New Pirate Parties spring up all over Europe

After the Swedish Pirate Party (devoted to copyright liberalization and Internet freedom) took a seat* in the last EU election, new local Pirate Parties have launched in France (where a series of restrictive Internet laws have been proposed by Sarkozy) and the Czech Republic.

The Czech party has collected 2,500 electronic signatures to date and hopes to compete in October elections. It was just certified as an official political party by the Czech Interior Ministry under the name "Českou pirátskou stranu" (ČPS).

"We do not want any political posts," spokesperson Ondrej Profant told Czech news agency CTK. "If we managed to implement our program exclusively on the level of thinking, which means that large parties would embrace it as their own we would be satisfied."

Like many of the other European pirate parties, the Czechs lack a broad political program; they care only about intellectual property issues and hope to partner with other parties in a coalition.

The French pirates have little more than a Facebook group and a WordPress blog at the moment, but they too hope to shape policy in the aftermath of the Swedish Pirate Party's win. France might seen like fertile soil for such a party to flourish, since the government has been pushing a tough "three strikes" law. To date, the group has 1,600 members of a Facebook group.

Pirate parties parade through Prague, Paris

*Two seats, if the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified