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Swedish Pirate Party Gains 3000 Members In 7 Hours 410

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the unintended-consequences dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Due to outrage over the verdict in The Pirate Bay trial, the Swedish Pirate Party has gained 3000 members in less than 7 hours. It is now bigger than 3 of the 7 parties represented in the Swedish parliament. 'Ruling means that our political work must now be stepped up. We want to ensure that the Pirate Bay activities — to link people and information — is clearly lawful. And we want to do it for all people in Sweden, Europe and the world, continues Rick Falk Vinge. We want it to be open for ordinary people to disseminate and receive information without fear of imprisonment or astronomical damages.'"
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Swedish Pirate Party Gains 3000 Members In 7 Hours

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  • Wow.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mia'cova (691309) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:35PM (#27620397)

    Wow. I honestly didn't think TPB broke any swedish laws. The name is cute but the site doesn't favor pirated content over legal content. I don't get it.

    • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:39PM (#27620443) Homepage Journal

      The name might just be in reference to TPB.

      Unfortunately, even though they got 3,000 members, 90% of them are leachers.

      • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by againjj (1132651) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:55PM (#27620669)
        3000 MORE members, for a total of 17,799.
      • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Goblez (928516) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:59PM (#27620713)
        Hahahaha. The truth is that most of these supporters probably are 'leachers', unwilling to actually expend their own effort to support it. But hey, isn't that 95% of America's political party 'supporters' as well?
        • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:39PM (#27621163)

          Being a supporter means that you're paying subs. Even if they can't be arsed to go out and do any campaigning they're making a difference by giving money plus they're likely to talk about issues that the party raises in their newsletters.

          As someone who is a member of a minority party (in the UK) I'd be very happy if we got 3,000 fee paying members all of a sudden. That kind of money and mind-share is what can lead to electoral victory.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Zibri (1063838)

            Micro howto for signing up in the swedish Piratpartiet:
            1. Go to piratpartiet.se
            2. Sign up as a member
            3. Done.

            So, they are definitly not "paying supporters", and most probably won't lift a finger for "The Cause" (???). I'd probably guess that most are 18yrs, so they can't even vote in the upcoming election for the EU parlament.

  • Arghhhh Cap'n (Score:4, Interesting)

    by howman (170527) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:36PM (#27620415)
    A party it will be.... Just hope it doesn't end up some sophomoric anger fest and the spokespeople have a solid message and play by the rules.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:37PM (#27620427)
    Do what you want, 'cause a pirate is free,
    YOU ARE A PIRATE!
    Yar har, fiddle di dee,
    Being a pirate is alright to be,
    Do what you want 'cause a pirate is free,
    You are a pirate!

    (spoken)You are a pirate!
    (crowd)Yay!

    We've got us a map, (a map!)
    To lead us to a hidden box,
    That's all locked up with locks! (with locks!)
    And buried deep away!

    We'll dig up the box, (the box!)
    We know it's full of precious booty!
    Burst open the locks!
    And then we'll say hooray!
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:37PM (#27620431) Homepage Journal

    so what we have here is a possibility that in the future a 'pirate' party controls the government maybe? Would Obama with his RIAA lawyer friends declare Sweden to be part of axis of evil and will actually bomb them to bring in the democracy US style (where only 2 parties are really allowed to hold the government in practice).

    That bunker [datacenterknowledge.com], that one of their ISP has may just come in handy.

    • That bunker [datacenterknowledge.com], that one of their ISP has may just come in handy.

      Actually, that ISP is one of our best supporters and we have all of our Pirate Party servers in that bunker. ;-)

    • by Ralish (775196) <ralish@noSpaM.gmail.com> on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:27PM (#27621035)
      You don't need to get into government to affect the political process; rather, you need enough seats to be able to have a significant impact on the likelihood of legislation getting through the parliament. I suspect this is what they are aiming for. I'm not sure what the composition is of the American parliament, for instance, but many countries have minor parties with significant representation.

      For example, here in Australia the Greens have several seats in the Senate, enough in fact, that the Government can't pass legislation without their support (assuming they don't have the support of the opposition). This usually isn't a problem, as the Greens will generally go along with most of the government legislation. But, for certain pieces, for example, the government is forced to make concessions to appease the Greens if they wish to get the legislation through.

