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3/2 on PP to EU

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Several bookmakers are offering a paltry 3/2 on Sweden's Pirate Party getting into the European parliament. This on the heels of a recent survey which gives them 5.1% of the coming vote.

4% is needed to get a seat.

Membership in the PP surged after the controversial verdict in the trial of The Pirate Bay. Today they're at #4 - ahead of several parties already represented in the Swedish parliament - and closing in rapidly on the current #3 with a gap at time of writing of only 280 members. By this time tomorrow it should be official.

And yet the 'old media' - what the PP call gammelmedia - still don't seem to get it. The PP is world famous today and yet nary a journalist anywhere has bothered to look at the issues involved or what the PP actually stand for. Most often it's written they're in favour of file sharing and end of story.

The names 'The Pirate Bay', the 'Pirate Bureau', and the 'Pirate Party' all share one word in common but there's not much more to it than that. The Pirate Bay was founded by members of the Pirate Bureau who work for a revision of copyright law; the Pirate Party certainly are aware of (and defend) the Pirate Bureau and The Pirate Bay - but they're not otherwise connected.

The platform of the Pirate Party isn't about file sharing. It's about safeguarding privacy and personal integrity; above all it's about an awareness of what the Internet means and what promise it holds. And it's a warning that the Internet must not fall into the wrong hands - or any hands at all for that matter.

This site has long focused on the weakness of the technological infrastructure of the Internet (Windows). The idea is people need a safe environment to communicate and assemble and Microsoft's yesterday standalone system is totally unfit for that.

The Pirate Party of Sweden - rather unique in the world even today - focus on the political aspects: they focus on how corporate multinationals and governments naturally want to curb free use of the Internet. Even Sir Tim Berners-Lee has spoken out against corporate corruption in this regard.

And politicians long used to being able to operate with little or no insight into their activities are of course frightened by the developments in the digital age and would like nothing better than to shut the Internet down.

But the Internet represents one of the greatest cultural upheavals in human history on this planet, rivaling or surpassing the printing press. Which in its time met with considerable opposition from the 'powers that be' - the French tried to outlaw it in 1535. And so forth.

There's also the subtle distinction of what copyright seems to mean today and what it originally meant once there was a device that could make copies of things. Back then copyright didn't mean you held any rights - it meant you were granted permission to make copies. The 'powers that be' wanted control over what was being copied, what people were given the chance to read.

At least in the west the dissemination of knowledge has always been pyramidal. There are great despots in the east who worked hard to teach their peoples to read and write but you didn't see that happening in the christianised west. No - if you wanted to know anything you went to your local vicar and he told you. And you had to take his word for it. No independent research allowed or possible.

The pyramid is a great structure for the media conglomerates too. They were against music played on the radio, they were against sound movies, they were against television, they were against the VCR, they were against the CD/DVD player - they're against everything. They don't use much energy to explore new markets and they think the world owes them an opulent living.

The people they claim to fight for today in their multimillion dollar lobby campaigns never see a penny. All the money goes to the record and film companies - never to the artists.

Not that the artists are complaining: whilst the worldwide recording industry can't keep up anymore the artists themselves are putting it away like there's no end in sight.

When it comes to file sharing it's always been about one thing. The media companies are willfully releasing digital data they already know they can't protect. Instead of taking assessment of their situation they prefer to dig into their bottomless coffers to buy off governments to implement Orwellian laws that effectively put 'police in your brain'.

The digital technology everyone can enjoy today can also be used against the people. It's already being used against the people. And that's where Sweden's Pirate Party comes in.

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