The seat of Bennelong is up for by-election on Saturday 16 December 2017.

We are considering contesting this by-election, but only if we get enough volunteers to do it properly. If there are not enough volunteers by Monday, our campaign will not go ahead. We know that this isn’t much time, but there is a lot of paperwork to nominate a candidate and very little time to do it in as nominations close soon.

We are looking for volunteers locally who are in commuting distance to Bennelong NSW, and Australia-wide who can offer assistance online. We particularly need a coordinator who is on the ground in Sydney.

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Whatever your stance on refugee policy, this crisis has gone way too far.

The Australian Government’s policy is to make a point that anyone who attempts to enter Australia without authorisation, no matter the reason, will be met with a life of suffering even worse than what they are fleeing from. To achieve these means, the Australian Government has appointed Peter Dutton to effectively run a series of Concentration Camps right here in Australia, and some (like Manus Island) are outsourced to impoverished countries acting in proxy to Australia.

Thankfully these are not extermination camps, but the living conditions and mental stresses these people are subjected to go far beyond what most Australians would ever experience and deserve the label concentration camps.

Well Mr Dutton and Mr Turnbull, point made – especially on Manus Island – but now it has gone too far and it’s time for the suffering to stop.

The situation is so bad, and the Australian Government is so hell bent on making these people suffer, that New Zealand are basically pleading with us to let them take some in just to help end the suffering. Even wealthy individuals like Russell Crowe are offering to privately fund resettlement into a life of freedom. There are plenty of Australians right there behind him who would do the same. It’s not a case of putting foreigners before Australians, this is strictly on a humanitarian level of decent Australians wanting to help people suffering extreme conditions because of political circumstances.

It’s not reasonable to expect these people to “relocate themselves” from one concentration camp to another. Between the choice of staying trapped in squalor and in fear of the local population, and being trapped in another camp with no chance of freedom, it’s not really much of a choice. If you had to pick between accepting your fate of being a lifelong prisoner for having committed no crime and having a chance to act out against your captor, you would probably make the same choices.

The Australian Government has deprived these people of their freedom and therefore have a duty of care.

End the suffering.

Give these people freedom and a place to go, they have been through enough.

If there is a genuine reason why these people should not be accepted for refugees, the government needs to make the case. If not, they must let them in or hand them over to New Zealand, US or any other country willing to accept them humanely.

The Australian Government have already demonstrated their skills in influencing Papua New Guinea and Nauru to accept refugees (and we got close to a deal with Malaysia and Indonesia in the past), they should use this influence in the region to make these countries (as well as others) adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and provide the proper refuge in their countries, as well as taking in our fair share. New Zealand have repeatedly offered to help with resettlement.

This is the position of The Pirate Party. We also recommend that have a shared processing queue where which allocates a country to resettle in no matter where the refugee physically lands. Then there is no incentive to make risky trips to Australia and people in genuine need of refuge have a place to go without overloading any particular country’s resources.

We also believe that in the case of refugees who do make it to Australia, we should be providing them with resources to find work and become productive members of society and that these resources should also be available to all Australians too.

Our full policy on Asylum seekers and refugees is located at: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform#Asylum_seekers_and_refugees

We also note the irony of Malcolm Turnbull defending Josh Frydenberg’s citizenship status on humanitarian grounds of his parents. They escaped persecution during the Holocaust and came to Australia as refugees (as have many other Australians who have contributed greatly), but the major parties don’t believe that the current batch of refugees don’t deserve the same accommodations or basic human dignity.

We, the Pirate Parties and NGOs of the Pirate movement around the world, express our solidarity with the Catalan Pirates whose websites about the Referendum of Self Determination campaign and the use of Tor are currently being censored by the Spanish authorities. Additionally, we express our solidarity with all citizens of Catalonia who have been met with violent state repression for exercising their democratic right to vote in the independence referendum.

We denounce all political censorship. The internet censorship by Spanish authorities is an unacceptable violation of human rights and political freedoms, regardless of the legality of the Catalan referendum and the merits of the secessionist cause.

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In January 2014, the European Commission awarded a contract to the Dutch firm Ecor to research sales displacement (loss) rates on copyrighted content due to internet piracy. The report was completed in May 2015 but it appears the European Commission didn’t like the report’s conclusion – the results were skimmed and buried until Julia Reda from Pirate Party Germany launched a freedom of information request to make the document publicly available[1]. It confirmed what Pirate parties around the world have been saying all along – that piracy cannot be conclusively said to cause financial harm to authors and creators, and that there are choices for those selling copyrighted works which are more likely to boost their sales than further attempts at cracking down on piracy via regulations or rights management, which often breach and erode the civil rights of everyone.

It’s true that the study did find the strongest potential displacement effect (sales loss) in films and TV shows at 27-40% for the first year of release with this loss being most prominent in cinema visits, where distribution companies will often restrict access through other channels to try and funnel consumers into their preferred medium (cinema). It’s interesting to note also that this potential loss was offset by an increased rate of legal streaming and DVD rentals as a potential side effect of online piracy. What’s extremely interesting is that the study found the average consumer ideal (most willing) price for films and TV shows was below the average market price, suggesting overpriced content is a significant driver of piracy rates[2.1].

Using an alternate approach the report also suggested there may be positive links between piracy and legal transactions of media, that increased piracy in some instances resulted in increased content sales. This was most prominent in concert goers who also streamed or downloaded music, and people who downloaded games[2.4]. Pirates who illegally downloaded large amounts of content were not found to have caused any lost sales[2.2][2.3].

In an analysis of other studies examining the effects of piracy, there were many conflicting or insignificant results. Earlier studies (2000s) tended to show a decrease in physical sales correlated with an increase in digital piracy, however this can be explained by the rise of the internet and how much easier it is to access content online[2.4][2.5]. The study did not examine the effects of regional or platform availability into the rates of displacement, although ease of access to content is often cited as the most common motivation for piracy among Australians[3][4][5][6].

Pirate Party Australia opposes stifling monopolies[7] on the basis that they needlessly drive up costs for the end consumer. Pirate Party Australia propose the introduction of a new Creative Works Act[8] to limit corporate rightsholder abuses through copyright law on creativity and culture, as this report has shown the claims of rightsholders need to be tested with evidence before legislators further extend copyright laws causing more harm than good.

[1] https://juliareda.eu/2017/09/secret-copyright-infringement-study/#wysija
[2] https://cdn.netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2017/09/displacement_study.pdf
[2.1] p170
[2.2] p149
[2.3] p139
[2.4] p80
[2.5] p140
[3] https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/48r78c/well_back_to_piracy_i_guess/
[4] https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/6xzq0b/this_antipiracy_scare_campaign_is_bullshit/
[5] https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/31ppni/dallas_buyers_club_slays_iinet_in_landmark_piracy/
[6] https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/5v2htl/village_roadshow_announced_a_5point_antipiracy/
[7] https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform#Declaration_of_platform_and_principles
[8] https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform#Culture_and_creative_works

Due to vacancies left at the 2017 Congress we held an election for a position on the Dispute Resolution Committee and the role of Deputy President. 180 out of a possible 1,344 full members voted.

Deputy President: John Edward Philip Jeffery
Dispute Resolution Committee: Liam Pomfret

The full breakdown of results can be found on the Party’s voting server for a short time, including raw JSON data.

The software used is Oyster, a free and open source voting system.