For the first time in history a member of the Pirate Party, an organization dedicated to defending the intellectual property rights of consumers and their ability to file share, has won a seat in the EU Parliament.
The Pirate Party has won a huge victory in the Swedish elections and is marching on to Brussels. After months of campaigning against well established parties, the Pirate Party has gathered enough votes to be guaranteed a seat in the European Parliament.
When the Swedish Pirate Party was founded in early 2006, the majority of the mainstream press were skeptical, with some simply laughing it away. But they were wrong to dismiss this political movement out of hand. Today, the Pirate Party accomplished what some believed to be the impossible, by securing a seat in the European Parliament.
With 99.9% of the districts counted the Pirates have 7.1 percent of the votes, beating several established parties. This means that the Pirate Party will get at least one, but most likely two of the 18 (+2) available seats Sweden has at the European Parliament.
It will be interesting to see whether the party, who has gathered considerable momentum recently, will be able to re-frame the debate and change policy as it relates to file sharing. The leader of the Pirate Party will be in Vancouver on June 11th speaking at the Open Web Vancouver conference.