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Monday, 8 June 2009

Swedish Pirate Party wins EU parliament seat

The results of the European elections are out and the IPKat learns from today's Guardian that the Swedish Pirate Party ("Piratpartiet", their party logo is depicted on the left), which, inter alia, wants to legalise internet file-sharing and intends to overhaul copyright and patent laws, won one of Sweden's 18 seats in the European parliament. Stockholm News has more details and reports that with final results from 98% of the Swedish election districts counted, the Pirate Party secured 7.1% of votes. AFP cites one of the party's candidates, Anna Troberg, who told Swedish television on Sunday "Privacy issues and civil liberties are important to people and they demonstrated that clearly when they voted today."

The BBC gives us further background information on the Pirate Party's political agenda. It appears that the Pirate Party campaigns for free access to the internet and intends to reform copyright law and the patent system. Interestingly, the party's membership figures rocketed (tripled within a week) after the recent controversial Pirate Bay ruling by a Swedish court concerning online file sharing (see the IPKat's posts here and here), even though the Pirate Bay file-sharing website has no links with the political party. The BBC further cites Rickard Falkvinge, leader of the party, who said last night: "We are writing history and we are securing civil liberties in Sweden, Europe and the world."

The IPKat is politically impartial and also not quite certain what the Pirate Party's exact plans and suggestions are ("The Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected"; see the party's website here), but this Kat is nonetheless intrigued how the Pirate Bay decision appears to have influenced Swedish voters.


CS Clark said...

even though the Pirate Bay file-sharing website has no links with the political party.

Not entirely true. According to wikipedia, 'A former board member of the Pirate Party was Mikael Viborg, who is also known as the legal advisor of the popular BitTorrent tracker, The Pirate Bay.'

A cynic might suggest, given that it's possible voters were also influenced by the shock discovery, after the trial, of the judge's 'pro-copyright' links and the fact that there has been ongoing controversy, accusations of corruption and kowtowing to the US and so on, that the appeal process has been played out with more than the defendants' interests in mind.

Anonymous said...

the judge in the case was clearly biased. this is what you get when you violate basic human rights. the swedish people did the right thing voting for the pirate party and voicing their unhappiness!

Anonymous said...

Last Anonymous: Could you please substantiate on what grounds you base your allegation that the judge was biased?

I agree with CS Clark: the whole appeal was designed not so much with the actual legal case, as with this election campaign in mind.

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