Pirate Party reaches critical mass

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Pirate Party reaches critical mass

A step closer to halls of power.

A pressure group that hoped to set Australia's copyright law on its head has reached a milestone 500 members it needs to register as a political party.

The Australian Pirate Party, which hoped to contest the next Federal election, saw its numbers double after it advertised for office bearers late last week.

Party spokesman Rodney Serkowski was not available to comment today. He previously said that its aim was to counter the online censorship scheme proposed by Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy. He has said illicit sharing of content didn't equate to lost income for copyright holders.

As at 8:30pm yesterday the party had more than 500 preliminary members, the amount required for it to register as an official political party in Australia.

It needs to register as an organisation through the Australian Business Register, make sure its constitution [PDF] is legal and ensure that its members are legitimate so that it can register with the Australian Electoral Commission.

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Credit: Twitpic/PiratePartyAu

Assistant director of funding and disclosure for the commission, Shawn O'Brien, said that it would take at least three months for a party to register.

"At this stage in the game - it may change in the next couple of years - we'll want to see the applications from members to join the party," O'Brien said. "We'll want a [statutory declaration] from the party saying these people were accepted and that they are members of the party."

He said the commission would then contact a sample of members to confirm their membership.

"We'll approach the people if we can find phone numbers ... otherwise we'll write and hope that they'll respond and offer them reverse-charge phone calls, fax numbers and email addresses ... so that they can get back to us," he said.

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