Is It Time To Form A 'Rogue' Party Instead Of A 'Pirate' Party?

from the what's-rogue? dept

We’ve discussed a few times how important language choices are in the debate over copyright — something that entire books have been written about. For years, the key term was always around “piracy.” It was all about stopping pirates and dealing with piracy. But, some have noticed a gradual shift in the language, away from piracy. In fact, much of the debate around COICA has focused on “rogue” sites rather than “pirate” sites. Copycense and Glyn Moody recently had an interesting Twitter discussion on the topic, as seen below:

Part of the discussion centers around whether or not this allows for greater conflation of copyright infringement with other types of infringement, such as patents and trademark/counterfeiting. That certainly sounds reasonable to me, though, I also wonder if part of it is the realization that condemning people as “pirates” just isn’t effective any more. Part of it is that people have realized how ridiculous it is to compare non-commercial, personal file sharing to “piracy,” and part of it may be the overall embrace by some of the term (e.g., “The Pirate Party”). Perhaps, for all the attempts to use the negative word “piracy” as part of the failed education campaign aspect, the industry is realizing it’s time to move on.

Of course “rogue sites” seems like an odd choice as well. Is it really accurate or appropriate? The definition of “rogue sites,” seems to depend very much on who’s talking. I guess that’s part of the beauty of it. It allows folks in the entertainment industry, for example, to label any site they don’t like, or which represents a challenge to them, business model-wise, as being “rogue.” It’s “rogue” as in that it doesn’t fit with the way the industry wants to do business.

And, yet, historically, if we look at some of the most innovative businesses in the world, they started off as being “rogue,” as in going in a different direction and going “off-the-farm” with some crazy ideas. For example, a little industry known as “the movie industry,” started out in very much this manner, running out to Hollywood where it could grow without having to deal with Edison and his aggressive patent enforcement attempts. Perhaps “rogue” isn’t such a bad thing.. and maybe we should be embracing rogue sites and services, in that they seem to be driving innovation forward in useful ways.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Is It Time To Form A 'Rogue' Party Instead Of A 'Pirate' Party?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment

Perhaps this name?

Why not a “Common Sense Party”? Their platform could be:

  • a political party for the people, not the corporations
  • a political party that would shift the cost of copyright enforcement from the government to the copyright holders
  • a political party that understand that just because there is a patent on a drug does not mean that it should cost a lot
  • a political party that understands that Patent reform is about patenting *new* things, not items found in nature (genes) or digital versions of physical items
  • a political party that understands transparency in government means you need to share more information and not penalize whistle blowers for doing what you asked them to do
  • a political party that understands the word “secular” and how it should be applied
  • a political party that understands that the federal budget would be a lot closer to being balanced if the special interest projects were removed
  • a political party that understands if the government is shut down then they shouldn’t be paid either.

But, then again, I’m not sure the public is ready for such a radical choice.

What's in a name?

Of course, the choice of a name is important – especially when running for office. And of course again, that choice is free.

But also consider that “Pirate Party” is by now a little more than a funny idea for a name. After the first, Piratpartiet, was founded in Sweden on Jan. 1 2006, sister parties have been created in over 40 countries, mostly in Europe, but reaching as far as Canada, USA, Mexico, Argentina on one side and Australia and NZ on the other.

The Swedish Pirates won one seat (should be two now..) in the European Parliament in 2009. European Pirates have run in many elections since then, and won seats in local parliaments in Germany, Switzerland, and Czech Republic.

The Pirate Parties International (PPI) is an association of many national or regional Pirate Parties, and requires members to have the word “Pirate” in their name. At their last conference in Friedrichshafen some weeks ago, the pirates of Canada, Maroc, Slovenia, and New Zealand were voted upon and welcomed as new members.

So, even as Pirates are critical on various “intellectual property” issues, the name “Pirate Party” has become a kind of international brand.

Re: How about the Cheapskate or freeloader party?

Or if you want to make it marginally nicer, call it the “free rider” party. After wading through all of the smoke and fog, it’s clear that not paying is the main point of it all.

Weird. While I’m sure some people do make that argument, we’ve rarely seen that to be the point of the issues raised here by anyone at all. In fact, we keep seeing that people are more than happy to pay when they realize they’re supporting artists they like directly.

It seems like your claim is pure FUD.


The problem with rebranding

One thing that the politicians and MAFIAA miss completely is that it doesn’t matter what term they use. Over time that term will be used lightly and not in a bad way. They will continue to use it in an attempt to be derogatory, but it will fail to be so. Why? Because very few people see file sharing as a bad thing. Well over half of our own country here either view it as fine, or not a bad thing (even if they don’t participate). As long as the public opinion is against what these special interests want, they can call it whatever they want but they can’t change the people’s opinion.

Youtube alone has helped call plenty of attention to how stupid copyright laws are. In plenty a video where either the audio was removed or the entire video, you can see people commenting how copyright just ruins things. Public opinion is against them, and anything they want to call file sharing is already on the path to the same fate as “pirating”. It just isn’t a bad thing.

Re: The problem with rebranding

File sharing is just a fact of life. Or, better: sharing of information. People talk, communicate. They lend books to each other. (Interestingly, no longer possible with e-books.) Sharing is caring.

I think, the bottom question in the “Pirates” affair is: how does an older world (including much of the media industry) deal with the fact that information sharing is easier than ever, and doesn’t need intermediaries like MAFIAA and associates? Or: how do we deal with them?


Re: Re: The problem with rebranding

Very good questions. My best path to dealing with them so far is write my congress critters to not pass their stupid legislation while at the same time buy nothing they control. If they won’t adapt then I will do all I can to ensure that they are removed from any position that can affect any new tech.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it