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Sweden's Christian Engstrom and his Pirate Party have scored a seat on the European Parliament. The party's stated objective is to abolish copyright, patents, and internet monitoring.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
This development should help spice up boring Parliament sessions

Not only is Sweden home to the world's largest Torrent site (despite its recent legal woes), pirates in the country also have their own political party, aptly titled the Pirate Party.  The party lists deregulating copyright, abolishing the patent system, and reducing surveillance on the internet as some of its objectives.

Late last week, Europe held election for the European Parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union.  The Pirate Party apparently appealed to Swedish voters, as it scored 7.1 percent of the vote, enough to snag a nice bounty -- a seat in the Parliament.

Christian Engstrom, the party's top candidate, cheered the news, stating, "This is fantastic!  This shows that there are a lot of people who think that personal integrity is important and that it matters that we deal with the Internet and the new information society in the right way."

Ironically, reports are indicating that it was the conviction of the leaders of Swedish torrent site the Pirate Bay that catapulted the party into the public eye.  The ringleaders of the site were sentence to a year in jail and over $3M USD in fines; however, it was later revealed that the judge on the case was a member of copyright protection organizations and should have recused himself.  An appeal is ongoing.

The site and the party are not officially linked.  However, the two entities share similar philosophical views on many topics.  The Pirate Party was founded in 2006 and had in the past received less than 1 percent of the vote.

Sweden has 18 seats on the EU's 785-seat Parliament.  While the single Pirate seat will be unlikely to be able to enact sweeping change, party leaders believe it will give the party a voice and means to fight decisions it views as corrupt.

Mr. Engstrom thanks younger voters for the election success, saying, "We are very strong among those under 30. They are the ones who understand the new world the best. And they have now signaled they don't like how the big parties deal with these issues.  We will use all of our strength to defend personal integrity and our civil rights."

There have been attempts to launch a similar Pirate Party in the U.S., but they have thus far gained little traction.

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RE: Further more...
By Hare on 6/8/2009 12:22:46 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry but trying to abolish copyrights and patents is retarded. Companies have a right to protect what they've spent money and time developing. Otherwise what's the point of it?

Do you really know what you are talking about? The Pirate Party is not trying to abolish copyrights and patents and has nothing to do with pirate sites like pirate bay. Just because they use the word "pirate" doesn't mean that they are criminals.

"It strives to reform laws regarding copyright and patents. The agenda also includes support for a strengthening of the right to privacy, both on the Internet and in everyday life, and the transparency of state administration".

Sound terrible doesn't it? I mean there is nothing wrong with companies patenting "buy" buttons, scroll bars etc and privacy surely is nothing good. Oh, and I'm sure we can all agree that Google should be prosecuted because they have links to warez apps. */sarcasm*

Here you go, please educate yourself:

RE: Further more...
By ianweck on 6/8/2009 1:13:57 PM , Rating: 1
Do you really know what you are talking about? The Pirate Party is not trying to abolish copyrights and patents .... Here you go, please educate yourself

Kind've a harsh reply to his post don't you think?

From the party's own website:

The Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system , and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected.

From this article:

The party's stated objective is to abolish copyright, patents, and internet monitoring.

I don't think the public is against having copyright and patent laws that make sense , or having more privacy online. The problem is that people download music and movies without paying for them. You can spin that any way you want to, but if you haven't given money to the creator of whatever it is you've just downloaded, you've stolen it. So what do you expect the content owners and creators to do? If you were the one watching your work being seeded on the net, wouldn't that piss you off too?

RE: Further more...
By Hare on 6/8/2009 2:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
Sweden is not the only country in the EU with a pirate party. Due to their name many seem to think that they encourage piracy but that is not the case (although I have to admit I'm not that familiar with the swedish p-party).

I think they have a good agenda. Reform the things that are bad about patents and copyrights (in other words, make fair use fair again).

Ps. I don't think anyone should benefit from someone elses work, but there are just so many ridiculous patent laws etc that the system needs a shaking.

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