate Party of Utah, says, “This is a big step forward for our party. Utah is a perfect place to start. With the right people, we actually stand a chance at turning around the civil liberties situation.”

In an e-mail correspondence with DailyTech, Jenson revealed that while The Pirate Party of Utah does not wish to be overconfident, at the current rate it expects to meet the minimum signature requirement sometime in mid-November. Note that these estimates represent actual, legally useful signatures -- not site registrations, which number substantially higher. Website registrations cannot be counted officially -- in fact, according to Jenson, the “register” link is only for “forum registration, and has nothing to do with [the] party.”

Aaccording to its web site, the Pirate Party of the U.S. was founded in July 2006, and seeks to change United States laws that govern over copyright, privacy and network neutrality. “The Pirate Party wants to return copyright law to its original purpose: to promote distribution of works as rapidly and widespread as possible,” states one section of on copyright issues; “we wish to rescind the many, mostly harmful, copyright acts that have been passed since the Copyright Act of 1790. In our view, America got it right the first time.”

Despite the name, The Pirate Party does notcondone the stealing of copyrighted works: “We've chosen to adopt the Pirate name so as to pay homage to the creative artists of the past, or as they would now be known, Pirates, thieves, and copyright infringers. We do not support nor condone any unlawful distribution of copyrighted works.”

The Pirate Party of the U.S. is representative of a larger international movement, says spokesman Andrew Norton, and Pirate Parties in various forms exist in Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Germany and others. Originating in Sweden, The Pirate Party or Piratpartiet, has met considerable success since its founding on January 1, 2006. In just 36 hours, Piratpartiet gathered 4,725 signatures, 2,275 over the 2,000 minimum signatures needed to gain official recognition. In the Swedish General Election of 2006, the party captured almost 35,000 votes, making them the 10th largest party out of the 40 parties participating.

Plans are already in the works for the party’s first rally, however the details have not finalized. “We'll issue a press release as the details are finalized,” says Jenson.

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RE: Why is this a Top Story?
By masher2 on 8/15/2007 11:56:02 PM , Rating: 3
The formation of a new political party, born from the sweaty antics of Internet file traders, placing shoulders together to rollback two centuries worth of copyright law? On the issue of technology's impact on society, this is big news indeed.

For long term impact, it's quite potentially orders of magnitude larger than "yet-another-cpu-launch".

RE: Why is this a Top Story?
By BMFPitt on 8/16/2007 8:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, years from now we'll all be telling our grandkids where we were when the Pirate Party was formed......then they're ask us, "What are you talking about?"

I'm all for adding a lot more viable party choices into our system, but Ralph Nader has a better shot in 2012 than these guys have of doing anything.

RE: Why is this a Top Story?
By masher2 on 8/16/2007 10:14:41 AM , Rating: 1
> "......then they're ask us, "What are you talking about?"

As a sign of the times, the formation of a political party organized around a single issue is a major news event that demonstrates the growing importance of that issue. Yes, this party will die without ever electing a single major candidate, but its effect on the platforms of other parties will be felt long after.

On a side note, the Pirate Party of Sweden reputedly now has more members than does the nation's Green Party.

RE: Why is this a Top Story?
By Kuroyama on 8/16/2007 10:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
It would not be surprising if the majority of members of the Pirate Party in Sweden are not particularly serious and just think it's funny, sort of like those who elected Jesse Ventura as governor of Minnesota. Of course, as Minnesota showed, sometimes the gag candidate will win if enough people go along with the joke (and if the other options suck enough).

RE: Why is this a Top Story?
By BMFPitt on 8/16/2007 12:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'd vote for Jesse for President.

By therealnickdanger on 8/16/2007 2:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
I lived in Wisconsin at the time of the election, but moved over the rive to Minnesota that year. Ventura had a good radio show and had some great ideas to shake up the scene, but he fell apart under the pressure of actually doing the job. It was a terrible experience. We're stilling paying for that sh*tty light rail... Money that could have gone to bridge inspection? j/k hindsight is 20/20. Fortunately we have Pawlenty now.

RE: Why is this a Top Story?
By TomCorelis on 8/16/2007 1:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
To be honest, I disagree. In speaking with these folks, if there was one common characteristic I could identify, it would be their seriousness.

RE: Why is this a Top Story?
By nilepez on 8/17/2007 1:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that as well, but the more I heard Ventura speak, more I realized I would have voted for him.

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