Is the Pirate Party Serious?

Pirate Party protest, by kenny_lex@Flickr

In 2006, when the Swedish Piratpartiet was founded, a dismissive reaction would have been only natural. The Pirate Party was setting off for uncharted waters, proposing an approach to national and international politics that was unique and unusual. But how well do the most basic criticisms hold up today?

I could not have written this article in 2006. True, the flaws of our copyright regime had been exposed by that time, but they had not yet raised any practical issues about how government should work in my mind, other than determining basic rules like “if you bother the industry, the authorities will mess with you.” Governments had other things to deal with, like health care and education; piracy was not going to feed the poor. Focusing our energy on copyright alone seemed, in other words, like an expression of selfish, bourgeois luxury.


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