Pirate Party Takes 9% Of The Vote In Berlin Elections, Wins A Bunch Of Seats In Parliament

from the that-makes-things-interesting dept

The Pirate Party scored a nice victory a few years ago, having two of its members elected to the European Parliament, but despite a few tries, it had not been able to elect anyone to various state or federal legislatures... until now. TorrentFreak has all the details, but the German Pirate Party was apparently able to secure nearly 9% of the vote in the latest Berlin state parliamentary elections, which should translate into 15 seats in the Berlin Parliament. While many who don't understand the Pirate Party platform think it's just about file sharing, the fact is that more and more young people are recognizing that digital freedom is an important issue. I've long been on the record that I think the name of the party greatly distracts from its overall goals, but I do recognize the reason the party decided to go that way. Getting nearly 9% of the vote in any election for a relatively unknown party is quite impressive. Given that it's Germany, I have to imagine that the ridiculous state of German copyright law played a large role in leading to this election result. If anything it supports the viewpoint that the more draconian copyright law becomes, the less people are going to respect it. The question now is whether or not those elected will actually be able to have any impact, and if the party itself can leverage this into something more.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Hopefully the U.S. can get some pirate party officials elected. Our copy protection laws are very oppressive.

     

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  2.  
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    monkyyy, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    agreed, maybe if there were more anon protests going on

     

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  3.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:32am

    The Pirate Party's platform is relatively uniform in the various countries where it is organized. It would be very ironic if the unity that Europe has sought for so many decades could come from electing the Pirate Party.

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Re: "Free" Elections

    Never gonna happen.

    Those few honest politicians are kept shuttered and powerless--or killed if they get too far out of hand. Political parties which have not been co-opted are kept out of the media reports. The purpose of holding elections is to propagate the illusion of choice; while in reality the country's political machinations are nothing more than a puppet show to keep us all distracted from those who are truly in control.

     

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    Lord Binky, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    *sigh*

    Wish I came up with that Idea....

     

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  6.  
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    Andreas (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    actually the pirate party in germany has strong roots in combining digital freedom with fundamental rights of citizens. in the last few years germany had a long series of loss of those rights, the digital ones are only a small part of it. journalists being observed by BND, crackdowns on many homegrowers, depicting computer gamers and paintball-players as potential killers, body scanners at airports are some examples. german pirates see all of it and try to develop a more rational approach to these topics than the blind fear of the established parties. that's what many voters recognize, and on top of that they want to see young, energetic, proactive politicians who actually listen to what people individually want, not what the surveys claim that the people want.

    it is a movement, and it's growing stronger and stronger. i hope other countries will follow, because pirate parties are about the future of politics itself

     

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  7.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    Once you get past the IP issues, the Pirate Party's main themes seem to be "get government out of our private lives" and "stop corporate welfare."

    There is a lot of sentiment along those lines in the US population. As our two parties seem to seek the extremes there are a lot of people in the middle who are sick of the whole thing. If the Pirate Party presented itself properly in the US I could see it getting a following very quickly. Passing things like Protect IP and ACTA could give a US Pirate Party a huge boost.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Stealing from Britney Spears.

    Wow! the pirates did it again!

     

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  9.  
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    Drizzt, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:52am

    Given that it's Germany, I have to imagine that the ridiculous state of German copyright law played a large role in leading to this election result.

    No. It's more the experience of the people of Berlin, that secret contracts aren't good for them. The "more democracy" and transparency approach is what gained the 9% (plus other Pirate topics, like affordable education, free access to data (in science and public data as well), etc.). Sure, some certainly have voted for them due to their position on copyright, but that's not a real topic on the state level.

     

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  10.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Recall

    I call for a recall, These pirate voters must have stolen votes from legitimate politicians by copying, downloading, and sharing their ideas about voting with untold amounts of others by communicating with other colleagues in some kind of friend-to-friend network, sometimes called "peers"

    These pirate politicians should be sanctioned for their reckless acts against these other political figures who spent millions in hard earned money to advertise their campaign, and are now suffering from emotional stress because they have lost some of their votes.

    /SARCASM

     

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  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    woo hoo! The inmates take over the prison. That will certainly improve things for everyone!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re:

    You mean, oops they did it again!!

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re:

    Woo hoo, they already have in politics, as evidenced by dimwits like you pretending at understanding rather than actually having any idea what a party or candidate stands for.

    Woo hoo!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re:

    u dum as brix

     

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  15.  
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    JackSombra (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re:

    "main themes seem to be "get government out of our private lives" and "stop corporate welfare."
    A group was started with those themes in the US but was rapidly co-oped by the corporates and the message was changed to "get government out of our corporate regulation and into our reproductive rights instead" and "death to the poor"

    That groups name was the Tea Party

     

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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    woo hoo! The inmates take over the prison. That will certainly improve things for everyone!
    Well...it did end up improving things in a number of ways following the Attica prison riots, so maybe...

