"If robots had a religion, I think this would be it,"
April 14, 2012 12:43 AM   Subscribe

Vote Pirate! Notes from a Pirate Party conference. "I grew up on the Internet. … I sort of consider myself a citizen of the Internet. I'm very attached to it. I'm almost more from the Internet than I am from Massachusetts."

We Are Winning: How Pirate Parties are Changing the World, by Richard Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party.

Massachusetts has recognized the Pirate Party, previously on Metafilter. The Swedish Pirate Party, also previously. The Canadian Pirate Party, also previously.
posted by the man of twists and turns (16 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
How're Pirate Parties changing the world?

They just ARRRRRRRR.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:17 AM on April 14, 2012 [11 favorites]

Rick Falkvinge is delusional. Polling 11% in Germany and having two MEPs in the European Parliament (of a grand total of 754 members) is just simply not "winning" in the traditional meaning of the word.

The Finnish Pirate Party, for example, is going to die out before the next general election. My guess is that they are not going to get a single candidate elected in the municipal elections next fall.
posted by hoskala at 1:53 AM on April 14, 2012

"If robots had a religion, I think this would be it,"


I'm against political power for both robots and religion.
posted by pompomtom at 1:59 AM on April 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

The Pirates are perhaps the most interestin thing in politics and where we could be heading. For a party that was written off as soon as it formed as a joke or novelty, they have made real progress and I think there's more to come.

Based in Brussels, I think Christian Engstrom has been an outstanding MEP. The Anti ACTA debate was helped enormously by having a pirate in the parliament. Engstrom has also got good relations with a lot of MEPs accross the political spectrum, which enables him to have more impact than any other deputy who is the sole representative (only recently was the second Pirate MEP allowed to join) of a party.

This is one of the best reads, from Die Welt (translated into English): Will the Pirates democratise Europe?
posted by quarsan at 2:58 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think their own success has taken even the German Piratenpatei by surprise. Now they have to consider or at least take a position on issues that they previously did not dedicate much thought to. For example, in some of the talk shows here in Germany after their successful election results, they were asked about foreign policy and economic issues. It was evident that They were unprepared for these kinds of questions. They didn't seem to be very knowledgable in these areas and they couldn't explain the party's position if indeed there is one. It reminded me a bit of when Sarah Palin was asked the same sort of questions during the last presidential race. Fremdschämung

Their platform of political transperency and a flat hierarchy party structure is noble, but it has led to a lot of public online bickering and trollish behavior between party members via twitter.

I agree with a lot, but not all of their positions. I hope they can figure out how to put on a more professional face so that more people take them or at least some of their core issues more seriously. I think most older german voters (40+) think they are just a Spasspartei that got a bit lucky. If they can figure out how to keep this momentum going, they might be able to make a real difference.
posted by chillmost at 3:11 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are only really two reasons you'd support expanding copyright or patents given how they're being abused, namely corruption or deception. Anti-enviromental positions are similarly intrinsically corrupt.

You cannot really oppose this corruption if you've straight first-past-the-post elections like the U.S. and U.K., basically the entrenched parties hold a oligopoly on power and they like the corrupt money. In consequence, these political systems are incapable of fixing anything until the shit really hits the fan, ala the cold war enabling the civil rights movement.

There isn't nearly this corrupt stranglehold on power in a proportional parliament like Germany, Scandinavia, etc. because a "single issue" party like the Greens or Pirates can start winning seats, creating a real immediate cost for the corrupt parties and forcing many to reform their position.

In short, the Pirates are "winning" in the same sense that the Green party "won" by making their ideals commonplace amongst all parties.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:47 AM on April 14, 2012 [14 favorites]

It appears the IFPI and ALPA have grossly exaggerated their claims that France's Hadopi law has decreased piracy; apparently they carefully omitted that sales are suffering as well.

France Telecom has stated that P2P use is increasing despite Hadopi with "a marked increase in levels of encrypted traffic since the Hadopi notice-sending began." :)
posted by jeffburdges at 4:47 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Interestingly, the Green's polled only 11% at their peak, the Pirates are polling 13% now.

You cannot really dispute that the Greens had an enormous impact upon Europe, stuff like wind power and serious recycling programs are pretty ubiquitous, especially in places like Germany. Intellectual property reform and increased transparency are infinitely less onerous to the general population, although obviously transparency might face more resistance from politicians, especially in southern Europe.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:30 AM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Polling 11% in Germany and having two MEPs in the European Parliament (of a grand total of 754 members) is just simply not "winning" in the traditional meaning of the word.

No, but it's definitely "winning" in the Ron Paul sense of the word.
posted by Naberius at 6:32 AM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Unfortunately for the Pirates, the districts are drawn to never be in their favor.

My advice: Make a PAC, not a party.

Citizens United raised the white flag on traditional representation. So be pirates and get your raid on.
posted by pokermonk at 7:12 AM on April 14, 2012 [6 favorites]

My advice: Make a PAC, not a party.
If private bt trackers rallied around this idea and gave out VIP privileges for donors of a certain amount, I can see some sort of PiratePAC doing pretty well for itself. Now what it'd do with that money I've no idea. Attack ads on the MPAA?
posted by arsey at 9:03 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I thought this der spiegel article had the best overview. The have an open source open invitation web roundtable where they do all their haggling about policy and what not. Liquid Feedback. Much of that page is in German and I have no idea what those parts say. I imagine it is something like politics as envisioned by the high karma posters at DailyKos.

Although that is pure speculation and I haven't looked at DailyKos in years. (OK I had a look at DailyKos. It looked much much better than I feared it was going to.)
posted by bukvich at 10:01 AM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

If the Pirate Party is ever going to capture people's imaginations, they're going to need a hook.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:15 AM on April 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

My advice: Make a PAC, not a party.

posted by Talez at 10:21 AM on April 14, 2012

Anna Troberg's bio is amusing.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:26 PM on April 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

There are several recent updates we skipped over :

Three Days Before Elections, Largest German State Censors Pirate Party From The Net (May 5th)

German Pirate Party Scores Fourth Consecutive Election Win (May 13th)

After the German Pirate Party's String Of Successes, Here Comes The Backlash (May 11th)

As an aside, there is an interesting situation developing with a extremely corrupt Dutch judge censoring the Dutch Pirate Party.

Also, American SOPA supporters are pushing their agenda deeper into TPP.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:58 PM on May 13, 2012

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