Pirate Party (Sweden)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Pirate Party
0 / 349
European Parliament:
0 / 21
County councils
0 / 1,696
Municipal councils
0 / 12,700

The Pirate Party (Swedish: Piratpartiet) is a political party in Sweden founded in 2006. Its sudden popularity has given rise to parties with the same name and similar goals in Europe and worldwide, forming the International Pirate Party movement.

The Pirate Party was initially formed to reform laws regarding

left-right scale[3] to pursue their political agenda with all mainstream parties. The party originally stayed neutral on other matters, but started broadening into other political areas in 2012.[4][5]

The Pirate Party participated in the

Liberal People's Party and the Christian Democrats in April 2009,[6][7] and the Centre Party in May 2009, making it, for the time being, the third largest political party in Sweden by membership.[8] The Pirate Party's associated youth organisation, Young Pirate (Swedish: Ung Pirat), was, for a part of 2009 and 2010, the largest political youth organisation in Sweden
by membership count.

The Pirate Party came 5th in the

Lisbon Treaty).[9][10] Christian Engström became the first MEP for the party, and Amelia Andersdotter
took the second seat on 1 December 2009.

Rick Falkvinge, founder of the party, stepped down on 1 January 2011 after five years as party leader, making vice leader Anna Troberg the party leader.[11]

On 1 December 2014, Anna Troberg announced that she would not be available for re-election in 2015 after her term ended on 31 December 2014.[12]

Declaration of principles

The Pirate Party believes that people with an access to free communication, culture and knowledge grow, feel better and create a more enjoyable and humane society for everyone to live in. We see modern information technology opening up possibilities for people to take action for their own lives and participate in affecting the development of society. We see how a freer flow of information enables thoughts, cultural creation and the economy to grow.

The party advocates a severe reduction of economic sole right of copyrighted works, which today exist for 70 years after the creator's death. They also advocate releasing all non-commercial sharing of copyrighted material, which means that all films, phonograms and programs can be shared freely as long as the operation isn't run commercially.

The party also has personal privacy as a core value, and is critical towards laws such as

National Defence Radio Establishment

The party advocates strengthened individual privacy, are against the Data Retention Directive, wants to elevate secrecy of correspondence to general secrecy of communication, and create a constitutional right to privacy. The party also seeks to modify the laws of intellectual property (copyright and patent), but doesn't want to change the laws of trademarks or industrial design rights. The party views itself as a defender of the individual's civil rights especially with regards to surveillance, government accountability and political and business corruption.

Before the Swedish general election of 2010 the party stayed neutral in all other political matters, and could be considered a single-issue party. After 2010 the party started opening up for a broader political agenda. A new declaration of principles was formed in 2011,[4] and at the spring member meeting of 2012 several new political standpoints were decided on areas such as school, research and health care.[14][15]

at Wikisource

The party has stated that it supports decriminalising the consumption of all currently illegal substances. It also supports legalising cannabis in Sweden through a regulated market by using state monopolies or licenses in a similar way to how alcohol and tobacco is regulated in the country. It says this would "deprive criminal organisations of income from drug sales and free up police resources that instead could be used to fight crimes with human victims."[16]



The website for the Pirate Party was launched on 1 January 2006 (at 20.30

Swedish Election Authority before 4 February (the deadline for registering being February 28), so that the Party would be allowed to participate in the upcoming 17 September general election
. In less than 24 hours after the opening of the website, the Party had collected over 2,000 signatures (2,268 at 16.05 CEST).

