Green Party vs Pirate Party

by Gordon McDowell

Canadians have long been faced with the choice of voting for their favorite candidate… or voting to keep their least favorite party out of power. This is a side effect of our first-past-the-post electoral system which has helped keep conservatives out of power until 2000 (when the Reform party was dissolved).

Today, non-conservative vote splitting serves to keep Canadian conservatives in power. Any attempt to address “special interest” issues in Canada must acknowledge vote splitting as a significant barrier to reform.

And on the subject of Copyright, neither Liberal nor Conservative governments have impressive resumes.

Swedish Pirates

I’ll assume anyone reading this article is already familiar with the argument for copyright reform. Not reform as in DMCA, stiffer penalties and anti-circumvention legislation. Reform in the direction proposed by the Pirate Party of Sweden: shorter copyright duration.

In a nutshell, copyright constrains the economy. Just as taxes can be too low (no services offered) or too high (no financial incentive to take entrepreneurial risks), copyright duration also has a sweet spot. Financial reward to artists VS the ability to create new work by leveraging public domain content. Studies have shown [PDF] this sweet spot to be under 15 years. Today Canadian copyright has a duration of about 100 years.

Any lobbyist looking to maintain 100 year copyrights would welcome the spectacle of Greens and Pirates fighting over copyright voters. While there’s much work to be done in educating the public, keep in mind public opinion on copyright reform has never shaped government policy.

“A 12 year copyright on creative material is reasonable. Lifetime of the creator +70 years doesn’t make any sense at all.” -Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader of Canada

HDV video available for download and recycling at Internet Archive under a Creative-Commons license.

I posted to Pirate Party forum, which garnered some interesting responses.
Greens issued a press release noting the Swedish Pirate Party’s victory in European Parliament.
And The Pirate Party of Canada issued a response to Canadian Green Party’s Elizabeth May.

  • Green Party vs Pirate Party
  • by Gordon McDowell
  • Published on July 3rd, 2009

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