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French Bazaar: A French Pirate Party? Arrr…

A l’abordage! Aboard! Or, as Captain Hook says : “To the ship!”
For the first time in France, the very young Parti pirate de France (Pirate Party of France) will present a candidate for a legislative election. On September 20th, Maxime Rouquet, 23 years old, will run for deputy in the Yvelines’ 10th circumscription’s election, in the hopes of being seated in the National Assembly among the experienced veterans of the political profession.
Now, what is the French Pirate Party? Should we be worried? Should we watch our river banks? Should we avoid the Mediterranean coast? No, no, no, there is no such thing as boat looting on the coasts of the country that established human rights.

As you might have guessed, the Parti pirate de France is more involved in Internet and copyright issues than in stealing goods or yelling “Arrr” at Peter Pan. In fact, their political program focuses on Internet users’ rights and on reforming the patent system in France. It was founded in 2006 and mostly counts computer programmers and music professionals among its members.

This party might first look like one of those shallow movements that die soon after they are born. However, after 3 years of existence, they seem to lean toward an actual political strategy and plan on meeting the other European parties in order to strengthen their relationship and grow their numbers.

The Parti pirate de France hopes to give an alternate political response to how “music distribution must evolve”. One of their main concerns is preventing laws like the HADOPI* law from being passed as “it is technically not well packaged and doesn’t respect the presumption of innocence” Maxime Rouquet says.

Maxime Rouquet will mainly be running against Jean-Frédéric Poisson, candidate for the Assembly under the colors of the UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire – French conservative party) and favorite candidate for the Yvelines legislative elections.

While pirate parties in France had flourished only to disappear shortly after they started (there were six of them at some point!), the Parti pirate de France seems to be decided to stick around.

Something to keep an eye on…

*”Law favoring the diffusion and protection of creation on Internet”. It was adopted on May 12, 2009 by the French National Assembly.