The Swedish Pirate Party has won one seat in the European Parliment. Yeay! I'm very happy about that.
This is big news out there, outside of Sweden that is. If you search international news for Pirate Party you will find 2496 mentions/stories about the Swedish Pirate Party. That is a lot, so this is a big thing.
There are almost as many articles in the international press about Christian Engström, freshly elected member of the European Parliment for the Pirate Party, as there are about Fredrik Reinfeldt, Swedish Prime minister. The count is: 1315 vs 1793.
Read more here: Nyhetsbrev 2009-06-09 from Rick Falkvinge (in Swedish only)
What does the Pirate Party want then?
(Click the "Read more"-button.
- The reform of copyright laws
- The abolishing of patents
- Right to privacy.
This movement is really not about people wanting to download stuff for free from the internet. A label it gets a lot from people who doesn't know any better, and also other labels and cheap shots. Se below.
A good comparison for what the movement is about can be found in this blog entry from Oscar Swartz: Gammeltänk. Sorry, Swedish only. But here is a quick summary: What if there is an industry that makes something that a lot of people want, but the manufacturing processes releases a lot of mercury in water supplies and people get very sick. Then you would probably agree with me that this industry has two choices:. 1. To stop completely making the stuff. 2. Find a solution to make the stuff in a way that doesn't ruin everything for everybody.
If a certain industry needs very opressive laws to make their (outdated) business model work (ie no privacy for anyone, laws that can ruin people finacially, laws that sets restriction upon exchange of information and so on), then that industry really have to change its business model. It is that simple.
Stupidest cheap shot ever
One confused member of the Swedish Parliment named Annika Qarlsson compared the people that voted for Pirate Party to... guess what?... Rapists! Good one! Talk about cheap shot. The Local writes about it too. (The Local is Swedish news in English.) I actually left a comment in her blog entry.
Photo credit: Pirate Party Cupcakes by Slushpup