We’ve discussed the various “Pirate Parties” that have sprung up around European political systems over the past few years. While the name taken by these political movements is probably unfortunate, having political interests centered around the many, many problems within copyright law and enforcement is undoubtedly good and necessary. Sadly, those parties have too often been ineffectual, often ties co-opted by standing political powers in a way that dilutes their purposes. In Sweden in particular, the past few years have seen all the worst kinds of copyright problems sprout up as though somebody had sprinkled fertilizer over the land. As this was happening, Sweden’s Pirate Party had remained comparatively silent, particularly on the matter of what can only be described as a copyright troll invasion.
Well, that is set to change, with the Swedish Pirate Party finally waking up to the threat of trollish extortion letters being sent to thousands of Swedish citizens and announcing plans to fight back.
The Pirate Party describes the copyright trolling efforts as extortion. It stresses that the evidence copyright holders rely on is far from solid, something they believe the courts should take into account.
“It is a scandal that the Swedish judicial system facilitates the mafia-like methods of copyright trolls,” says Pirate Party leader Magnus Andersson. “To condone the sending of extortion letters without reasonable ground for suspicion of criminal activity is not acceptable. We demand the Justice Minister to do something about the situation with these copyright trolls!”
Petitioning the Swedish government is not the only avenue available to fight back, however. In addition to calls for reinterpretations of Swedish law that would disallow the more controversial tactics used by copyright trolls, the Pirate Party could also simply petition the EU to have that same Swedish law repealed entirely. In addition to all of that, the Pirate Party is also lending support to Banhoff, the Swedish ISP that has made a name for itself in fighting the efforts of copyright trolls viciously, even going so far as to send trolling operations its own form of settlement letters.
Regardless, it’s good to see Sweden’s Pirate Party finally waking up and fulfilling its stated mission of advocating for the public on copyright matters.
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