History of the US Pirate Party

The United States Pirate Party (USPP) is an American political party founded in 2006 by Brent Allison and Alex English. The party’s platform is aligned with the global Pirate movement and supports the reform of copyright laws to reflect open source and free culture values, government transparency, protection of privacy, and civil liberties. The United States Pirate Party also advocates for evidence-based policy, egalitarianism, meritocracy, and the hacker ethic as well as the rolling back of corporate personhood and corporate welfare. The USPP has also made a priority to advocate for changes in the copyright laws and removal of patents. It is the belief of the party that these restrictions greatly hinder the sharing and expansion of knowledge and resources.

The party’s national organization has existed in multiple incarnations since its 2006 founding. Its most recent is the Pirate National Committee (PNC), formed in 2012 as a coalition of state parties. The PNC officially recognizes Pirate parties from 8 states, and tracks and assists in the growth of more state parties throughout the United States. The board of the USPP is the board of the PNC. The current Chair of the Pirate National Committee is Lindsay-Anne Gorski (née Brunner).

The Pirate Party was founded in June 2006 by University of Georgia graduate student Brent Allison in response to the success of the Swedish Piratpartiet. Its platform was focused primarily on copyright reform and freedom from Internet censorship. The party first attempted to register in Utah during the 2007/2008 election cycle and failed to collect the required number of Statements of Support. In 2011, the Massachusetts Pirate Party became the first legally recognized Pirate Party in the US.[7] By 2011, the Pirate Party reported over 3000 members nationwide.

In 2012, a coalition of state Pirate parties formed the Pirate National Committee (PNC). By July of that year, the PNC drafted and adopted a new constitution, which outlined a broader ideology inspired by Rickard Falkvinge’s Pirate Wheel.

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Ohio State Pirate Party