Online piracy found a new ally, when Richard Falkvinge, a Swedish citizen, decided to initiate a political party. Sweden's newest political organisation, which calls itself the Pirate Party, has a clear-cut agenda: abolish copyright and patent laws. This is the first instance where online file sharers have moved from exchanging songs and movies to changing the political landscape in the next general election in September.
Online piracy is big in Sweden. It is estimated that of the nine million Swedish subscribers, around 1.1 million have swapped files. Last year, 15 million movies were downloaded, which was equivalent to the number of cinema tickets sold. Sweden has one of the highest proportions of broadband subscribers in the world. Looking at the immense number of file swappers in Sweden, it is nearly impossible to prosecute every file sharer.
Understandably, the party has not found many friends in the creative industries. However, there are some who support sharing over the Internet. For instance, in Britain, the Arctic Monkeys topped the charts while encouraging listeners to swap their songs online. As more creators upload free content for Internet users, pirates rejoice.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.