Sweden's pirate party sails to success in European elections

11 June 2009

A wave of revulsion against a law that targets filesharers has swept the Pirate party into a seat at the European parliament.

Not even in existence when the last European elections took place, the Pirate party managed to secure 7% of the national vote in Sweden, beating the country's Eurosceptic party, June List, which suffered a collapse in its vote.

Two events have taken copyright to the fore in Sweden, which has the highest penetration of high-speed broadband-fibre connections in Europe. In April, the Swedish government brought into force the EU's intellectual property (IP) enforcement directive, which demands that internet service providers turn over traffic data to copyright holders who are trying to track down filesharers. Later that month, a court sentenced The Pirate Bay's owners to a year in jail on top of awarding damages of SKr30m (£2.5m).

Following the case, the Pirate party, which campaigns for patents to be scrapped and copyright to last just five years instead of 70, trebled its membership to more than 45,000.

You can read the rest at the Guardian website.