    Don't be surprised at what might happen if enough people get angry, frustrated, and then decide to do something collectively to rectify the imbalance. Let's just hope that it doesn't devolve into something as violent as what happened in the incident I site above...

     

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  17. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Good for you and your pirate friends, Pirate Mike! Grog for everyone!

    My Lord, you're a transparent douche. I saw your pirate blow-buddy Falkvinge getting his panties in a bunch over this "nice victory." You two are peas from the same pod--both pirate scumbag pieces of shit.

    Congrats on this Pyrrhic victory. Fucking asshat.

     

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  18.  
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    martyburns (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Ouuuww.. A bit unhappy about the result are you?

     

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  19.  
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    DCL, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    ARRRRR How do we know you aint scurvy ridden plank dogs!

    Belay that you scallywags! How do we know this isn't just publicity for "International Talk Like A Pirate Day"

    http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html

    I'll keelhaul the lot of you!

     

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  20.  
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    Atkray (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    You have convinced me with your eloquence.

    Little mikee bad... AC good.

     

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  21.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    Aw, now you've made miss Angry Dude Michael Thompson....

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    in US, pirate party = terrorists so it will never happen

     

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  23.  
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    rubberpants, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    With this level of discourse, it's no wonder the rent-seeking crowd isn't taken seriously around here.

     

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  24.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re:

    No, that would be in the upcoming EA game, Pirates and Terrorists vs. Ninjas and Gamers.

     

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  25.  
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    PRMan, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: "Free" Elections

    For an example, see the media's treatment of Ron Paul. After winning a debate poll recently, the article talked about how the #2 candidate did better than the #3.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    It's times like this that I wish my country, the USA, had a parliament system, where 3rd parties wouldn't be wasted votes.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re:

    Yes! yes! that is it.

     

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  28.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The Tea Party has no objection to the government making decisions about your private life. In fact they support it.
    The difference is that the Tea Party thinks that it is fine if its own biases and prejudices are used to make the decisions about my private life.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re:

    He is upset at the new list of 10 most pirated movies.

    http://torrentfreak.com/top-10-most-pirated-movies-on-bittorrent-110919/

    And that people can rip off a bluray disc, producing an avi file that is just 1 gigabyte in size with greater quality than a DVD.

     

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  30.  
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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re: ARRRRR How do we know you aint scurvy ridden plank dogs!

    Belay that you scallywags! How do we know this isn't just publicity for "International Talk Like A Pirate Day"

    http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html
    Well, that's much better than Walk like an Egyptian... does it come with a video?

     

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  31.  
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    Matt Tate (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Were you here back in 2008 or so when angry dude weird harold trolled Techdirt? Those were the days...

     

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  32.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    It's not a wasted vote if you're voting for someone who you believe is a good* choice.

    Although I agree and would like to see more of a parliamentarian system here.

    *good is not synonymous with "better than the other guy" or "least worst" in this context.

     

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  33.  
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    Thomas (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    We need..

    a real 3rd party in the U.S.; both republicans and democrats are so corrupt with "campaign contributions" and "gifts" (which are really bribes) that there are no honest politicians left in office. With the SCOTUS allowing unlimited campaign contributions by corporations it's easier than ever for corporations to buy a share of politicians votes.

    A 3rd party will never really appear on the ballot; the existing politicians know how to block all attempts.

     

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  34.  
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    Mudlock, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    Right track, but you missed true point.

    The pirate party didn't do well because the German government is parlimentarian, it did well because the Bundestag is proportional.

    Only half of the seats (299) are elected by plurality; the pirate party (I think; full results aren't out yet) won ZERO of those seats.

    The other half of the seats though, are elected on party-proportional basis; by getting 9% of the vote, the pirate party is guaranteed 9% of the seats.

     

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  35.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hell yes I was. If it makes you feel better, Weird Harold is still here, he just doesn't sign in anymore and we know him as TAM....

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Passing things like Protect IP and ACTA could give a US Pirate Party a huge boost.

    In that case, I expect to see The Pirate Party control both the House and Senate after 2012 election.

     

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  37.  
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    paperbag (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    "Copying" not "Stealing".

     

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  38.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Re:

    Pyrrhic victory.

    Fail. In order to call something a Pyrrhic victory, the side that "wins" has to have lost something considered a greater value than what was won. A political party going from having zero seats on the German parliament to having 15 can only be described as an Epic win.

     

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  39.  
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    Some Guy, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    That just reminded of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror bit, "Citizen Kang". When Homer reveals to the people in front of the White House that Kang and Kodos have replaced Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. At which point the aliens basically laugh at the humans and say they have to vote for one of them, and someone says "Well, I believe I'll vote for a third party candidate". And I think it's Kang who mockingly laughs and says, "Go ahead, throw your vote away!"

