Pirate Bay Verdict May Actually Lead To Pirate Party Official Joining European Parliament

from the you've-started-a-movement dept

While the entertainment industry still really seems to think that the disputed verdict in the Pirate Bay trial was a victory, most folks who can look beyond the immediate ruling have recognized what a horrific loss this has been for the industry. On the technology side, it's done nothing of importance. Even if The Pirate Bay is eventually shut down, there are at least a dozen other sites to step in and take up the slack. On the business model side, shutting down The Pirate Bay will do nothing to fix a seriously broken business model. But, perhaps most important of all, the industry is pushing more and more people over the edge, from indifferent to the industry, to actively working against the industry. I expected the uselessness of the verdict when it came to tech and business models, but I didn't realize that it would energize people on the political side as well.

There's been lots of talk about how the verdict massively increased the number of Swedes joining The Pirate Party, but the big question is whether or not it will be enough people to make a difference, and will they actually follow through. The initial showings are impressive. A new political poll shows that the party's popularity has grown tremendously, to the point that if a vote were held today, The Pirate Party would gain a seat in the European Parliament. It's now become the second largest party for voters in the 18 to 29 age group. This isn't just a random fringe group that the industry (and other politicians) can completely dismiss. It is still small, but what's amazing is how the industry's blatant shortsightedness has given rise to an entire political movement that keeps attracting more and more members. It seems likely that the entertainment industry still doesn't realize what sort of backlash it's creating, but at some point, it might want to start paying attention.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    A Dan, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Now, if only something like this could work out in the U.S., then I would be happy. Maybe we could convince the Libertarian party to change its name?

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    Yeah... if only our country weren't so thoroughly controlled. Short of outright revolution, it won't happen.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Two-party system FTW

     

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  4.  
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    Assar B. Boveri, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    "... what's amazing is how the industry's blatant shortsightedness has given rise to an entire political movement that keeps attracting more and more members"

    Actually, it's not the industry (spectrial was one great show, but still, just one show). One should look at their growth in the light of a) A massive surveillance law (FRA, the Swedish mini-NSA (or, if you prefer, STASI)), b) the over-implemented EU directive (IPRED), and, in the pipeline, other EU stuff requiring ISP to store traffic data.

    I'd say the Pirate partys biggest support comes from (in order) the sitting swedish government (M), ther predcessors (S), end EU.

    How could they avoid getting votes with such supporters?

     

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  5.  
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    TSO, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Pirate Party is about to outnumber Centrists. See stats @ http://www.piratpartiet.se/storlek

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    Yeah the Democrats and the ummmmm ..... I cant remember the other parties name due to irrelevance.

    Maybe we have an opportunity to replace them.

     

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  7.  
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    Tor, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    It's important to realize that the success of the Pirate Party so far is very much related to all the new laws here that put the right to privacy into question. Granted, the Pirate Bay verdict caused a large number of people to join, but I think one should regard the the conviction and the extremely severe penalties as the straw that broke the camel's back and not the sole cause.

    People who want to dismiss the party often describe it as a group of people who want everything for free without having to pay. However, since the Pirate Party was the driving force behind the wiretapping law protests it's hard to write them off so easily and more and more people are beginning to see that. The fact that both the large party to the right and the large party to the left supports these wiretapping laws, the Ipred1 law (although they may disagree on some details) and that they will probably also implement the EU data retention directive without any protest means that people are beginning to feel dejected and look for something else - including people who couldn't care less about file sharing but are worried about basic human rights and want the internet to stay open. So this is about much more than just copyright reform.

     

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  8.  
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    lavi d (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    I Dunno...

    Talk Like a Member of Parliament Day doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

     

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  9.  
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    TheStupidOne, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    The Way I See It

    Big content has declared war on unauthorized use of their content. No fair use, no exceptions. So what the 'pirates' are realizing is that they are at war even if they don't want to be. Throughout history there has been no greater unifying force for a loosely connected group of people than being attacked.