By the morning of 3 January, the Party closed the signature collection. In about 36 hours, they had gathered 4,725 signatures. As signatories are required by Swedish election law to identify themselves when giving support for a new party, international media reported this as a significant feat, given the nature of the Party. However, signatures presented to the election authorities are required to be handwritten. The goal of at least 1,500 handwritten signatures was reached February 10 and the final confirmation from the authorities was presented three days later. The Party claimed to have recruited 900 members within the first month, each member paying a membership fee of 5 Swedish kronor (approx. US$0.69, c.2006), payable by SMS (The Party has since changed to free member registration).[17]

Phases two to five included registering with the Election Authority, getting candidates for the

Riksdag, raising money for printing ballots, and preparing an organization for the election, including local organizations in all municipalities of Sweden with a population in excess of 50,000, which in 2005 meant 43 municipalities. During this phase fundraising was also started, with an initial goal of raising 1 million SEK

The sixth and final phase was the election itself. The Party, which claims that there are between 800,000 and 1.1 million active file sharers in Sweden, hoped that at least 225,000 (4% of all the voters in Sweden) of those would vote for the party, granting them membership in Parliament.

Initial media attention

Media quickly picked up on the movement. On Monday 2 January 2006, a large Swedish financial newspaper,

Rickard Falkvinge
at work. Falkvinge, however, was unable to explain the Party's positions while at work, bringing this information gathering effort to an abrupt end.

On 3 January 2006, all the major Swedish news outlets had produced stories on the Party.

The Pirate Party's web server received one million hits on its first day of operation, two million the next.

On 4 January, international media and radio stations picked up the story. A major Swedish radio station broadcast an interview with Falkvinge about the unexpected amount of attention the initiative received. More attention followed on Thursday, including coverage by the BBC World Service, the first global radio station to produce a story on the Pirate Party initiative.

At the end of the first week, the Pirate Party platform had been covered by over 500 English-language and over 600 Swedish-language media outlets.

The Pirate Bay trial

A Pirate Party banner at the demonstration held in Stockholm
3 June 2006.

On 31 May 2006, Swedish police raided a facility hosting The Pirate Bay (and Piratbyrån, along with over 200 other independent site owners, hosted at the same facility), leading to a breakthrough for the Pirate Party in the public eye. Before the raid, the Party was steadily growing with some ten new members every day, but the raid caused a surge of 500 new members by the end of the day, with a membership count of 2,680. The next day another 930 people had registered membership, giving a total of 3,611 members, more than doubling their original number. During parts of 2006 Mikael Viborg, who is also known as the legal advisor of the popular BitTorrent tracker, The Pirate Bay was a board member of the Pirate Party.

On 3 June 2006, the Party performed a "pirate demonstration"

Young Greens and Young Left). Within a few days the file sharing issue had become the focus of national debate, followed by national as well as international media. Along with criticizing the approach to restricting Pirate Bay's file sharing by the Minister for Justice Thomas Bodström, the right to free information and rule of law
became the Party's main standpoints.

The Pirate Party had over 50,189 members as of 15 September 2009[update] – more members than 5 of the 7 parties in the Swedish Parliament – and was the third largest political party in Sweden by member count. Pirate Party's youth organisation,

Parliament of Sweden.[22] A total of over 9,000 new members joined the party on that day and the day after.[1]
One week later it reached 40,000 members, compared to 15,000 members before the verdict.

On 30 April 2009, a newspaper election poll reported the Pirate Party vote to be 5.1% for the upcoming European Parliament election. Another more recent poll conducted by polling organization Demoskop for newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning gave the party 7.9%.[23] The party eventually received 7.1% of the vote in the 7 June election, and won a seat in the European Parliament.

2010s decade

On 18 May 2010, The Pirate Bay started hosting its site through bandwidth delivered from the Pirate Party.[24]

On 17 August 2010, it was announced that the Pirate Party will be hosting and managing many of WikiLeaks' new servers. The party donates servers and bandwidth to WikiLeaks without charge. Technicians of the party will make sure that the servers are maintained and working.[25]

On 19 September 2010, the party won 0.7% of the votes in the 2010 general election, slightly increasing its performance in comparison to the 2006 general election.

