Pirate Party takes aim at copyright laws

OTTAWA — Yar! There be a new party on the high seas of Canadian politics.

OTTAWA — Yar! There be a new party on the high seas of Canadian politics.

The Pirate Party of Canada can now run buccaneers in the next federal election, where they say they’ll run on a platform to fight copyright laws.

Canada’s chief electoral officer, Marc Mayrand, granted the Pirates eligible party status on April 12.

They’ll join the 19 other registered parties as long as they field at least one candidate in the next election.

The party broke the news to its “maidens and gentlepirates” earlier this month.

“After 10 months of dedication and hard work, we have reached eligible status, which only leaves a 60-day ’purgatory’ period,” says a statement on the Pirates’ website. “After that, we will field candidates in subsequent federal elections, and begin the real work of a political party.”

The Canadian Pirate Party’s founders want to make it legal to copy songs, books, movies and artwork for private, non-commercial use. It also wants to ban patents on software, life forms and plants, and stretch Canada’s privacy laws to cover all digital data.

The Pirate Party was founded last June. It’s modelled after Sweden’s Pirate Party, the country’s third-largest party, which won a seat in last year’s European Parliament elections.

“We need a world . . . where artists and inventors are free to create without the chains of mismanagement and executive privilege,” says a statement on the Canadian party’s website. “We need to foster technological development in all fields of everyday life, in an open manner. We need to bring focus to the privacy of the individual while shedding light on the work that government does so that we can avoid hidden laws and treaties that attack Canadians.”

Pirate Party Leader Jake Daynes wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The Pirates will join other, lesser-known registered parties such as the Marijuana Party, the Rhinoceros Party, the Work Less Party and the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada.

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