United States Pirate Party
CaptainAnthony Jay (IN)
FoundedJune 6, 2006; 16 years ago (2006-06-06)
Youth wingYoung Pirates of America
Political positionSyncretic
International affiliationPirate Parties International
ColorsPurple, Red, Blue
Seats in the Senate
0 / 100
Seats in the House
0 / 435
0 / 50
State Upper Houses
0 / 1,921
State Lower Houses
0 / 5,410
Other elected officials2[1]
Official website Edit this at Wikidata

The United States Pirate Party[2] (USPP) is an American political party founded in 2006 by Brent Allison and Alex English.[3] The party's platform is aligned with the global Pirate movement, and supports reform of copyright laws to reflect open source and free culture values, government transparency, protection of privacy and civil liberties. The United States Pirate Party also advocates for evidence-based policy, egalitarianism, meritocracy and the hacker ethic as well as the rolling back of corporate personhood and corporate welfare. The USPP has also made a priority to advocate for changes in the copyright laws and removal of patents. It is the belief of the party that these restrictions greatly hinder the sharing and expansion of knowledge and resources.[4]

The party's national organization has existed in multiple incarnations since its 2006 founding. Its most recent is the Pirate National Committee (PNC), formed in 2012 as a coalition of state parties. The PNC officially recognizes Pirate parties from 10 states,[2] and tracks and assists in the growth of more state parties throughout the United States. The board of the USPP is the board of the PNC. The chair of the Pirate National Committee is known as the "Captain". The current Captain is Anthony Jay.[5]


The Pirate Party was founded in June 2006 by University of Georgia graduate student Brent Allison in response to the success of the Swedish Piratpartiet. Its platform was focused primarily on copyright reform and freedom from Internet censorship. The party first attempted to register in Utah during the 2007/2008 election cycle and failed to collect the required number of Statements of Support.[6][7] In 2011, the Massachusetts Pirate Party became the first legally recognized Pirate Party in the US.[8] By 2011, the Pirate Party reported over 3000 members nationwide.[9]

In 2012, a coalition of state Pirate parties formed the Pirate National Committee (PNC).[10] By July of that year, the PNC drafted and adopted a new constitution, which outlined a broader ideology inspired by Rickard Falkvinge's Pirate Wheel.[11]

In 2015, Massachusetts Pirate Party Quartermaster Steve Revilak became the first pirate in the United States to be elected to office, elected to Arlington town meeting.[12]

On July 2, 2022 the United States Pirate Party became a member of the Pirate Parties International, an umbrella organization, comprising 31 parties all over the world at the time of the USPP's admission.[13]


See also: Reappropriation § Linguistic reappropriation or reclaiming

The Pirate Party defends their oft-criticized name[14] in the preamble of the PNC's constitution:[4]

For our values, we have been derided as "pirates". For our hope that every person may be free to access all of human knowledge, we have been called "pirates". For our belief that one need not ask permission to participate in governance, industry, culture, and other aspects of society, we have been called "pirates". For our insistence that citizens should not be surveilled and distrusted as if they are criminals, we have been called "pirates". For our rejection of authority and profit-seeking when it does not serve the common good of all people, we have been called "pirates". We reclaim this label of "pirate" and abjure its derogatory, incendiary implication. We are Pirates. We stand for the liberty, equality, and solidarity of all human beings, and against all threats they may face.


Factions within the Pirate Party include left-libertarians, classical liberals, anarchists, progressives, and radical centrists. Many Pirates explicitly decline to identify with any particular political ideology or philosophy. They are driven to "do what works" rather than being driven by a particular ideology.[15]

The Pirate Party's platform originally centered on issues of copyright. "Like its international counterparts, the USPP's main practical concerns are digital intellectual property and privacy laws—specifically, the abolition of a 1998 digital U.S. copyright law, the reduction of copyrights to 14 years (from 95 years after publication, or 70 years after the author's death), and the expiration of patents that don't result in significant progress within four years (as opposed to 20 years)."[9]

