onsdag 19 maj 2010

The beginnings of the Swedish Pirate Party


I write my column Pirates of the European II: The Empire Strikes Back in TCS Daily on 20 July 2006.
Illegal downloading takes center-stage in Swedish politics and beyond
May 31st has become a landmark date in the history of the intellectual property debate. On that day police in Stockholm raided the server of The Pirate Bay, an infamous source of pirated films, music, computer games, software and media. The site provided torrent files- merely pointers to sources of data but without copyright themselves -- a practice that, though disputed, is still legal in Sweden. The loophole had allowed the Pirate Bay to avoid the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) crackdown on torrent hubs in 2004. Sweden's current move was precipitated by a threat from the US State Department to bring the issue to the World Trade Organization.

The raid set off a major debate in Sweden, and it was well covered in other European countries, as Sweden has become the epicenter of ideological resistance to intellectual property in its present form.
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