      The point being, if you need the support of a party in order to get more controversial legislation through, you may well find you need to make concessions to other parties in areas that aren't core to your political ideology in order to advance your main cause. I suspect this is what The Pirate Party would like to achieve. No real aspirations for government, just enough representation to change the law in the areas they really care about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      "The Bunker guys", the ISP Bahnhof have actually done a great thing. They have pointed to an older (but still valid) law which states that telcos and ISP's should save as little information about their customers communication as possible, meaning ISP's are allowed and supposed to delete logs when not needed anymore.

      The new IPRED law states that ISP's have to give out logs to the RIAA etc. after a court ruling. They do not need to give them out if they dont have them, so amazingly Bahnhof is an ISP that i
  • I suggest (Score:5, Funny)

    by BigJClark (1226554) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:37PM (#27620437)

    I suggest creating a facebook group and tying a coloured ribbon around the antennae of your car. This is what we do in Canada.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:47PM (#27620545)
      In America, we can't figure out how to do anything requiring skill like tying a ribbon, so we just buy a magnet shaped like a ribbon, and slap it on the car.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @07:11PM (#27621539)
        In Europe, we do have ready-made ribbons, but we cannot afford them, so we buy them imported from the Chinese and still lack the skill of tying a ribbon. The world's a sad place, unless you're Chinese. That doesn't make any sense at all, though, so forget that you read this post.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hottie Parms (1364385)

      I suggest creating a facebook group and tying a coloured ribbon around the antennae of your car. This is what we do in Canada.

      Modded insightful? No offense, but how is this insightful? I find it more humorous or ironic than Insightful.

      Not saying it shouldn't be modded up, just the "insightful part".

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Qubit (100461)

      I suggest creating a facebook group and tying a coloured ribbon around the antennae of your car. This is what we do in Canada.

      I dunno -- pirates with colored ribbons? I don't think it'll catch on very well.

      I'd suggest that you tie an appropriate flag [wordpress.com] on there instead.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:40PM (#27620465) Homepage

    A political party is worthless if it doesn't have any card-carrying members in office legislating, judiciating or executing... (that doesn't quite sound right, but okay... you get the idea)

    When is the next election cycle? THAT is when things really get shaken up.

  • isn't it any wonder that this verdict is so provocative? There's an elephant in the room, and this is just the sort of news that could make people take a second look. We all know that copying in an age of information abundance is inevitable. And so is the martyrdom of the TPB founders. All power to their elbows. Shame it didn't happen just before Easter...
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:45PM (#27620525)
    Are You Ready Swedes?
    Aye Aye Captain
    I Can't Hear You
    AYE AYE CAPTAIN
    OHHHHHH
    Who lives in a datacenter under the sea?
    computer vetenskapsman!
    Absorbant and yellow and porous are we?
    computer vetenskapsman!
    Who's nautical nonsense be something you wish?
    computer vetenskapsman!
    So drop on the deck and flop like a fish! computer vetenskapsman!
    Ready?
    computer vetenskapsman!
    computer vetenskapsman!
    computer vetenskapsman!
    computer vetenskapsman!
  • by omar.sahal (687649) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:48PM (#27620547) Homepage Journal

    We needed to protect the free and open society, and we needed to assure that the future of culture in people's hands instead of in the hands of media companies who want to bring culture lovers in prison.

    This is taken from the automaticly translated article.
    If these guys are genuine that may be something. By genuine I mean fight intellectual property nonsense, not nut jobs who believe that it is ok to just take others work. They don't sound genuine, however.
    I said this before but I say it again. I think business is good in general, a chronic lack of wealth has a negative effect on sociality. However large corporations (I believe this started in the eighties) now think that to protect their profits they must control a market. This is done through laws that where instituted by means of lobbying, or the extension of laws to areas where they were never meant for. Its OK if there are three or so other big players, then you cant be called a monopoly and be broken up. These people (like banks) have a short term view of things and can harm the competitiveness of the western world.
    You can see this in music, with fees for sampling music. There even a role over rate involved so if an artist has success they pay more for the samples per song, which consumes most of your profit. (the four) Big companies in music are the ones who profit while every one pays out. IP also plays a apart in IT as well, with the added negative (from our view) that companies don't even have to have a strong case, you cant afford 5 million in court fees so you must settle

