Gamex Pulls The Welcome Mat Out From Under The Pirate Party
from the here-today-gone-tomorrow dept
For several months leading up to this November’s Swedish Gamex show, the Pirate Party of Sweden had been pursued by the show’s sales staff to attend. Then the week prior to the show’s opening, the Pirate Party was told it wasn’t welcome.
“On Tuesday afternoon, I called a representative of the show with a few simple practical questions, but she seemed generally stressed out and said something vague about the show and not wanting any problems before she hung up,” says Troberg.
I thought it was a bit strange, but in the afternoon, the pieces fell into place when the fair manager, Bear Wengse, phoned me and kindly, but firmly, announced that the Pirate Party was no longer welcome at the fair.
Wengse informed Troberg that the exhibition is a meeting place and not a venue for political conflict, and the party’s presence could cause problems, particularly since some of their work “could be perceived as criminal.”
Just what those criminal works were, no one was able to explain. The details of the unvite were severely lacking. Troberg had tried to explain that the Pirate Party wants to change existing laws through the legal process and that could not conceivably be considered “criminal”. Unfortunately, no one was listening.
Frankly, it is a sad day when a political voice is silenced for no reason other than a few legacy industries not liking the message. We have already learned that here in the US, the supposed bastion of Democracy, is refusing to hear all sides of legal issues. It really comes as no surprise to find that the same people would want to block access to those same dissenting ideas. Do we really think things will get better as we move more and more toward stronger copyright? Will the next step after SOPA be the silencing of any speech that can be perceived as “pro-piracy”? I certainly hope not.