Wired News has just published the conclusion (part one here) of Quinn Norton's fantastic feature on Sweden's piracy movement. Yesterday she talked about the technology wing, The Pirate Bay service that helps visitors find places to download movies, music and other works. Today she talks about the movement that it's engendered: The Pirate Party, a political party that's spreading to other countries and The Pirate Bureau, a kind of ethereal pro-piracy think-tank.
Striding through the narrow, cobbled streets of Gamla Stan, Falkvinge looks nothing like a politician in his "Pirat" baseball cap and polo shirt. "We have a lot in common with the environmental movement," he says. Where environmentalists see destruction of natural resources, the pirates see culture at risk. "(We) saw a lot of hidden costs to society in the way companies maximize their copyright."
Falkvinge is interrupted by a passing teenager. She's a young punk, with green dreads and a jacket covered in an indistinguishable combination of angry quips and band names — in short, exactly the type who once would have spent her disposable income on music.
She takes out a piece of notebook paper and asks Falkvinge for an autograph.