For these values, we have been derided as “pirates”. For our hope that every person may be free to access all of human knowledge, we have been called “pirates”. For our belief that one need not ask permission to participate in governance, industry, culture, and other aspects of society, we have been called “pirates”. For our insistence that citizens should not be surveilled and distrusted as if they are criminals, we have been called “pirates”. For our rejection of authority and profit-seeking when it does not serve the common good of all people, we have been called “pirates”.
We reclaim this label of “pirate” and abjure its derogatory, incendiary implication. We are Pirates. We stand for the liberty, equality, and solidarity of all human beings, and against all threats they may face.
- We stand for open culture. No one should have the power to prevent the free exchange and expression of ideas, tools, or works.
- We stand for transparency and openness. Government activities should not be hidden from the public.
- We stand for individual privacy. The amount of oppression in a society is inversely proportional to its privacy protections. Individuals must be free to make personal decisions that do not harm another person.
- We are anti-monopoly. No monopoly should be able to prevent works, tools, or ideas from: being freely used, expressed, exchanged, recombined, or taught; nor to violate individual privacy or human rights. A creator’s right to be compensated for their work or idea is only acceptable within these limitations.
- We stand for individuals over institutions. Universal human rights apply only to human beings, and not to corporations, limited liability organizations, or other group entities.
- We are a post-ideological values-based meritocracy. We place all options on the table. We choose a specific approach because the available evidence shows that it is the best way to promote our values. We do not make decisions based merely on tradition, popularity, authority or political expediency.
- We are egalitarian. We believe in equality and a level playing field. We accept input from all sources, and we value all people equally.
- We actively practice these values. We hold ourselves accountable for our own adherence to these principles.
While parties vary insofar as specific policies go, common themes of the Pirate movement include:
Defend the freedom of expression, communication, education; respect the privacy of citizens and civil rights in general.
Defend the free flow of ideas, knowledge and culture.
- Support politically the reform of copyright and patent laws.
- Have a commitment to work collaboratively, and participate with maximum transparency.
- Do not support actions that involve violence.
- Use free software, free hardware, DIY and open protocols whenever possible.
- Politically defend an open, participative and collaborative construction of any public policy.
- Direct democracy/E-democracy
- Open access
- Open data
- Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing
Copyright and censorship
Some campaigns have included demands for the reform of copyright and patent laws. In 2010, Swedish MEP Christian Engström called for supporters of amendments to the Data Retention Directive to withdraw their signatures, citing a misleading campaign.