On 1 January 2011, the party celebrated its five-year anniversary with a Bambuser live broadcast with party leader Rick Falkvinge and vice party leader Anna Troberg. Live in the video, Falkvinge sent a tweet saying he stepped down as party leader, and he announced that his successor would be Troberg. Falkvinge now works as an evangelist, spreading the politics of the Pirate Party in and out of Europe.[11]

In December 2011, the party launched

social networking/microblogging service.[26]

In the 2014 general election and the 2014 European Parliament election the party won 0.4% respectively 2.2% of the votes and consequently lost their seats in the European Parliament. In the 2018 general election and the 2019 European Parliament election the party won 0.1% respectively 0.6% of the votes.

After peaking at about 50,000 in late 2009 the membership numbers did steadily decline to about 2,500 party members in early 2020.[1]

Political impact


Less than a week before the 2006 elections, the Green Party shifted their stance on copyright reform.[27] Additionally, both the Moderate Party and the Left Party changed their stances on internet downloads,[28][29] and both prime ministerial candidates stated publicly that it shouldn't be illegal for young people to share files.[30] Several influential analysts have credited the Pirate Party and its rising popularity for this shift in the political climate; these include a panel of senior editors at International Data Group[31] and political analysts at the largest morning newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.[32] Additionally, the then Swedish Minister of Justice Thomas Bodström, announced on 9 June that he was willing to negotiate a possible revision of the law introduced in 2005 that made unauthorised downloading of copyrighted material illegal, introducing a new tax on broadband Internet access, but he later denied having changed his stance on the issue.[33]

After the 2006 elections, the issue faded from the public debate.

filesharing. The Swedish members of parliament wrote that "Decriminalising all non-commercial file sharing and forcing the market to adapt is not just the best solution. It's the only solution, unless we want an ever more extensive control of what citizens do on the Internet."[34]


Outside Sweden, pirate parties have been started in some 33 countries,[35] inspired by the Swedish initiative. They cooperate through Pirate Parties International (PPI).[36]


Pirate Party of Germany gained seats in the city council of Münster and Aachen in August 2009, and in the federal election a month later they received 2.0% of the party list votes, becoming the biggest party outside the Bundestag. In the election to the Abgeordnetenhaus in Berlin in September 2011, the Pirate Party received 9% of the votes and, for the first time in Germany
, gained seats in a state parliament.

Free software

EULAs in addition to copyright, and the source code is not available, rendering the proprietary software unusable for free software developers even after its copyright expires. Stallman suggests that under this new copyright law, proprietary software developers should put their code in escrow
when the software's binaries are released and then release their software into the public domain immediately after their copyright expires.

Election results, voter base

2006 Swedish general election

The Pirate Party attracted 34,918 votes in the Swedish general election of 2006, their first participation at an election for parliament since the founding of the party less than 9 months prior. With 0.63% of the overall votes, it became the 10th biggest party of more than 40 participating. However, a voting result of less than 4% of the total votes does not qualify the party for seats in the Swedish Parliament. Getting more than 1% of the vote would have granted the party financial assistance from the state for printing ballots which is costly in Sweden, while at least 2.5% would grant them state funds for campaigning in the next election. Despite the setbacks, Falkvinge began planning for the Swedish general election in 2010.[38]

2009 European Parliament election

In the

first pre-election poll[39] before the 2009 European Parliament election, the Pirate Party registered at 5.1%, which would be enough to get a seat in the parliament. The support for the party was concentrated among younger voters, especially those of ages 18–29 (where it was the second largest party) and 30–44 (where it was the fourth largest).[40]

By 22 May 2009, a Demoskop poll showed a 7.9% support amongst Swedish voters, making the Pirate Party the third largest party.[41] A week later this had grown to 8.2% and a projected two seats in Parliament, with 21.8% support amongst people aged 18–29.[42] The party's top two candidates were Christian Engström and Amelia Andersdotter.

A model-based prediction for the 2009 European Parliament election by political scientists estimated on 4 June 2009 that the Pirate Party could be the third largest party from Sweden, gaining 2 seats.[43]

The Pirate Party got enough votes for at least one seat of the 18 available seats Sweden then had at the European Parliament,

The Greens-European Free Alliance group.[46]


Pirate Party of Germany also participated in the European Parliament elections, which was their first participation in a nationwide election, and achieved 0.9% in Germany, getting 230,000 votes. They missed the 5% level by a wide margin but qualified for public funding.[47][48][49]

2010 election

In the 2010 general election, the Pirate Party increased their percentage of the vote by 0.02%, bringing it to a total of 0.65%, remaining under the required amount to gain a seat, but becoming the biggest party outside of Parliament.