In 2012, the party began an expansion of its platform, inspired by the Pirate Wheel.[11] The party emphasizes the cultural values of the hacker ethic, open source and free culture, strong protection of individual civil liberties, government transparency, participatory governance, and evidence-based policy. It solidified these tenets by publishing a series of essays in January 2012 where it voiced its values using quotations from historical figures, including Benjamin Franklin ("They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"), Mark Twain ("Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet"), Albert Camus ("The only way to deal with an un-free world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion") and Thomas Jefferson ("Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.") in order to highlight the timelessness, urgency, and consensual agreement on its positions related to free culture.[16]



Before 2012, the chairman of the party was elected every July by a membership vote, as established in the party constitution.[17] After the 2012 formation of the PNC, the role's name was changed to Captain.[4]

Name From To
Brent Allison June 6, 2006 June 9, 2006
Joshua Cowles June 9, 2006 May 2007
Andrew Norton May 2007 September 2008a
Glenn Kerbein September 2008a July 2009
Ryan Martin July 2009 December 29, 2009b
Bradley Hallb December 29, 2009 January 28, 2010
Brittany Phelpsc January 28, 2010 July 15, 2011
Bradley Hall July 15, 2011 April, 2012
Travis McCrea April, 2012 November 14, 2012
Lindsay-Anne Brunner November 14, 2012 January 28, 2015
Andrew Nortond January 28, 2015 March 1, 2016
Joseph Klein March 1, 2016 May 15, 2017
Lindsay-Anne Gorski May 15, 2017 January 28, 2019
Meg Cochran January 28, 2019 December 2, 2019
Joseph Klein December 2, 2019 June 6, 2021
Rose Klein June 6, 2021 June 5, 2022
Anthony Jay June 5, 2022 Incumbent

^a Norton stepped down mid-term to head up Pirate Parties International. Kerbein, as Operations Officer, stepped into the position for the rest of the term.

^b Martin was removed via a Vote of No Confidence on December 29, 2009. Hall was selected as Administrator pro-tempore for a 30-day period until elections could be held.[18]

^c See Wikinews interview with Peter Coti.

^d Norton resigned in order to have more time to devote to other interests.[19]


State parties

State[20] Founded PNC Member[10] Notes
Alabama No
Alaska No
Arizona No
Arkansas No
California August 1, 2020 Yes
Colorado Observer
Connecticut Observer
Delaware No
Florida Inactive Officially moved to probationary status on the January 30, 2022 meeting, and moved to inactive status on the March 6, 2022 meeting.
Georgia Inactive Officially moved to probationary status on the January 30, 2022 meeting, and moved to inactive status on the March 6, 2022 meeting.
Hawaii No
Idaho Observer
Illinois 2012[21] Yes The Illinois Pirate Party was founded in 2012, but by year’s end was largely inactive and never received official recognition from the USPP and Pirate National Committee outside of observer status. The party reorganized in 2020. Became PNC members October 10, 2021.
Indiana 2021 Yes Became PNC members on October 17, 2021.
Iowa Observer
Kansas Observer
Kentucky 2022 Yes Became PNC members on March 3, 2022.
Louisiana No
Maine No
Maryland Observer
Massachusetts 2010 Yes Ran first pirate candidate in the United States history, JP Hollembaek, in 2012.[22] As of June 2021, the only state party to elect a pirate to office with the election of Steve Revilak.[23]
Michigan No
Minnesota Observer
Mississippi Observer
Missouri Observer
Montana Observer
Nebraska No
Nevada No
New Hampshire No
New Jersey Observer
New Mexico No
New York August 25, 2010 Inactive Officially moved to probationary status on the January 30, 2022 meeting, and moved to inactive status on the March 6, 2022 meeting.
North Carolina No
North Dakota No
Ohio Observer
Oklahoma January 18, 2010 Inactive The Pirate Party of Oklahoma was formed on January 18, 2010 with the signing of its constitution,[24] and the filing of a motion of intent to form a political party with the Oklahoma Election Board. The founding chairman was Marcus Kessler. The party was named an official state chapter of the United States Pirate Party on January 19, 2010.[25] The party mounted a signature drive to try to gain access to the Oklahoma ballot, but was unsuccessful. The party did not run any candidates for office in 2010. Officially moved to probationary status on the January 30, 2022 meeting, and moved to inactive status on the March 6, 2022 meeting.
Oregon November 9, 2010 Inactive The Oregon Pirate Party was given official state party status on November 9, 2010.[citation needed] Officially moved to probationary status on the January 30, 2022 meeting, and moved to inactive status on the March 6, 2022 meeting.
Pennsylvania 2022 Yes Became PNC members on June 5, 2022.
Rhode Island No
South Carolina No
South Dakota Observer
Tennessee Obeserver
Texas Observer
Utah No
Vermont Observer
Virginia No
Washington Inactive Officially moved to probationary status on the January 30, 2022 meeting, and moved to inactive status on the March 6, 2022 meeting.
West Virginia No
Wisconsin July 4, 2012 Probationary Formerly registered with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Officially moved to probationary status on the March 13, 2022 meeting.
Wyoming No


