Many readers may recognize that lyric from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, but in Sweden a Pirates life has a much different meaning. A Swedish political party Known as the Pirate Party recently won 7.1 percent of the Swedish vote to claim one of the country’s 18 seats in the European parliament. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/06/08/pirate.party.eu.win/index.html

“The clueless offline politicians are the problem, that’s why we decided to circumvent the politicians and address voters directly.”                                                                                                                              Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge

The Pirate Party which wants to legalize file-sharing on the Internet, was created in 2006 after Sweden issued controversial laws that criminalized file-sharing. According to their web site http://www.piratpartiet.se/international/english “The Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens’ rights to privacy are respected.”

pirate partyThe Pirate Party has over 50,000 members and only has three issues on its agenda:
• Reform of copyright law
• An abolished patent system
• Respect for the right to privacy



All I can say is Wow. Sweden is well known for being a country of innovation, but this type of innovation is on another level. The Pirate Party was established in 2006 to and today it is the third largest party in Sweden in terms of membership. The parties swift rise and sudden popularity has given rise to parties with the same name and similar goals in Europe and worldwide. The fact that there is a worldwide movement beginning to sprout, which is dedicated to online issues is a positive signal for companies that want to engage in social media in Sweden because it shows that the country has a dedication and commitment to keeping the internet open and accessible for everyone.



  1. This is a tricky topic that you chose for this week’s post, as the Pirate party raises lots of debate in social media circles. On the one hand is the point of view you talk about – that the Internet should be completely open and people should be able to share whatever they want. On the other side, though, are many businesses who stand to lose a lot of money if people can copy music or ebooks or any other kind of content without having to pay for it. You talk about one side of this issue, but seem to conclude that more openness is good for business without looking at the opposite view. Also, you share that their rise seems to be the start of a worldwide movement, but don’t have a link that we could follow to learn more about this. This was a tough post to do well, as you would have had to bring in two sides of the argument to really do it justice – especially because many people are pegging the Pirate Party as “anti-business” – which seems to contradict your conclusion. Nonetheless, it is a central part of understanding the online environment in Sweden, so your instincts were spot on … it just needed more background effort. (2)

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