    • by wootest (694923) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:33PM (#27621101)

      "By genuine I mean fight intellectual property nonsense, not nut jobs who believe that it is ok to just take others work. They don't sound genuine, however. "

      They are genuine. They've been trying to save our privacy for the past three years, but the only time anyone notices is when TPB gets in the news internationally.

      They have a plan to eliminate medicine patents and replace them with (existing) centralized funding; the overall pile of money involved at different stages of the mutually assured destruction-like patent market would go down, and R&D could focus on R&D.

      They want to shorten the lifespan of Copyright dramatically - I think the plan is for 5 years. (This comes out of a continuous discussion between different fields, where every field believes 5 or 10 years is a great duration for every field but their own, because they have to continue making money; thus the only way out besides continuing the stalemate is to just set a new figure across the board.) They also want non-commercial "infringement" even within the short period to always be legal as an extension of the library concept, where public culture is made available for every citizen.

      They've been against the law allowing the Swedish Military Radio Institute to tap any Internet traffic crossing the border to listen for weakly defined "outer threats". Not only is it impossible from within Sweden to tell what'll cross the border or not and easy for actual terrorists (or what have you) to route around or use encryption, in order for them to be able to tap *some* traffic, they must be able to filter *all* traffic. Which means that every byte of Internet traffic inside Sweden (including this reply) passes through a supercomputer scanning for dangerous packets, violating the privacy of everyone and using military resources against its own citizen.

      They're also against the implementation of the IPRED directive. This is so horrible it won't fit in a paragraph, and I advice you to google it for more information, but suffice it to say that in the process of the media industry prosecuting alleged file sharers (and the evidence could easily be fraudulent) they get to take your house in custody, search it, keep all your digital storage for evidence, slap you with (explicitly allowed) out-of-proportion fines, place the burden on you in civil court to prove that you didn't do anything and force you to take out a magazine ad proclaiming your conviction.

      The Pirate Party is easily played as a bunch of schmucks that just want things for free. I can't rule out that such people are members, but it's not the strategy of the party itself, which is canny to a number of issues related to privacy and baby/bathwater situations. As far as piracy goes, though, I'm personally a member who, thanks to the large scale abolishment of music DRM as of late, download from TPB only what I can't get from iTunes otherwise, which is sadly still rather a lot. Although if they get to twist the courts into assuming guilt or causality, I'm not sure why I should be so eager to indirectly support this kind of behavior at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Wildclaw (15718)

      a chronic lack of wealth has a negative effect on sociality

      The pirate bay alone distributes millions of works of art daily. And at a damn low cost. If that isn't creating wealth, I don't know what is.

      Of course, you will not see it directly in the GDP, because things that can be produced for free isn't worth anything economically, which goes to show just how messed up the subject of economics really is. Introduce replicators into a country and watch the GDP collapse as noone is willing to pay for expensive goods produced by factories, nor for shopkeepers that just d

  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rm999 (775449)

    Sweden has 10 million peoeple - 3000 isn't that many. This is like saying "Alaska's secessionist party has 150 more people because Palin lost!" To play a real part in politics they'll need at least 10x as many people.

    More importantly, this case is giving the issue a lot of renewed attention. I'm happy about that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The number of voters will be more than the number of members. Far from everyone who votes for a party is a card carrying member.

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:26PM (#27621019) Homepage

      Sweden has 10 million peoeple - 3000 isn't that many. This is like saying "Alaska's secessionist party has 150 more people because Palin lost!" To play a real part in politics they'll need at least 10x as many people.

      I'm sure the three parties with less members will love to hear they're utterly insignificant, being in parliament and all. How many third parties are in the US Congress? Senate? Oh, right. Also, the actual figure as of this moment is over 5000 new members today alone. Let me now give you Swedens biggest parties by current memberships compared to percentage in last election.

