STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s Pirate Party, striking a chord with voters who want more free content on the Internet, won a seat in the European Parliament, early results showed on Sunday.
The Pirate Party captured 7.1 percent of votes in Sweden in the Europe-wide ballot, enough to give it a single seat. The party wants to deregulate copyright, abolish the patent system and reduce surveillance on the Internet.
“This is fantastic!” Christian Engstrom, the party’s top candidate, told Reuters. “This shows that there are a lot of people who think that personal integrity is important and that it matters that we deal with the Internet and the new information society in the right way.”
Previously an obscure group of single-issue activists, the party enjoyed a jump in popularity after the conviction in April of four men behind The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s biggest free file-sharing website.
Congratulations to Engstrom and the rest of the PP team!
This demonstrated that digital rights issues have hit the public consciousness in Sweden. And because other European societies are not really that different from Sweden, it’s very likely that if the content corporations continue to push for bad laws, Pirate Parties will grow throughout Europe, and eventually will have the politcal strength to stop them taking away out digital rights.
So this sends a clear message to IFPI, the MPAA, RIAA, and all tjhe other music and film industry acronyms: you’re lost, we’ve won, it’s all over bar the shouting. The only question now is how long it’s going to taske you (and governments) to realise you’ve lost, and how much damage you can do in that short time you have left.