    So big content started a war and eventually the war must end. Maybe the pirate party will simply grow so strong that they abolish copyright. Or maybe big content will crush the pirate party by going even further in owning the current politicians. We'll just have to sit back and see.

     

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  10.  
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    Greg G, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re:

    funny.. considering it's the Demo(c)rats (or, more accurately, Liberals) that are irrelevant. Liberalism needs to be defeated just as its sister party, Communism, has been defeated and made irrelevant.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you nuts always make me laugh. If Obama ran for a political office in Europe he'd be considered right wing. The politically right in this country is closer to fascism than the politically left is to socialism here.

    Correcting your statement of calling democrats communists since a communist performs a fast revolution of power typically through force. Since democrats are using the currently established laws of the land to push agendas this is SOCIALISM.

    Communism and socialism have very similar goals and long term ideals. However their short term solutions are completely different.

    Now that you know more go forth in the world and stop using communism to describe people trying to pass laws or policies in a country and not overthrowing the established government at gunpoint.

     

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  12.  
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    Crash (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    Sign me up

    I would love to join the Pirate Party. Oh wait I was born in America so I have to choose between the "Giant Douche" and the "Turd Sandwich". Woohoo!

     

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  13.  
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    Tgeigs, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Stop muddying up the debate with accurate information. They have no place here.

    Love,

    The American Govt.

     

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  14.  
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    Mechwarrior, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah! Oh wait, China is now the worlds fastest growing nation? Wait a minute, the American Auto industry is bending over backwards to sell their wares there? Huh, all our electronics are being built there?

    Whatever, communism has been defeated!

     

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  15.  
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    Cixelsid, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    True enough

    I wasn't going to bother with the EU elections but after the TPB verdict I've already registered and plan on voting pirate! on 7 June.

     

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  16.  
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    nasch, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    funny.. considering it's the Demo(c)rats (or, more accurately, Liberals) that are irrelevant.

    That is true, since when was controlling the House of Representatives, Senate, and Presidency relevant to anyone?

     

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  17.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Sign me up

    Actually, there is a Pirate Party formed in the US.
    http://www.pirate-party.us/

     

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  18.  
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    kirillian (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Socialism is not actually a form of government. It is actually an economic ideal. And Communism is actually not a totalitarian regime in and of itself. It just so happens that it becomes quite easy to abuse. Communism is actually a form of government that ideally is temporary until a socialist/anarchical society can replace it.

    That being said, the United States has always been quite a bit socialist (free-market never existed and can't exist while the idiots in congress keep pushing pens around and making new regulations and laws about things they can't comprehend). Yes, we're becoming more socialist all the time, but that is what happens when your government is directly involved in economics.

    I personally would love to see a grass-roots movement take the current government by storm, but the two major political parties are too entrenched and would stifle anything that threatens their power, so I can't really see it happening...

    To be honest, I think our country's political leaning is more towards that of an oligarchy - the rule of the masses by a select few/rich.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    jonnyq, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Communism and socialism blah blah blah"

    The two words have different meanings depending on who you ask or what you're studying. The government vs. economics distinction isn't always how those words are used. Sometimes the words are interchangeable. Sometimes communism is a superset of socialism. Sometimes one is a euphemism for the other.

    Depending on the context, the difference between those words is pretty useless.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    net625, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    Re: I Dunno...

    Nothing would ever get done that day, because of all the BS people would have to wade through. Could you imagine ordering at a restaurant that day?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is true, since when was controlling the House of Representatives, Senate, and Presidency relevant to anyone?

    My fingers are in my ears, I can't hear you!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    Now, if only something like this could work out in the U.S., then I would be happy. Maybe we could convince the Libertarian party to change its name?

    Except the Libertarian party, despite its other views, tends to be a big supporter of government granted monopolies when it comes to copyrights and patents. Funny, huh?

