UK Pirate Party launches manifesto

The Pirate Party UK has launched its general election manifesto ahead of May's two-party bunfight.

The manifesto, published by the political group which says it doesn't really support piracy, says that if elected PPUK will be neither left wing nor right wing, will be free from expenses scandals and will talk about the issues other parties ignore.

The main thrusts of the document promise changes to copyright and patent law, privacy law and freedom of speech.

The party also says that it will give the public new rights to format shift (making it legal to copy your own CDs onto your iPod for example) time shift (record TV to watch it how an when you want) and share files where no money changes hands.

Counterfeiting, and profiting directly from other people's work without paying them, however, will remain illegal.

Below is the short version of the manifesto for those of you with a limited attention span:

We will give the public the following new rights:

The right to share files provided no money changes hands.
The right to format shift and time shift data.
The right of access to government funded data.
The right to compensation for government data loss.
The right to safely encrypt private data.
The right to apply to a court for compensation where data protection laws have been broken.
The right for constituents to force a by-election.
The right to pay only for the fraction of the claimed broadband speed that an ISP actually delivers.
The right to be a whistleblower.
The right for photographers and filmmakers to go about their business without persecution under anti-terror laws.
The right for disabled people to demand an unrestricted version of DRM protected content where that is necessary to allow them to access it.

We will reform outdated laws:

We will abolish drug patents, replacing them with subsidies.
We will reduce the length of copyright to 10 years.
We will provide exemptions to patent law for non-commercial use, personal study and academic research.
We will introduce system of compulsory patent licensing.
We will reform libel law.
We will prohibit the abuse of RIPA powers.
We will remove loopholes in copyright and patent law.

We will protect the public from abuses of new technology:

We will forbid third parties from intercepting or monitoring communication traffic.
We will introduce a mandatory warning label on products that include DRM.
We will introduce laws on the acceptable use of CCTV and DNA samples.
We will legislate in favour of net neutrality.
We will introduce stronger data protection laws.
We will not allow government censorship of the internet.
We will put into action the government's Open Source Action Plan.
We will require the BBC to release all their content under a Creative Commons licence.
We will prevent the BBC from using DRM technology.
We will ensure better computing education in schools.