Pirates Capture Trove of Swedish Votes, EU Parliamentary SeatJun 8th, 2009 | By Elisabeth Lewin | Category: Commentary, The New Media Update
Campaigning for sweeping reform of copyright, privacy and patent laws, Sweden’s Pirate Party this weekend won enough votes in the country’s national elections to secure a seat (possibly two) in the European Parliament. Sweden is accorded 17 representatives in the EU governing legislature, and the Pirate Party’s 7.1 percent showing is enough for at least one of the Swedish seats.
The Pirate Party, was founded in 2006, and got a boost in the Swedish polls earlier this spring, when bittorrent tracking site Pirate Bay was in all the news. The owners of Pirate Bay, called “the world’s most high-profile file-sharing website” by BBC News, in April were found guilty of assistance to copyright infringement, and sentenced to one year in prison and payment of a fine of approx. $3.6 million.
Rickard Falkvinge, the leader of the Pirate Party, said that the outcome of the trial angered many Swedes and “played a significant role” in the party’s showing in this week’s elections.