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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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