      Socialdemokraterna (s) 100639 members - 2006 elections: 1,942,625 votes - 34.99% - 130 seats
      Moderaterna (m) 54858 members - 2006 elections: 1,456,014 votes - 26.23% - 97 seats
      Centern (c) 47866 members - 2006 elections: 437,389 votes - 7.88% - 29 seats
      Kristdemokraterna (kd) 22919 members - 2006 elections: 365,998 votes - 6.59% - 24 seats
      Piratpartiet (pp) 19693 members - 2006 elections: 34,918 votes - 0.63% - 0 seats
      Folkpartiet (fp) 17799 members - 2006 elections: 418,395 votes - 7.54% - 28 seats
      Vänsterpartiet (v) 10700 members - 2006 elections: 324,722 votes - 5.85% - 22 seats
      Miljöpartiet (mp) 9110 members - 2006 elections: 291,121 votes - 5.24% - 19 seats

      I think you can safely say the Pirate Party will do a lot better election next year than 2006. Also this year in June it's election for EU parliament, where they also stand very good chances now.

      Oh yeah, and did you know what is now Swedens biggest youth party?

      Ung Pirat (up) 9400
      Moderata ungdomsförbundet (muf) 9153
      Sveriges socialdemokratiska ungdomsförbund (ssu) 5431

      That's right, "Young Pirate" now has more members than the youth organization of Moderaterna and Socialdemokraterna - Swedens biggest parties. Yeah, politically insignificant. Right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dHagger (1192545)

      The stats from midnight (yes, it's just turned saturday here in Sweden) shows they now have 19693 members - a gain of 4868 members in 12 hours - almost 33%! That makes them the fifth largest party in Sweden, only 3226 members from number four - and almost 1/5 the size of the largest party (Socialdemokraterna) who has 100639 members. Adding to that, their youth organization is now the largest political youth group in Sweden with 9397 members ("Moderata ungdomsfÃrbundet" is second with 9153 members).

      So w

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Celc (1471887) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:49PM (#27621299)

      You should be ashamed for modding parent up as he clearly is clueless about what it takes to be real party in a country with more than two parties.

      The pirate party has more members than three parties that currently has seats in parliament and might by the the end of the weekend have more than four of the seven. That's with a fair margin too as they got twise as many people as of two of them while *only* having 19,790 members in total. 3000 members out of 19,790 is quite a lot.

      Also due to the low voter turnout for the EU election the pirate party would need about 100,000 votes to get a mandate and I'm quite confident the 20,000 party members who care enough to take stand on the issue can bring those numbers in.

  • by DirtyCanuck (1529753) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:49PM (#27620577)
    In other news, RIAA navy seals under cover of night parachute into Swedish prison and with 4 well placed shots.....
  • by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich@ a n n e x i a . org> on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:52PM (#27620623) Homepage

    It's interesting the difference with the US. "Kids" in Sweden are engaging properly in the political process, forming a party and making (real) change happen. Rather than just rolling over and accepting the situation with "nothing we can do" and "who can we vote for, they're all the same".

    Rich.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:58PM (#27620693)

      Perhaps because the Swedes have a system that allows for multiple parties?
      Our system insures third parties never get anywhere.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Our system insures third parties never get anywhere.

        I wasn't aware that voting for a third party in the US was illegal ... Oh wait, it isn't illegal. You're just enunciating the "nothing we can do" argument.

        Rich.

      • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:32PM (#27621087)

        It's not our system that ensures that, it's the attitude of the people that ensures it. The system is quite well set up to handle as many parties as we want. People just only -want- 2.

        My pet theory on that is that people want a simple choice, one or the other. When you give them a complex choice, they get frustrated.

        • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday April 17, 2009 @07:02PM (#27621453) Journal

          FPTP is inherently flawed, and leads to people just voting for one of the two popular choices. In Sweden however, they use a system of proportional representation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Sweden#Seat_allocation [wikipedia.org]

          There are many different voting systems, all with different advantages and disadvantage, and almost all of them are far superior to FPTP that is sadly used in most countries.

