Swedish Pirate Party membership surges after Pirate Bay verdict

Yesterday's Swedish court ruling sentencing the Pirate Bay defendants to a year in prison caused membership in Sweden's Pirate Party to swell, attracting 3,000 members in seven hours. Its membership now sits at around 18,000, which makes it a respectable size in Swedish politics.
- The tough sentence on Pirate Bay clearly shows that Piratpartiet needed, "says Rick Falk Vinge, party for Piratpartiet. We needed to secure the future knowledge society.We needed to protect the free and open society, and we needed to assure that the future of culture in people's hands instead of in the hands of blodtöstiga media companies who want to bring culture lovers in prison.
Internet boil, Piratpartiet now has more members than FP (via /.)


  1. Take that IFPI/MPAA, and what a good job you did indeed!

    Is it surprising anyone that spamming the (TPB verdict) news around the globe is polarizing disaffected members of society?

  2. I guess you can call them “culture lovers” . Just like you can call thieves “property lovers” and pedophiles “child lovers”.

    #2 – it means blood thirsty. However, it is misspelled. There’s an R missing. Now you have to imagine where.

  3. Yeah, file sharing and pedophilia are pretty much the same thing. You should have just blown your whole hyperbole wad and compared them to baby eaters.

  4. Better translation:

    The harsh sentence on The pirate bay clearly shows that The pirate party is needed, Rick Falkvinge, party leader of The pirate party, says. We are needed to secure the information and education society of the future. We are needed to protect the free and open society, and we are needed to ensure that the culture of the future rests in the hands of the people and not in the hands of bloodthirsty media corporations who want to imprison culture lovers.

  5. Yeah Jux: just like you could call the US Army and American media companies “freedom-loving”.
    And thievery and assault are ancient crimes: just like copying information costlessly in violation of recent statute law…oh wait that last is a very recent creation.

    Oh yeah: “bloodthirsty” is one word. Fixed that for you.

  6. Then again, Americans think torture is not a crime if the US Government’s and/or President’s lawyers say it’s OK. So why should Americans be listened to at all when it comes to questions of justice?

    These Pirate Bay guys have spread around/caused a lot more happiness amongst more people than any American soldier ever has.

    1. Canuck,

      If you keep generalizing about Americans, I’m going to hold you personally responsible for Celine Dion.

  7. Now here is a party for people who do not believe in private property as it is constructed through the law. I am all in favour of a Pirate State, but do we want a Pirate World? Not sure if we ready for, what could turn out to be an extreme case of capitalism on behalf of the massess in favour of the few who have torrent access.

    Has anybody said anything about the millions without computer, who are still to get the torrent revolution and will find all of this quite amusing?

  8. We started at 14700-ish members that morning. Up untill midnight we gained 5022 members. An increase five times larger than any we’ve previously recorded. We continued gaining members all through the night and broke 20 000 members at 02:45.

    For comparison

    Those are the membership levels for the parties currently in the swedish parliament.

    PP sits at 21 491 at 16:55 local time in sweden.

  9. And now we’re at 22444 members, soon to pass the christian democratic party (we’re adding 150 members per hour and they’re at 22900).


    //Daniel Nyström, The Pirate Party / Stockholm / Sweden

  10. A few minutes ago we passed the Christian Democrats, making us the fourth largest party in sweden by mebership count.

    22:39 CET – 24447

    Also our youth section is the largest in sweden bar none and even larger than two of the parties in parliamnent.

  11. Hah! I love it! Imagine the Swedish government taken over by the Pirate Party! Haul down the old flag, hoist the Jolly Roger and devote the entire nations resources to plunder and rapine across a helpless globe. ARRRRR!

  12. OK, I’ll have to practice that one. I suppose a spray can with half-stencil would work..

    How about changing the law and THEN plundering? Winning is no reason to give up piracy. And I think you mean Stockholm there Padraig, but I suspect there is more vodka in Helsinki.

  13. I was so PO’ed about the trial that I tried to sign up but to no avail…too bad for me, but this is a great way to make martyrs out of benign hackers, so hopefully Swedish jails are less repulsive than ours

  14. Somehow I doubt the establishment in Sweden is terribly worried about the organizing abilities of a bunch of stoners who sit around thinking of ways they can rip off artists.

