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STUDY: Sweden’s Pirate Party to Win 2 Seats in EU Parliament

STUDY: Sweden’s Pirate Party to Win 2 Seats in EU Parliament

Outrage over conviction of BitTorrent tracker site the Pirate Bay continues to rise.

The entertainment industry may have won the first phase of its copyright infringement case against Swedish BitTorrent tracker site the Pirate Bay, but in the end it’s file-sharers who’ll surely win.

Many of the country’s youth have been angered over what they see as an intrusion by foreign, primarily US-based, entertainment industry conglomerates into the private affairs of a sovereign country. They understand that copyright laws were essentially written in a world before digital content that no longer exists, and that ultimately paralyze the ability of citizens to freely communicate and interact with one another.

“It is definitely something that has put the spotlight on our issues,” said Christian Engstrom, the party’s top candidate for the European Parliament.

“And it has demonstrated why it is so important, because the legal machine, if it’s allowed to continue, is going to crush the internet, starting with the Pirate Bay and then continuing on to other enterprises.”

Adding fuel to the fire was the recent disclosure that the presiding judge in the Pirate Bay trial, Judge Tomas Norström, is an active member of several pro-copyright groups, rendering his decision anything but unbiased in the eyes of many.

Enter the Pirate Party, which has already seen its membership rise from below 10,000 pre-trial to some 43,783 today.

The numbers are important because for each 4% threshold of voter support it achieves it wins a Swedish seat in the EU Parliament. It was already predicted to win at least 4%, but a new, more accurate study by researchers at the London School of Economics and Trinity College in Dublin now predicts the Pirate Party will command at least 8.5% of Swedish voters, and thus 2 MEPs for the EU Parliament.

Founded in 2006, the Pirate Party and won only 0.6% of the vote in the Swedish general elections that year.

“It’s carried out by known and well-regarded researchers. As far as I can tell, this is the most credible forecast carried out ahead of EU elections,” said Ulf Bjereld, a Gothenburg-based political science professor.

“Opinion surveys before the EU elections usually overestimate large governing parties and underestimate small, critical parties. That’s why in their forecast for Sweden the authors give less weight to the Moderates and add weight to the Pirate Party.”

That means the Pirate Party would become the 3rd largest political party in Sweden behind the Social Democrats and Moderates.

“We’re seeing a shockwave of new repressive legislation that is seriously jeopardizing the core of our civil liberties,” said leader of the Pirate Party, Rick Falkving. “People are starting to wake up to that fact.”

With the Pirate Party possible sending 2 MEPs to the EU parliament the entertainment industry may have got more than it bargained for.

Copyright law reform here we come!

[email protected]

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
World Anarchy
World Anarchy

If it does well in this election, hopefully the Pirate Party can open branches in other countries - first in the rest of Scandinavia and then later on in the rest of Europe.The outdated property rights rules that were made for the 18th century have to go. The institution of absentee ownership ought to be abolished with them.

b.
b.

There are other parties: http://www.pp-international.net/

World Anarchy
World Anarchy

Thanks! (Thanks also to DrewWilson)It seems that there aren't any pirate parties in Asia. A pity; a fair degree of file-sharing is done there.Maybe that'll change in the near future.

DrewWilson
DrewWilson

Really good news for the Pirate Party. They can show the world that a younger generations voice actually matters in the world today.

1cooldude
1cooldude

Damn right. Now I hope these guys actually get elected and get their seats in the parliament.

JohnMc
JohnMc

Since when has stopping freeloaders from stealing, started paralyzeing the ability of citizens to freely communicate and interact with one another. I guess the only time it is a crime is when it takes cash directly out of your pocket. People work years to get something released and deserve the royalties from their effort. In the long run the only thing the file shareing will do is stunt creativity

soulxtc
soulxtc

When "stopping the freeloaders" means that society and technology must be warped to satisfy the needs of a FAILED, OUTDATED business model. NIN's Trent Reznor has shown time and time again what's needed to be done to succeed, and the notion that if labels go broke artists will starve is nonsense. Music sales are declining primarily because people buy DIGITAL SINGLES not albums anymore. Furthermore, study after study has shown that file-sharers buy more music than non file-sharers. Measures like the one in Sweden serve as precursors to what the entertainment industry really wants - data packet inspection.



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