          My pet theory on that is that people want a simple choice, one or the other. When you give them a complex choice, they get frustrated.

          I don't know if that's true or not, but the problem is that FPTP voting is inherently flawed with more than two choices. It's got nothing to do with the mindset of the voter.

          For example, if I ask what people's favourite music is, and the poll options and results are:

          * Electronic music : 35%
          * Heavy metal : 25%
          * Death metal : 20%
          * Thrash metal : 20%

          Then under FPTP, electronic music wins. But clearly, people favour metal to electronic by 65% to 35%! The problem is that if there are multiple similar options, the vote gets split between them.

          There are many other kinds of flaws that can occur in different systems - e.g., take a read of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_system#Criteria_in_evaluating_single_winner_voting_systems [wikipedia.org] .

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Well some of us whippersnappers in the U.S. tried to institute a shift in ideals during the last election with Ron Paul. Unfortunately our hopes were squelched effectively when the mainstream media made a point to shoot Ron Paul's election bid in the face before it had a chance to be recognized. It's hard to inspire motivation in a generation of U.S. citizens that has been consistently reminded that no matter how hard we kick and scream or what kind of political ruckus we make, there is always and over-aggr
  • by brucmack (572780) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:00PM (#27620725)

    I was pleasantly suprised to read a story about the ruling on the Danish public service channel's homepage today. The Danish advokatrådet (council of solicitors) has pointed out that the decision could have consequences for other sites that merely link to illegal files, like Google, and have encouraged the responsible minister to take preventative action. So here's hoping the ruling will end up helping us get some reasonable legislation passed!

  • What this means (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:01PM (#27620739)

    We have similar situations all over the world and in Germany too. Legislatory and Courts not understanding the concepts in Network technology and that they require a whole new different approach and perspective for reasonable legislation and judgement. At the same time IT is growing so fast and becoming a central part of our lives that the people affected are a significant political force. I think this is sort of a generation problem too. What I find interesting is that more and more the effect of IT on our lives - and thus on politics aswell - is growing stronger and stronger. I hope this party gains traction in sweden and isn't just a fad.

  • by One Louder (595430) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:36PM (#27621135)
    I hear Somalia is more receptive to piracy.
  • Astronomical? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sverrehu (22545) on Friday April 17, 2009 @07:52PM (#27621975) Homepage

    Astronomical? Like in millions of millions of stars?

    If you compare to Oslo, the capitol of Norway, the closes neighbour to Sweden, the four guys have been sentenced to pay the price of a big house each (that is: four houses in total, in case I get the wording wrong) in the second most expensive part of the city. It's a lot of money (a lot!), but hardly astronomical.

  • interesting (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eric-Dcrow (1532667) on Friday April 17, 2009 @07:55PM (#27622003)
    this was posted by Anonymous Coward at another site today but i thought it would fit nicely here. "As to predictions... Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1841, against the extension of copyright http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Copyright_Law_(Macaulay) [wikisource.org] Only quoting the ending, but the speech as a whole is a very good read "I am so sensible, Sir, of the kindness with which the House has listened to me, that I will not detain you longer. I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one-tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim's Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living. If I saw, Sir, any probability that this bill could be so amended in the Committee that my objections might be removed, I would not divide the House in this stage. But I am so fully convinced that no alteration which would not seem insupportable to my honorable and learned friend, could render his measure supportable to me, that I must move, though with regret, that this bill be read a second time this day six months." S!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Airw0lf (795770)
      That is a remarkably insightful and prescient speech from ~170 years ago that basically explains the problem with DRM today. If copyright is perceived to be enforced unfairly and to the detriment of the end-user then people will work towards undermining it: "Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot." The Pirate Bay is one example of this phenomenon.
  • Scared off my ass (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BountyX (1227176) on Saturday April 18, 2009 @01:08AM (#27623853)
    I operate a tor exit node and must admit that this is scary. I donate my traffic to people in china who have to route around their government's firewall. Some of them, torrent shit, even through port 80. It cannot be helped. I had hope that Sweden would stand up to the media corps, alas, a day may come where I, as a node operator, am sued for routing 'illegal' downloads.

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