When the Swedish Pirate Party announced, back in mid-May, that they were the new ISP of The Pirate Bay, it surprised a lot of people. With their latest announcement, that they will run The Pirate Bay from inside the Swedish Parliament, they hope they will surprise people again.
The Pirate Parties around the world are best known for copyright activism and are often seen as a ‘one-issue party’. While they also focus on privacy, government transparency, free speech, and patent reform, it is copyright that people’s minds spring to. So, with an election coming up, the Swedish Pirate Party has decided to play to their strength.
The party has announced today that they intend to use part of the Swedish Constitution to further these goals, specifically Parliamentary Immunity from prosecution or lawsuit for things done as part of their political mandate. They intend to push the non-commercial sharing part of their manifesto, by running The Pirate Bay from ‘inside’ the Parliament, by Members of Parliament.
This move will certainly push the site to center-stage in Sweden. It will ensure a huge amount of scrutiny in any and all decisions made regarding the site, which is undoubtedly the intent.
“Sweden has long been a nation at the forefront of IT. But we have fallen in the rankings, largely because today’s politicians do not see the connection between file-sharing culture and future industry skills. We have now moved from place three to eight in available household bandwidth,” the Pirate Party informed TorrentFreak in a statement.
“There is no reason for us to accept this development – there are no technical reasons for this, only political.”
“Therefore, we can never accept the copyright industry’s way of systematically and legally harassing anyone who tries to build next-generation industries. The approach is criminal in the world and should be criminal in Sweden also, professional saboteurs are professional criminals, whoever they get their money from,” the Party added.
Aside from hosting The Pirate Bay in Parliament, the Pirate Party also plans to criminalize copyright lawsuits against noncommercial file-sharers and websites, as well as lawsuits against ISPs for linking to copyrighted material.
“The Lobby is used to using dirty tricks. Let’s see them take on legislators under constitutional protection who aim to criminalize their entire bag of dirty tricks,” Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge told us.
Of course, the plan can only take place if the Party wins some seats in the September 19th Elections, where there is a 4% barrier to overcome. However, last June they did manage 7% in the European Parliament elections, so it’s not an impossible goal by any means. We will have to wait and see what September brings.
If The Pirate Party succeeds it will add some more controversy to the upcoming appeal of the ‘Pirate Bay Four’, which is currently scheduled to take place a month after the general elections.