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Remember when they put the police to raid the Pirate Party servers in Germany? Yeah, this has come to bite them in the a**. I'd like to see the look on their faces now, wishing they never did that.

     

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  41.  
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    Mudlock, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re:

    No posting before caffeine! This is Berlin state elections, not the Bundestag.

    But both elections use proportional systems, and it's because of this proportionality that the Pirate Party has been so successful. Which is my main point, and is still accurate.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    The question now is whether or not those elected will actually be able to have any impact, and if the party itself can leverage this into something more.

    The answer is that this will have as much impact in Germany as The Rent Is Too Damn High Party in the U.S.

    It's almost s weak as reaching all the way down to Rep. Polis to circulate that lame "Dear Colleague" letter after everyone else turned you down Masnick. That's a real head scratcher. Who thought it was a good idea to circulate a letter in the House about a bill in the Senate?

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    Oh, btw how many of those "tech entrepreneurs" have been involved in IP litigation and/or whose companies have been accused of infringing?

    First foray into politics and Masnick is like a drunken, blind man in a minefield, staggering from one hideous explosion to the next.

     

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  44.  
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    kirillian (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Were you around when they started...I seemed to recall something along the lines of the grandparent's comments...o how quickly they were absorbed by the Republican party though.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Free" Elections

    My advice ... Vote for Ron Paul!

     

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  46.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re:

    "As our two parties seem to seek the extremes..."

    By this I'm guessing you you mean extreme ends of 'right of center'?

    Because the Dems are definitely not 'extreme left'.

    Seems anymore the US has 'slightly right of center' and 'extremely right of center' as the main two parties.

     

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  47.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    Proportional Representation

    It’s worth noting that Germany runs a proportional representation system. This means that the number of seats a party wins in Parliament is proportional to the fraction of the popular vote that they get. Thus, you get a lot more diverse range of political views represented.

    I believe state and Federal elections in the US are all strictly “first past the post”—which means each seat is won by the candidate getting the largest proportion of the vote in that seat. So a party that gets 9% of the total popular vote will typically end up with no seats at all.

     

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  48.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 5:58pm

    Re:

    Is that the best you've got? The more you maximalists get pinned in a corner the more fail your 'arguments' get.

    Smells like fear and desperation from the copytards again...

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Personally, I miss RJR. Staff is so dull.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Smells like fear and desperation from the copytards again...

    hahahha. what a fascinating world you live in.

    Let's see:

    Six strikes.....check
    Great Britain.... check
    Europe..... check
    Canada.... check
    Protect IP Act.... 33 sponsors, House bill looking even better... check
    Felony Streaming.... folded into House bill.... check

    Gosh. I guess you're right , whatever will we do?

    While this won't eliminate piracy it will reduce it. Maybe you can enumerate your victories so we may be in fear and awe of you. But from where I sit, you are looking like Big Content's BeeAitch.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Re:

    in US, pirate party = terrorists so it will never happen


    Actually, in the US pirate party = clowns. About the only thing missing is the slap shoes and bulb noses. The national organization isn't even functional and its website is being run by the Florida affiliate (http://fl.pirate.is/) who themselves are a statewide embarrassment. No, people at least take terrorists seriously. These characters are armed only with seltzer bottles, cream pies and a host of really goofy political ideas. Though maybe they can talk Lord High Apologist; Mike Masnick into running for President in 2012. He'd fit right in- particularly that he's transitioned from blogger to political activist.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:37pm

    Re:

    Remember when they put the police to raid the Pirate Party servers in Germany? Yeah, this has come to bite them in the a**. I'd like to see the look on their faces now, wishing they never did that.

    You're kidding, right? You think the German police are afraid of these patchouli oil wearing, hashish smoking pantywaists? The German cops are some hard guys. They laugh at pussies like these.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Don't be surprised at what might happen if enough people get angry, frustrated, and then decide to do something collectively to rectify the imbalance. Let's just hope that it doesn't devolve into something as violent as what happened in the incident I site above...

    +1 funny
    (really)

    Rioting, arson, murder and butt-rape.... over your access to free content being shut off? First of all, there's a big difference between the gangsters in Attica and the effete Nancy-boys who dominate the ranks of the pirates, apologists and their cheerleaders. You sissies couldn't knock the skin off of a rice pudding.

     

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  54.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Legislators can pass any stupid laws they want, it won't suddenly make it the 1980's again. Technology always has been and will always be one step ahead.

    Since your dumb ass will be the one obeying these immoral laws, you will suffer much more than I will. As the internet becomes unusable for you and your ilk, I will be enjoying the entertainment I want, when I want, and how I want while you'll be stuck eating the same shit they feed you now.

    Bon appetit!