Territory[20] Founded PNC Member[10] Notes
American Samoa No
District of Columbia No
Guam No
Northern Mariana Islands No
Puerto Rico No
US Virgin Islands No

See also


  1. ^ "Current Office Holders – United States Pirate Party".
  2. ^ a b "About". United States Pirate Party. Archived from the original on 21 October 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  3. ^ Milchman, Eli "The Pirates Hold a Party", Wired Magazine, 2006-06-20. Retrieved on 2009-02-20,
  4. ^ a b c "Platform | United States Pirate Party".
  5. ^ "Leadership | United States Pirate Party".
  6. ^ Cheng, Jacqui "US Pirate Party seeks legitimacy, starts in Utah", Ars Technica, 2007-08-09. Retrieved on 2009-02-20.
  7. ^ Triplett, William "Pirate party forms in Utah" Variety, 2007-08-11. Retrieved on 2009-03-19.
  8. ^ "Massachusetts voters can now register as 'Pirates'". 2011-03-07. Archived from the original on 2014-08-30. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b Downie, James (2011-01-24) Avast Network, The New Republic
  10. ^ a b c "Pirate National Committee (PNC) - United States Pirate Party". Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Falkvinge, Rick "The Pirate Wheel", Falkvinge on Infopolicy. Retrieved on 2012-08-19.
  12. ^ "Revilak is first elected Pirate".
  13. ^ "United States Pirates become the newest addition to the PPI family". pp-international.net. 2022-04-07. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  14. ^ "Lessig Questions Pirate Party's Existence - TorrentFreak". TorrentFreak. 2008-03-08. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  15. ^ "FAQ". US Pirates. Piratenkleider. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  16. ^ Prinzing, Marlis (2012). "The Pirate Party – A new star on the horizon of media accountability or a blended, self-serving movement?". Studies in Communications Sciences. 12 (1): 41–48. doi:10.1016/j.scoms.2012.06.009.
  17. ^ "Title 2", US Pirate Party Constitution
  18. ^ "Minutes of Meeting", 29 December 2009[dead link]
  19. ^ Andrew Norton Resigns as USPP Chair Archived 2016-04-05 at the Wayback Machine, 08 February 2016
  20. ^ a b "United States Pirate Party". Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  21. ^ "History". 27 August 2021.
  22. ^ https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/05/01/1st-pirate-candidate-out-to-steal-spotlight-in-massachusetts[bare URL]
  23. ^ https://www.arlingtonma.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/55869/637539962076870000[bare URL PDF]
  24. ^ "Constitution of the Pirate Party of Oklahoma" Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine 2010-01-18. Retrieved on 2010-08-14.
  25. ^ "Official Minutes of Meeting" 2010-01-19. Retrieved on 2010-08-14. Archived June 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine