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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 omnicronx on 6/8/2009 3:14:21 PM , Rating: 3
knockoff's have to run through the same rigerous testing. the only advantage they have is no research costs. which is offset with the inventor marketing his idea FIRST, getting market share FIRST, and beeing able to charge the highest prices because something is new.
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. They do not have to go through the same testing as the drug has already been approved by the FDA. As long as they do not change any of the ingredients, very minimal testing is required.
why innovate when you have a steady flow of money comming in?
Are you really that dense? Where do you think this 'steady flow of money' comes from? Its not from sitting on their butts doing nothing. Every single drug company has to innovate in order to remain competitive. In fact there is nothing to separate a non innovative drug company from a Generic drug company, if you have no patents you ARE essentially a generic.
when you have a patent, make your invention as cheap as possible, sell it for as expensive as possible, and prevent anybody else from making your invention as long as the patent lasts, and get rich.
You really are that dense.. whats the point of inventing something if there is no money to be made? Do you not understand this? Whats the point of spending 15-20 years on an idea, only to have give it away for anyone to use? You talk about monopolies yet you do not realize that without patents any big company could merely copy the idea of any startup. The bigger company will easily have more resources, and could even beat you to the market. Its a protection mechanism, yes it needs reform and yes some take advantage, but it does serve a purpose.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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