The lately reported growth in number of the Sweden’s Pirate Party supporters showed in yesterday’s election for EU Parliament when their vote assured activist Christian Engström a seat in the European Parliament.
What triggered this growth in popularity was partly the verdict given against the four founders of The Pirate Bay (sentenced for a year in jail and fined millions), partly Swedish government’s enforcing of the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) back in April.
While not related to the Pirate Bay torrent site, the Pirate Party goal is to get internet file-sharing legalized and protect Internet users’ privacy online. The party’s agenda includes radical reform of copyright law, the discard of the patent system and guaranteed privacy rights on the web.
The party managed to take 7.1 percent of votes in Sweden and consequently won one of that country’s 18 seats in the European Parliament.
Wired.com has posted recently an interview with Christian Engström, who strongly believes that copyright legislation is turning into a real threat to privacy.
“If politicians want to prevent ordinary citizens from sharing files, they will constantly have to expand their ability to monitor,” Engström said in a telephone interview. “It’s necessary to reform the copyright legislation to ensure that citizens’ right to privacy is respected.”