As September’s general elections approach, a number of new political parties have appeared in Sweden. The latest is the Pirate Party, focused on decriminalizing Internet piracy and abolishing intellectual property rights.
The move comes just seven months after Sweden passed a law banning the sharing of copyrighted material on the Internet without the paying of royalties, in a bid to crack down on free downloading of music, films, and computer games.
Only 24 hours after the party website went up January 1st, more than 2000 people had signed the online petition to make the movement an official political party. That was well ahead of the required minimum, and a day later the petition campaign closed, with 4700 names on the list.
Party founder Rickard Falkvinge is optimistic about getting the 4 percent minimum for a seat in parliament. He says studies show there one million active file-sharers in this country of nine million. If one quarter of them vote for the party, Falkvinge says, the Pirate Party will get into parliament.
He claims the party won’t be lining up within the traditional left-right blocks, as they are not red, blue, or green. They are, he says, just pirates.