Pirate Party pushes candidates for protest

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 11:03 25/11/2011

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Internet users in Wellington and Hamilton East who are concerned about the "Skynet" copyright regime will have a chance to make a protest vote at the election tomorrow.

The Pirate Party failed to garner the 500 members it needed to contest the party vote in the election, but is fielding candidates in the two constituencies.

Party president Tommy Fergusson said the key issues for the party were the "three strikes" copyright regime that came into force in September, under which people can be fined up to $15,000 for downloading copyright material, software patents and a filtering system set up by Internal Affairs to block access to child pornography sites.

The party is opposed to filtering the internet on principle and concerned by a "lack of transparency" over how Internal Affairs' system operates.

Fergusson said a vote for candidates Gynn Rickerby and Bruce Kingsbury would "show encouragement to the Pirate Party that they want to see us around in the next election"

Kingsbury was a "computer nerd" from the Waikato Linux users group and software patents were a big issue for him.

Fergusson acknowledged that not as many people as it would have like realised it had candidates standing. "We are just concerned citizens and techies and very few of us have had any political experience before and know how to do any of that stuff well."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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