No Safe Harbor: Foreword
The first Pirate Party was founded on January 1, 2006 by Rick Falkvinge in Sweden.
Six months later, similar parties started to spring up all over the world. All of these parties started off with the same singular goal of intellectual property reform. But, these disparate parties realized that the roots of the world's problems ran deeper than even intellectual property reform could fix.
With time, these parties added many more items to their platform. These can be condensed into 3 topics - Government and Corporate Transparency and Accountability, Personal Privacy, and, of course, Intellectual Property reform.
If nothing else, 2011 will be seen as the year of the uprisings. The year began with the Arab Spring, in which the citizens of various Middle Eastern countries rose up and either overthrew their governments or caused massive changes in their governing structures. Later in the year - September - the Occupy Wall Street movement began and quickly spread across the United States and to every continent except Antarctica.
Who knows what 2012 will bring.
The problem the Pirate Party faces, and clearly, every third party, is:
- Who are they?
- What do they stand for?
- Why should I vote for them?
This book seeks to help alleviate that problem. To that end we have written a series of essays related to our primary platform. We decided to do this for several reasons. These reasons also mirror our platform.
The main reason is transparency. If we allow our platform to be plainly visible to anyone who wants to know it, then we have an even greater reason to follow it to the letter.
The second reason is personal privacy. We do not ask that you tell us who you are or where you are or any other personal information when you download this book from any of the USPP websites (if you downloaded it from there).
The third reason, mirrors the intellectual property reform we seek. We have licensed this book under a Creative Commons license. You can do anything you want to with this book. Email it to anyone, copy passages, post pieces to your website, whatever. As long as your use is not commercial, it should be allowed.
The fourth is that of education. An ignorant man looks in the mirror, likes what he sees and is happy with that. The wise man looks in the mirror, sees what he does not know, and is always questioning that which he does know. So we are left with a hope that many will read this who do NOT agree with us, but are willing to open their minds to other possibilities. That it will lead to self-investigation of topics, and a broader, better informed conversation on the topic. Only when we have dialogues of substance, free of spirited invective, fear mongering, soundbites, and claims fabricated from whole cloth, can we start addressing the problems properly.
The United States Pirate Party December 1, 2011