The Pirate Party in Manchester. Looking forward to the Ancoats and Clayton By-election, December 2013

Culture

Manifesto Culture page thumbnail✔ Share in Culture
✔ Protect Libraries
✔ “Artists First” Policy
✔ No VAT on eBooks
✔ Arts in Education

Promoting the right to take part in our shared culture and increasing access to culture is a key Pirate Party aim. Libraries must be protected and developed for the 21st century, increasing the role of digital and taking from the best practices of hacker-spaces and start up hubs. Wherever possible library, archive and museum content should be digitised and made widely available. Copyright exceptions should be made so people with visual impairments and print disabilities can access written material equally.

The place of music and the creative arts in education should be preserved and promoted. Culture should be at the heart of regeneration plans, initiatives already underway to bring artists in to empty shop spaces should be supported to restore life to our high streets.

My culture policy is about encouraging the research and development in new thinking for our creative lives and the creative economy. Not just box ticking and making the arts part of a narrow national agenda. Artists themselves are too often forgotten in the art funding picture, culture funding priorities must be to put artists first, not institutions, buildings or quangos. Let’s support art and artists.

Art can be controversial, but it is vital we don’t squash freedom of expression. After all, that is what so much of the successful culture of Manchester has been about.

It’s time to bring laws about how we consume film, music, TV and books in to the 21st century. Outdated laws against “format shifting”, moving material you have bought from one device to another, (for example a CD to an mp3 player) must go. Copyright terms are massively weighted against consumers and must be rebalanced. I want to see a focussing of income on living productive artists and encourage innovation. Audio books and eBooks should also be zero VAT rated, to encourage more competitive pricing and the spread of knowledge.

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