Sweden’s Pirate Party, that defends an Internet that is "file-sharing free-for-all", is one of the surprise newcomers to the European Parliament after winning 7.4 per cent of the vote.
The party, that is also in favour of Internet privacy, was founded in January 2006.
Swedish laws criminalize file sharing and authorize the monitoring of e-mails.
Stockholm sentenced the four founders of Pirate Bay, one of the biggest file sharing sites, to a year in jail for running their file sharing site .
The verdict came at the same time as the elections, a fact that probably explains their success.
At a time in which the western world is being re-shaped, the Internet needs to have some sort of representation in the European Parliament.
Free sharing is being discussed at present in most European capitals, whether a misdemeanour or a criminal offence, it is seen by governments and industry as a menace. It means having to cut down on profits, it means handing over the promotion to the regular user. So?
With more and more people reading the news on the Internet, print newspaper sales are plummeting the world over. Media tycoons don't contemplate the disappearance of regular newspapers, proposing, instead, to keep the paper as a somewhat luxury item.
The daily papers will continue to exist, maybe in smaller numbers and surely more expensive than they now are. Anyone who can't do away with the great pleasure of reading the paper spread out on a cafe table, will be able to continue doing so, provided he/she's willing to pay the price.
Likewise, the film and music industry will have to think up alternatives in face of a changing world. Certainly more live concerts - perhaps including tickets to concerts in recorded DVDs? Many artists offer their music for free on the web - in exchange for which they gain popularity and an audience for their next concert or tour.
I confess I was an active pirate until I discovered Spotify (thank you Maica). I downloaded tons of songs, many of which are included in records I had already bought long time ago (and paid in due course, taxes, vat, etc. included). I can't for the life of me understand what's wrong with that. Except, of course, that it cuts down profits for the industry (and, obviously for the poor artist as well - but given the industry's figures there's a lot to discuss on this point as well).
The SGAE gets on my nerves and I refuse to even mention them until we hear what the new Minister has to say on the matter.
I lend my books around to anyone willing to read them, why can't I borrow music from whoever wants to share it?
My grandson likes this video: