New political party the Pirate Party UK said today it has been overwhelmed by the response to its formation, as the public gets behind its pro-file sharing agenda.
The organisation was registered as an official political party on 11 August by the Electoral Commission and has three core policies: the reform of copyright and patent law; the end of excessive surveillance by government and business; and to ensure freedom of speech.
Reports from various quarters have suggested that around 100 new members are signing up every hour to the party, but Eric Priezkalns, party treasurer, said he still needed to validate the figures about memberships received to date.
“The number previously quoted in the press was a reasonable estimate based on extremely early data,” he said.
“It is still very early days, and we have been overwhelmed by the response, which has exceeded all our expectations. To ensure accuracy, I will double-check the applications received thus far, and I intend to make a public announcement tomorrow.”
The Pirate Party UK also claimed today it has surpassed both the Conservative Party and UK Independent Party (UKIP) on Facebook with 1,500 supporters. This compares with the Tories' 1,202 members and UKIP's 1,217 members, although this is hardly surprising given piracy supporters are likely to be tech savvy.
The UK Pirate Party is a sister party to the other organisations of the same name that participate in what is known as the "Pirate Party International", a loose confederation of like-minded parties, although there are no formal ties between them.
“In that respect, the Pirate movement has developed in a very similar fashion to the way the Green parties emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s,” said Priezkalns.
“We are brought together by our common views about political issues that straddle international borders, though the leadership, membership and management of each national party is entirely independent."