Judge: Pirate Party Name-Ban Decision Stands

Back in March the Russian Justice Ministry turned down the Pirate Party's attempt to officially register. The decision was made because the authorities feel that the word 'pirate' could be connected with criminal acts. Now a Moscow judge has backed that decision, leading the party to decide on a new name.

That “Pirate Party” is not allowed as a political party name in Russia might seem odd at first.

The obvious intent was clear – to prevent groups which have the promotion of criminal acts at their core, such as the Pedophile Party, the Kill-all-Jews Collective, or Kidnappers Anonymous – but these are unambiguous terms.

When it comes to the term “Pirate” then there are increasingly two meanings. The first is that of the ‘classic buccaneer’ as famously portrayed by Johnny Depp, and often found acting off the east coast of Africa.

The second is a label more often thrown at someone accused (often wrongly) of sharing a data file.

However, the Russian Government clearly hasn’t heard of the second definition, which is odd when you consider that events surrounding sites like Allofmp3.com became an international issue for them a few years back.

As a result of this name misconception, the name Pirate Party was rejected. Furthermore, the party didn’t get all the formal notices from the Justice Ministry which would enable them to deal with the rest of the paperwork. So, in an attempt to move things on, they sued, and earlier this month, according to the Russian Pirate Party, the Judge ruled that the March rejection counts as the missing paperwork, and they should find another name.

The current frontrunner is Bez nazvaniya (“unnamed”) but other options include “Pirrate Party of Russia” and “Pira7e Party of Russia” according to a blog post by chairman Pavel Rassudov, which ends with the following plea:

I would like to conclude with stating that our principles, ideas and our website remain unchanged. I ask the public, journalists and all reasonable people to continue calling us “Pirate Party of Russia”

Fine by us, Pavel….

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