Background - The Sunbeard Declaration

Last Updated 19 October 2004.

1999 #18

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 09:10:47
From: Ian (Whitchurch) or Katts
Subject: Re: Pirates

>Subject: Pirates
>I don't want to open up any old wounds or anything but what's the jist of the
>argument against the existence of pirates?

This is 'The Sunbeard Declaration' - something I put together at the end of the Great Piracy Debate of 1997-8. It pretty sums up the views of most of the participants at the end of it. I can work through the individual statements if people really want.

#1 : Mainworlds with either significant trade or significant economies can and will defend their space out to about their 100-diameter limits.

#2 : These defences will make piracy in and around mainworlds unprofitable.

#3 : These defences do not extend to the entire system.

#4 : Most career pirates concentrate on the unsafe outsystems.

#5 : Shippers apply risk premiums to trade with either unsafe systems or outsystems.

#6 : Merchant ships specialising in trading in unsafe areas tend to be heavily armed.

#7 : Merchant ships specialising in trading in safe areas tend to be lightly armed or unarmed.

#8 : The best markets for stolen starships and cargos are in other states, however unsafe areas will buy commodities they know to be stolen at heavily discounted rates.

#9 : Pirate ships will tend to be converted merchants, as unsafe areas tend not to be profitable enough to justify custom-built warships. Safe areas tend to be too dangerous for even custom built warships to operate in for long enough to defray their build costs. Pirate warships may exist from mutinous or rebel crews.

A corollary of #4 and #5 is that Outsystems will tend to remain underdeveloped, as they cannot develop until they are secure, and they are not worth securing until they are developed.

Ian Whitchurch

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