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Pirate Party sees membership slashed

TT/The Local · 18 Apr 2010, 12:46

Published: 18 Apr 2010 12:46 GMT+02:00

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The party, currently holding its annual congress, has lost thousands of members over the course of just a few days, the Svenska Dagbladet daily reports. At its highest point, the party played host to 50,000 signed-up members.

"I'd guess we'll lose even more over the coming week and will drop to somewhere around 25,000 to 30,000," EU parliamentarian Christian Engström told the newspaper.

The party's membership spike came in the weeks immediately following the verdict in the Pirate Bay case, announced by the district court in Stockholm a year ago. Four men connected with file sharing website were found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement.

The fall-off in official adherents has no financial ramifications, however, as membership is free of charge.

A wave of public support propelled the party into the European Parliament last June as it rocked the political establishment by securing more than 7 percent of the vote.

Story continues below…

A month later, a national opinion poll showed that the Pirate Party, which operates on a platform of integrity issues including the legalization of internet file sharing, had enough wind in its sails to secure a place in the Riksdag.

But support for the party has dropped dramatically, with opinion polls now classifying the pirates among a slew of other marginal parties, such as the Feminist Initiative, which together mustered just 1.6 percent of voter support in a Sifo poll published on Sunday.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:46 April 18, 2010 by Lars J
It is too early to rule out the pirates. This is a healthy purge of inactive members. It means those who are still with the party a couple of weeks from now represent the active members. I suspect you will still find that the young pirates (UP) will be the biggest political youth association in Sweden. Right now they are bigger than all the other youth associations combined.

Even the Obama administration was impressed with the EU election campaign of the pirate party. Now the riksdag campaign is about to begin. The ones who have ruled out the pirates are in for a September Surprise.
19:50 April 18, 2010 by eZee.se
They have my vote, and I'll make sure i'll get few other pals to vote with me (again).. As written above, I wouldnt count the pirates out just yet.
20:14 April 18, 2010 by Jan M
Does any other business have it's own branded lobby group functioning as a political party. How about the Saab or Volvo parties?
21:04 April 18, 2010 by Glempa
It is absolutely ridiculous that a party like this exist. A bunch of people don't want to pay for their films and CDs, and want to download them illegally under all international laws. Let me know if any party members write a book or song, and I will distribute it for free denying them any income for all their work.
23:00 April 18, 2010 by Deffiz

It is not about not wanting to pay for films and CDs, it is about privacy, about outdated business models and a lack of business solutions to fit today's technology. It is about huge companies that monopolize the market and starve the "talent" to the extent that some have actually found it more rewarding to give their music away for free and give the opportunity for tips, than to sign slave contracts for a few percent of the profits, if they even get that much.
23:35 April 18, 2010 by Beavis
The only issue I have with the pirates is that they might give bag woman their %..I think theyd get a lot more support if they were to distance themselves from the green/red alliance
00:21 April 19, 2010 by here for the summer
maybe this is the problem

10:07 April 19, 2010 by Glempa
I don't believe that most Pirate Party members are concerned about the 'slave contracts' that music artist have to take, it is about the right to download music for free. Even if your views were true, I do not see that this matter should be more important then the economy, foreign policy, unemployment and other social issues.

Many artists endorse download sites such as iTunes, and are against piracy such as you favour.
10:54 April 19, 2010 by DAVID T
Who's that in the photo? Would you vote for him? He looks half dead
10:58 April 19, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
@Glempa - don't even bother trying to rationalize with these guys. They are all hardened addicts. I used to think that their message had a modicum of sense for the music industry but no one could (i) suggest what a "fair price" for music was (the stock answer is "for free") and (ii) explain why down loading films and TV programmes should be part of the "exploiting artists" argument. All the people I know in films and TV are happy with their lot and are dead against illegal downloading.
20:50 April 19, 2010 by Toonie
I'm always amazed at how young Swedes don't get it. Your economy very largely relies on technology patents that are respected around the world, especially by large multinational companies. The battles between artists and their grasping producers, publishers, accountants and the rest are for them to fight. The battle for civil liberties is for us all to fight. But Swedes deciding they want music and films and photographs and poems and novels and all the rest for free, will unleash all sorts of 'rights' wars that will hurt the Swedish economy. If your politicians know nothing else, they know that.
10:37 April 20, 2010 by alecLoTh
The party may be wrong in some regards, but I think they have credit due to them in that they have realised the need to overhaul the way we have always done things. This is the tech age, we cant apply old policies to the issues we face today.
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