Parliament (Riksdag)

Year Votes % Seats +/- Government
2006 34,918 0.6 (#10)
0 / 349
New Extra-parliamentary
2010 38,491 0.7 (#9)
0 / 349
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary
2014 26,515 0.4 (#10)
0 / 349
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary
2018 7,326 0.11 (#12)
0 / 349
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary
2022 9,135 0.14 (#12)
0 / 349
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary

European Parliament

Year Votes % Seats ±
2009 225,915 7.1 (#5)
1 / 18
2 / 20

Increase 1
2014[50] 82,763 2.23 (#10)
0 / 20
Decrease 2
2019[51] 26,526 0.64
0 / 20

Relations to other Swedish pirate organizations

There are three major pirate organisations in Sweden: the political Pirate Party, the now-defunct NGO Piratbyrån (Pirate Bureau), and the BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay. Of these three, Piratbyrån and The Pirate Bay share a common history but are now separate, whereas the Pirate Party developed on a completely separate and parallel track, founded by Falkvinge, and was initially unrelated to the other two. This was until 18 May 2010, when the Pirate Party became The Pirate Bay's ISP in response to an injunction that temporarily shut down access to The Pirate Bay, with the Pirate Party stating that "It is time to take the bull by the horns and stand up for what we believe is a legitimate activity."[52]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "MEMBER COUNT HISTORY". Piratpartiet SE. 15 March 2020. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  2. ^ — Ledarredaktionen, Dagens Nyheter. "The Pirate Party | Piratpartiet". Piratpartiet.se. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Vågmästarställning" from piratpartiet.se, accessed on August 28, 2006
  4. ^ a b "Nu breddas Piratpartiet!". piratpartiet.se. Piratpartiet. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Sakpolitik". piratpartiet.se. Piratpartiet. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  6. ^ Result of Verdict, for the Pirate Party Archived 2009-04-20 at the Wayback Machine. Blog Pirate. April 17, 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Medlemsantal" Archived 2012-09-19 at the Wayback Machine from piratpartiet.se, accessed on May 28, 2009
  8. ^ Comparisons of membership numbers may not be considered fair by some, as the Pirate Party does not charge a membership fee, which is commonplace for other parties
  9. ^ "Röster - Val 2009". Val.se. Archived from the original on 12 August 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  10. ^ Stockholm TT (4 June 2009). "Piraterna in i EU-parlamentet | Inrikes | SvD". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Svd.se. Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  11. ^ a b Falkvinge, Rick. "After five years I'm stepping down as Party Leader". falkvinge.net. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Ajöss och tack för fisken" (in Swedish). Anna Troberg. 1 December 2014. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  13. (in Swedish), Piratpartiet
  14. ^ "Vårmöte 2012". piratpartiet.se. Piratpartiet. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Tapiren #6". piratpartiet.se. Piratpartiet. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Election Manifesto 2022". Pirate Party (Sweden). Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  17. ^ "Välkommen till Piratpartiet och Ung Pirat". PirateWeb. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  18. ^ "Would you consider voting for the Pirate Party?" Archived 2013-01-16 at the Wayback Machine, poll by Aftonbladet, at 61% yes in early January of 2006 with 50,000 responding; at 57% on 30 July 2006 with 99,000 responding
  19. ^ "Would you consider voting for a pirate party?"[permanent dead link], poll by IDG, active January 3–9, 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2006.
  20. ^ "Swedish Filesharers Start 'The Piracy Party'" Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine from slashdot.org, accessed on July 14, 2009
  21. ^ "Pictures from the piracy demonstration" Archived 2006-06-23 at the Wayback Machine, by Ulf Sjöström, Pirate Watch, June 3, 2006, accessed on June 5, 2006
