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Avast! Meet The Pirate Party’s First Ever European Parliamentarian

imageSweden is waking up to an unlikely political reality: the Pirate Party, which campaigns for radical changes to copyright law and legalised file-sharing, has won one of Sweden’s 18 seats in the weekend’s European Parliament elections with a remarkable 7.1 percent of the national vote, coming fifth overall. Stockholm-born deputy chairman and computer developer Christian Engström, 49, (pictured) takes his seat as an MEP in the autumn. Share of the Swedish vote swung to the Piratpartiet from opponents of the ruling conservative Moderates, inspired by the high-profile copyright case against the Pirate Bay file-sharing site in April. The Bay has asked for a re-trial because of alleged bias from the trial judge.

According to its manifesto, the party has three goals: to “fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens’ rights to privacy are respected”. So all non-commercial copying of files and software should be legal, P2P file-sharing should be encouraged and artistic copyright should last no more than five years — far less than the parliament’s proposed extension from 50 to 70 years. And the party, which formed in 2006, warns this isn’t just a Sweden thing – “there are already similar political initiatives under way in several other member states”.

One victory against graduated-response piracy measures as stringent as France’s appears to have already been met in the UK. Outgoing culture secretary Andy Burnham told a music conference (via that implementing “three strikes” here has been all but ruled out in favour of “technical measures” such as broadband throttling. Either way won’t work, says Carphone Warehouse founder and CEO Charles Dunstone (via “If you try speed humps or disconnections for peer-to-peer, people will simply either disguise their traffic or share the content another way,” he says. “It is a game of Tom and Jerry and you will never catch the mouse.”

3 Responses to “Avast! Meet The Pirate Party’s First Ever European Parliamentarian”

  1. plato

    ''In five years, This will change the way, the world works. ''

    naaaah, people will just remember to vote in the next euro elections

  2. Wow…This news is the best thing that happened for a long long time. The implications are huge folks. We are in for a ride.

    In five years, This will change the way, the world works.

  3. I'm not sure if this is a good thing, or a bad thing.

    There is a cold-war brewing between content providers, and content users. My initial response to this development, is that this election is going to fuel-the-fire on the "copyleft" side of the table, whilst only making content providers more likely to refute anything that is proposed, as far as copyright reform is concerned.

    It is refreshing to see copyright-reformers organize, and present plausible arguments, rather than simply taking anonymous potshots at content providers.

    For those of you questioning Sadien's opinion regarding this matter, our opinion is simple.

    1. The law is the law (whatever it is, it is, and we follow and support it)
    2. Content providers have an absolute right to be paid for their material, if they so choose. They also have a right to control their content's distribution.
    3. Content users have an absolute right to run their lives and their businesses without fear of wrongful influence and unwarranted prosecution by content providers.

    In short, we believe there can be, and should be, a peaceful and mutually beneficial existence between copyright holders, and copyright consumers.

    Sadien Staff
    Sadien, Inc.