Swedish Pirate Party’s Influence Beginning to Show…

Swedish Pirate Party Flag

Seven members of the Swedish Parliament have published an opinion piece calling for the decriminalization of filesharing. Written in reaction to a government analyst’s recommendation that file-sharers be punished by losing their Internet connections, the letter is practically a verbatim recitation of what the Swedish Pirate Party has been saying for a long time now:

“…Decriminalizing all non-commercial file sharing and forcing the market to adapt is not just the best solution. It’s the only solution, unless we want an ever more extensive control of what citizens do on the Internet. Politicians who play for the antipiracy team should be aware that they have allied themselves with a special interest that is never satisfied and that will always demand that we take additional steps toward the ultimate control state…”

When he visited the United States last summer, Rick Falkvinge, the Pirate Party’s founder, pointed out that one of the Party’s most important functions was educating other politicians. By competing for seats in Parliament, the Party forces other candidates to give more attention to copyright and patent issues, out of fear of losing votes to the Pirates. It looks like that’s exactly what’s happened here. If so, kudos to Rick and the Pirate Party: they’ve made a powerful argument for valuing civil liberties over obsolete business models, and it’s clearly catching on when members of Parliament from the Moderate Party adopt a major plank from the Pirate Party platform.

[Update: Over at the P2P Consortium, there’s a good new interview with Rick Falkvinge up. Shameless confession: we’re very pleased to see the references there to Falkvinge’s speaking tour here last summer, which QuestionCopyright.org arranged.]

5 Comments on "Swedish Pirate Party’s Influence Beginning to Show…"

  1. If you want a market adaptation, then I’ve got it (I think). I am currently trying to launch a new online marketplace (Propagate Ltd) that may be the win-win solution to digital piracy that everyone has been waiting for. Instead of just selling restricted copies of creative works, it enables copyright owners to sell certain rights to the collective “public”. In other words, one can allow redistribution rights go to the public domain after collecting enough money from enough people to compensate.

    If it works, then creative artists could have their cake and eat it too: Get paid a lump sum to let go of a royalty stream, and then gain new fans/customers as their now royalty-free work is spread around by profit seeking sharers racing to saturate the market.

    Please visit my new site, read its self description, and let me know how to get it off the ground. (If you like the concept, you might even digg it).

    Jeffry R. Fisher
    President, Propagate Digital Content, Limited

    1. Thanks for the informative post, Jeffry, and good luck.

      Just curious: is this the same as the Threhold Pledge System, first described in The Promise of a Post-Copyright World? It sounds like it is, but with an early-access provision for the funders.

      Ideas are a dime a dozen, though (and shouldn’t be monopolized anyway); it’s implementation that counts. We wish you every success!

  2. Somehow your page just popped up as the result for a search for “pirate party” … which is what my five-year old wants for his birthday party!

    But now I’m here … it sounds as if Rick Falkvinge is laying out a very sensible approach to educating other politicians in the Swedish parliament. Particularly if he and the Swedish Pirate Party can make the Moderates walk the plank. (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist that one.)

    Sherri Adams

  3. Sweden’s pirate party is great, they are working hard to stop average people from getting tossed into jail for filesharing. They are the first legitimate strike against the RIAA and as someone who owns a website where I sell hip hop beats (which is considered filesharing) I’m glad I don’t have to worry about jail.

    [note: edited for typos and links]