  22. ^ "Announcement on the official website, in Swedish". Piratpartiet.se. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  23. ^ "M tappar opinionsstöd " Archived 2009-05-25 at the Wayback Machine from unt.se (Swedish), accessed on May 25, 2009
  24. ^ "Pirate Party hosting Pirate Bay in pro-P2P political gesture". Ars Tehnica. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  25. ^ TT (17 August 2010). "Piratpartiet sköter Wikileak-servrar" (in Swedish). DN.se. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  26. ^ "Free & Social: About". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  27. ^ Släpp filerna fria! Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine, by the Swedish Greens
  28. ^ Larger parties bend to support file-sharing under political pressure Archived 2006-10-26 at the Wayback Machine from P2P Consortium, accessed on June 9, 2006
  29. ^ Nu vänder v och m i piratfrågan from Expressen, accessed on June 9, 2006
  30. ^ a b "Upphovsmän kan få jaga fildelare" Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, Dagens Nyheter, February 4, 2007
  31. ^ "Piratpartiet har lyckats"[permanent dead link], published by PC för Alla
  32. ^ "Bara mp vill ändra lagen" Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, Dagens Nyheter, February 4, 2007
  33. ^ Bodström: "Jag har inte ändrat ståndpunkt" Archived 2007-06-14 at the Wayback Machine from Aftonbladet, accessed on June 9, 2006
  34. ^ Swedish prosecutors dump 4,000 legal docs on The Pirate Bay Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine Ars Technica, accessed on August 5, 2008
  35. ^ Ståhl, Henrik (14 July 2009). "EU-valet avgörande för Piratpartiets tillväxt". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 17 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  36. ^ PPInternational. "PPInternational". PPInternational. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  37. ^ "Stallman, Richard "How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software"". Gnu.org. 27 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  38. ^ "Voters Keelhaul Pirate Party" Archived 2007-02-10 at the Wayback Machine from wired.com, accessed on September 20, 2006
  39. ^ "Unga väljare kan ge Piratpartiet EU-mandat" Archived 2009-06-08 at the Wayback Machine from dn.se, accessed on May 6, 2009
  40. ^ "Pressmeddelande: Piratpartiet får 5.1% i EU-valet" Archived 2009-05-03 at the Wayback Machine from piratpartiet.se, accessed on May 6, 2009
  41. ^ "Pirate Party Sweden's third-largest: poll" Archived 2009-05-25 at the Wayback Machine from thelocal.se, accessed on May 30, 2009
  42. ^ "Piratpartiet får två mandat i ny mätning" Archived 2009-05-30 at the Wayback Machine from dn.se (Swedish), accessed on May 30, 2009
  43. ^ "Analysis by Member State" Archived 2009-04-10 at the Wayback Machine from predict09.eu, accessed on June 5, 2009
  44. ^ "Pirate Party Wins and Enters The European Parliament" Archived 2009-06-08 at the Wayback Machine from TorrentFreak.com, accessed on June 7, 2009
  45. ^ "European election results 2009 for Sweden" Archived 2009-06-11 at the Wayback Machine from elections2009-results.eu, accessed on June 7, 2009
  46. ^ Rick Falkvinge (2009). "Piratpartiet tar plats i gröna gruppen" (in Swedish). Rick Falkvinge. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
  47. ^ Carp, Ossi (9 June 2009). "Piratpartiets framgång internationell nyhet". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  48. ^ "EU Parliament Elections 2009 poll results for Germany". 2009. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  49. ^ [1] Archived June 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ "Val till Europaparlamentet - Röster" (in Swedish). Valmyndigheten. 30 May 2014. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  51. ^ "Val till Europaparlamentet - Röster" (in Swedish). Valmyndigheten. Archived from the original on 19 June 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  52. ^ "PPSE Becomes Pirate Bays New Host". TorrentFreak. Archived from the original on 20 May 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2010.

External links

Official sites, documents