  15. Sorry for the off-topic response…

    Hey Ugly Canuck, while I’m sure I share your disgust with a lot of the U.S.’s military actions, to be fair you should realize that a lot of good has come from American soldiers – at least when their orders aren’t coming from a malicious idiot.

    WWII perhaps? Just saying…

    Now, back on the topic…

    It would be funny if the MAFIAA overlords look back at the Pirate Bay convictions as the start of a world-wide political force towards freeing culture. Karma – gotta love it.

  16. Arrrrrrrrrrrr Takuan, right ye be, right ye be.

    I was arrrrrrrrrrrrrrfter the grog. ‘Twas thinkin’ it be tooooooooooo dangerous to go to Stockholm, what with all that syndrome ye could be getting and me without me stop-itch cream in me travel chest.

    The boys have had enough of the scratchin’ themselves and weren’t too keen on catchin’ anything else. Plus onece the lassies catch you scratchin’ ye self they was none too keen no matter how many pieces of eight the boys would cross their palms with.

  17. Plus, it got me to thinkin. Helsinki seems a safe place. They be lockin’ up pirates in Stockholm!

    So, if ye be on your way to Helsinki…me and the lads will be right behind ye!!!

  18. Interesting approach to building support for a new political party – but this is the age of the internet.
    I wonder how the Pirate Party can harnass the goodwill outside Sweden – political parties in other countries too?

  19. A point that is usually overlooked when discussing about piracy is the fact that we live in democracies so if majority of population thinks P2P should be legal it should actually be.

    I’ve never been a supporter of piracy since I worked in the Software industry but I think that the econocalypse should help us change our minds on a lot of issues so that we can be able to transform this situation in a chance to evolve. P2P is one of the key factors of the NEW SOCIETY we all live in, from Tokyo to NY, and luddites pairing with RIAA looks like communists fighting against capitalism back in the days… Something you can not understand is not always wrong…

    anyway P2P movie downloaders are like people watching new movies on intercontinental flights. Usually they watch movies they wouldn’t even know existed and in a good % will buy (or promote/support in some way) the movies they relly liked…

    In our societies we don’t ask to people running Jails what should be illegal or they would make everything illegal to maximise their business: same way we shouldn’t allow RIAA and friends to decide what should be legal or not…

  20. Since I know almost nothing about the Swedish political system, how closely does this party membership translate into political power? Does Sweden have a legislature based more on the British model where elections can be held any time there is a no confidence vote or more on the American model of elections at fixed intervals? Are representatives based on geographical districts or proportions of the total vote? Does the fourth largest party actually matter or is this about as significant as if the Right to Life Party gained more members than the Libertarian Party in the US?

    Is there any chance that one of the major Swedish political parties will see this as an issue and attempt to co-opt the issue to pick up an additional 20,000 votes?

  21. Sweden “is” a representative democracy. To gain a seat in the parliament you need at least 4% of the national votes, at which point you actually gain 17 seats.

    For the upcoming EuroParl election we need roughly 100 000 votes to send our top name to the EU if voter turn out stays and the normal 40%.

    In the national elections, next one is 2010 for us, voter turn out has historically been at 80% with a slow decline.

    It’s possible for the parliament to force a new election, but that has only been used once I think.

    It’s also possible to gain seats, at least in the national vote, by having large support in a specific district, but it’s very though and I doubt any party has ever managed that.

    Membership levels are down in Swedish politics across the board. the greens was the only party in parliament that didn’t loose members last year. They gained 65. So PP gaining 15 000 members in a weekend IS significant. Also, in the case of our youth section, they get financed from the surplus from our state gambling monopoly (as does every other youth organization in Sweden, political or not) based on their membership count on members below the age of 26. I think they gained 5000 new members this weekend. This year they got money based on the ~1300 members they had 2007 to a total of 115k €.

    It doesn’t automatically mean a seat in EuroParl, because most of our members are born in the 80s, a notoriously difficult group (which includes me) to get to vote in the EU elections. Then again, I have never noted for the EuroParl before but right now I want nothing more than for the votes to begin so I can go shove that piece of paper in the ballot box! And chances are good there are more like me.

    For comparison we got 35 000 votes in 2006 with about 10000 members.

    The parties in parliament, haven’t started co-opting our issues yet, but I’m sure it will come. However Gudrun Schyman, chairwoman for the feminist initiative, a small party also outside the parliament, was interviewed today and said to be “furious” at the verdict.

    Each members is defiantly more than one vote, but how much more is hard to say.

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