We’re sure many of you have suggestions for how we could change the copyright laws, patent system, and privacy rules in this country. However, we’re guessing not many of you have acted upon it. The Pirate Party in Sweden is doing just that, and they’re gaining some serious support in the process.
Heading into the 2009 European Parliament elections, more than half of all Swedish men under 30 are considering voting for them. Thanks in large part to the Internet, the party’s membership has grown 50% during the last quarter, surpassing that of the well-established Green Party, which currently holds 19 seats in the Swedish parliament. In a recent poll, 21% of all Swedes indicated they would consider voting for the Pirate Party in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
The goal of the Pirate Party is to reform copyright law, abolish the patent system, and protect citizens’ rights to privacy. Under this agenda, the party is making a bid for the European and Swedish parliaments.
With regards to copyright laws, the Pirate Party wants to restore the balance in the copyright legislation. The party believes that all non-commercial copying and use should be completely free, and that file sharing and peer-to-peer networking should be encouraged. The party also wants to ban DRM technologies completely.
The Pirate Party also has a proposal for an alternative to pharmaceutical patents and believes that Europe has everything to gain and nothing to lose by abolishing patents outright. Regarding privacy, the party wants to “pull the emergency brake” on the train to a society that they do not want—namely, one with too much surveillance.
The Pirate Party must get 100,000 Swedish votes in order to get a seat in the upcoming European election. Given the current political climate, that goal is within reach. The European Parliament elections are in June. The Pirate Party is looking to continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the meantime. It’ll be interesting to see how the party fares in the elections and how, or if, this changes things on a global scale.