30 April 2009

P2P is Political

Richard Stallman has always regarded free software as about freedom, and hence inherently political. And so it's no surprise that many aspects of openness butt against highly-sensitive areas - secrecy, privacy, etc. But that transition from programming to politicals seems to be taking place beyond free software, too:

a new poll conducted by Swedish newspaper DN.se predicts that the Pirate Party will get 5.1% of all votes in the upcoming EU elections this June - enough to guarantee a seat in the European Parliament. The poll further shows that the party is the second largest party among younger voters in the age group 18-30.

“This poll confirms our recent phenomenal growth in support, and says there will be pirates in Brussels after this election,” Pirate Party Leader Rick Falkvinge told TorrentFreak. “Scoring like this in a poll will further enhance support for the party. While there’s still much work to be done, we’re on the home stretch and have the goal in plain sight. June 7 is election day. On the morning of June 8, we’ll know.”

Clearly, the Pirate Party has been fortunate with the timing: had the trial taken place far from the European elections, the effect would have been muted. Nonetheless, I think it's significant that anger over the court's decision is spilling over into politics; I predict we'll see much more of this if - as is likely - we witness further unthinking rejections of today's digital culture and its norms.

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