     

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  23.  
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    chris (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Sign me up

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:56pm

    State of the Industry

    The thing about the horse and carriage industry at the turn of the century, was with the advent and refinement of the internal combustion engine the horse was no longer needed. With the advent and refinement of ubiquitous internet promotion, music copying and recording there is no more need for recording companies. Unfortunately they bilked the music artists out of most of their copyright and revenue, bringing the whole "copyright" thing into question.

    But that is another story, this kind on copyright should "protect" (not give them undeserved rights) the content creators only and not the content promoters and packagers.

    But the recording companies will go the same way as the "carriage" manufacturers, with the same "kicking and screaming" pattern. But when your time has come, your time has come.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    China is actually fascist

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Chinookman, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    anyone remember way back when

    The outrageous high prices of the cassette tape when it came out the industry said: "OH we'll drop the prices as soon as the cost is recovered" yeah the same line for CDs. and then DVD's and the artist is NOT the one getting the money....... So for you so called entertainment executives...here's my middle finger...! you are an outdated business model and you have failed to welcome the young bright techies with their creative ideas so long SUCKAHs.......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Chinookman, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    anyone remember way back when

    The outrageous high prices of the cassette tape when it came out the industry said: "OH we'll drop the prices as soon as the cost is recovered" yeah the same line for CDs. and then DVD's and the artist is NOT the one getting the money....... So for you so called entertainment executives...here's my middle finger...! you are an outdated business model and you have failed to welcome the young bright techies with their creative ideas so long SUCKAHs.......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 9:20pm

    It's interesting that the industry is so readily campaigning for the pirate party.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 4:25am

    The outcome will be mainstreaming of fair use policies

    Any popular policy is at risk of being stolen. The Greens are likely to be the first to say "me too" which will take copyright/patent relaxation further into the mainstream as a policy. It may eventually become a key plank for left-of-centre parties.

     

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  30.  
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    Tor, May 1st, 2009 @ 6:01am

    I learnt today that the Pirate Party wasn't even one of the alternatives read aloud to the people who participated in the poll. Despite this they got numbers this high. Add to that that a lot of young people may only have a cellphone, hence not being reached by the institute conducting the poll. Now that people see that the party stands a chance to get a seat it may also make more people ready to support them, since it's not a lost vote.

    On the other hand the traditional parties are starting their election campaigns about now which will shift focus to issues on which the Pirate Party doesn't have an opinion. That may hurt them somewhat. There are also lots of uncertain voters and it's difficult to predict what parties they will support.

    It'll be interesting to see how the balance between these things turn out on the election day.

     

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  31.  
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    Francis Burdett, May 1st, 2009 @ 7:52am

    European Elections

    "This isn't just a random fringe group that the industry (and other politicians) can completely dismiss"

    I am not so sure that the European Commission would not simply dismiss Christian Engström. Especially if he carried on with the antics that gets the Pirate Bay into the headlines.

    Although presumably he would have been chosen on at the top of the party list because he could be a sensible parliamentarian.

    If one were on the left, one might be annoyed that the protest vote is going to the Pirate Party. According to the article the votes for the Pirate Party are coming out of the Left Party and the Green Party.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Does anybody know any way american citizens can assist the PP?

     

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  33.  
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    jack, May 1st, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: The Way I See It

    here here

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    NM i just saw the comment about the US version

     

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  35.  
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    MattP, May 1st, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re: The Way I See It

    hear hear!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Bloodyscot, May 1st, 2009 @ 8:56pm

    Control

    Most of these new laws are about control, if you control something then you all but own it. The internet is a great source of information but 99% of the books are still copyrighted and will be decades to come(maybe forever). Even works hundreds or thousands of years old are under copyright because the photos or transcrited copys are. The price of text books now days is unreal, most new college text books are 100+ per book or 50 to 75 dollars for used books if you can find them. The sad thing is that many of the books from 40 years ago are most the same with only afew changes in some cases.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    Tor, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:32am

    New poll

    In the last poll the Pirate Party got 5.1%. According to a new poll the get 5%. According to predict09.eu they may get two seats:
    http://www.predict09.eu/default/en-us/state_analyses.aspx#sweden

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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