    Oh, and BTW, usually it's only the losing side that feels they have to make some sort of petty list of their victories. If you're not savvy enough to know how to use the 'net, I'm not going to be the one to hold your hand and teach you.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Legislators can pass any stupid laws they want, it won't suddenly make it the 1980's again. Technology always has been and will always be one step ahead.

    Since your dumb ass will be the one obeying these immoral laws, you will suffer much more than I will. As the internet becomes unusable for you and your ilk, I will be enjoying the entertainment I want, when I want, and how I want while you'll be stuck eating the same shit they feed you now.

    Bon appetit!

    Oh, and BTW, usually it's only the losing side that feels they have to make some sort of petty list of their victories. If you're not savvy enough to know how to use the 'net, I'm not going to be the one to hold your hand and teach you.


    Nice concession speech, couldn't think of a single one, huh? Movies and music aren't high on my list of necessities. Enjoy your life in your mother's basement watching and re-watching terabytes of someone else's creative output you've stolen, bragging to your friends from your LARP league how you stuck it to the man. I'm sure you'll look back and reflect on that as the zenith of a truly pathetic life.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re:

    pssssst, your pathetic desperation is showing.
    Also: Police =/= Your corporate masters. I know you wish it was true, but it isn't

     

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  57.  
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    Tor (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    [quote]The Pirate Party's platform is relatively uniform in the various countries where it is organized.[/quote]

    Perhaps concerning copyright policy, but it should be noted that the German Pirate Party political agenda seems to have been much broader than the Swedish counterpart. While the Swedish Pirate Party deliberately refused to take a stance on any left/right issues so as to be able to gather more support and foster cooperation among copyright reformers on both sides of the political spectrum the German sister party seems to be clearly oriented to the left, although I believe they still think of themselves as protecting many liberal values.

    Of course the left/right scale is often not very informative when applied to information politics. For example I have found that some of the best critique of political plans to roll out a mass-surveillance state here in Sweden has come from parties which I would normally never vote for.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 10:45pm

    Re:

    I second that. The winner take all system has resulted in two parties afraid to take any risks or innovate politically. all they seem to do today is invent new ways to attack each other.

     

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  59.  
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    Niall (profile), Sep 20th, 2011 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Death to the poor", so long as they are unborn.

     

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  60.  
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    Niall (profile), Sep 20th, 2011 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, at least if he is part of a LARP league, he gets out of his mum's basement, does a little exercise and interacts meaningfully with real people. Whereas you...

     

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  61.  
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    JMT (profile), Sep 20th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    "My Lord, you're a transparent douche. I saw your pirate blow-buddy Falkvinge getting his panties in a bunch over this "nice victory." You two are peas from the same pod--both pirate scumbag pieces of shit."

    This spittle-soaked rant makes me smile, because it is clearly from a desperately angry person who knows they're fighting a losing battle against a world that is moving on without them, yet utterly refuses to budge from their entrenched, outdated position on how thing used to be and still should be but aren't dammit!

    "Congrats on this Pyrrhic victory."

    Might want to Wiki that one and find out what it really means.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Sep 20th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re:

    I'd say Citation Needed for that political activist comment. Mike seems reasonably non-partisan, and has been happy to criticise both your current legally elected government, as well as its Not-so-loyal Opposition.

    As for apologist, you know that's an out-and-out lie. Mike has stated on innumerable occasions that he doesn't support so-called piracy. All he does is advocates for recognising that piracy happens, so how best to deal with it. That's a bit like calling someone who makes a suggestion to be careful of being mugged 'in favour of mugging'.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2011 @ 9:03am

    I'd say Citation Needed for that political activist comment. Mike seems reasonably non-partisan, and has been happy to criticise both your current legally elected government, as well as its Not-so-loyal Opposition.

    Where have you been? Masnick was behind the letter written by the so-called "tech entrepreneurs" and has Rep Polis circulating it as a "Dear Colleague" in the House right now. That's political activism.

    As for apologist, you know that's an out-and-out lie. Mike has stated on innumerable occasions that he doesn't support so-called piracy. All he does is advocates for recognising that piracy happens, so how best to deal with it.

    Masnick is perhaps the biggest piracy apologist on the Internet. He continuously attacks any and every reasonable measure proposed to curtail infringement. And never has he offered a single viable solution. Which includes his goofy "connect with fans" business model.

    Piracy prevents new distribution models from taking root. How will a start up streaming company compete if they have to pay for content while pirate sites are able to offer the same service without having to pay for content?

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 24th, 2011 @ 12:30am

    Re: He continuously attacks any and every reasonable measure proposed to curtail infringement.

    Feel free to point out any instance of a “reasonable” measure that Mike has “attacked”. This blog has a very good search facility, cross-indexing every single post that he has ever done, complete with references. So if such instances exist, you should be able to point them out to us, shouldn’t you?

    Go on, we’re waiting.

     

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


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