Pirate Party is becoming a serious political force

Via TorrentFreak, news of an important political development:

“The Pirate Bay verdict is being criticized by the Swedish public and protests are being planned. Opposition to the decision is widespread, indicated partly by the surge in new memberships to Sweden’s Pirate Party. It has seen its ranks grow by 20% in the handful of hours since the verdict and the number of members is increasing by the minute.

Support for the Swedish Pirate Party grew increasingly healthy after the government came up with more stringent copyright legislation. Its membership has surpassed that of the well established Green Party, and more than half of all Swedish men under 30 are considering pledging their vote to the Pirate Party in the upcoming 2009 European Parliament elections.

Today’s verdict in the Pirate Bay case only strengthens support for the site. Many people have been blown away by the harsh sentences and will protest in the streets of Stockholm tomorrow.

The upside seems to be that people have realized that the current climate needs to change, indicated by the Swedish Pirate party gaining many new members. Over the past few hours over 3000 members applied, raising the member count from less than 15,000 up to more than 18,000.

“We’ve surpassed another party in parliament, making us the 5th largest in member count, and our youth section is about to take the number 1 position,” Swedish Pirate Party Leader Rick Falkvinge told TorrentFreak in a comment.

Christian Engström, vice-chairman of the Swedish Pirate Party said in a comment that the verdict is their ticket into the European Parliament. For the upcoming European election, the Pirate Party requires 100,000 Swedish votes to get a seat, a goal that is within reach after today.”

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