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Swedish Pirate Party gain a seat in the European Parliament

Swedish Pirate Party gain a seat in the European Parliament

A Swedish political party based around the single issues Pirate Party, striking a chord with voters who want more free content on the Internet, won a seat in the European Parliament. Despite the name similar to Pirate Bay, the party and the website are not linked.

The Pirate Party was founded in 2006 and contested a Swedish general election that year, but received less than one percent of the vote. This time however after the high profile court case resulting in convictionfor Pirate Bay's owners the Pirate party has secured 7.1% of the Swedish vote gaining it a seat in the new European Parliament.

The party wants to deregulate copyright, abolish the patent system and reduce surveillance on the Internet.

Christian Engstrom, the party's lead candidate, told Reuters "This is fantastic!. This shows that there are a lot of people who think that personal integrity is important and that it matters that we deal with the Internet and the new information society in the right way."

Previously an obscure group of single-issue activists, the party enjoyed a jump in popularity after the conviction in Pirate Bay court case in April. The case brought massive attention to the issue of un-regulated internet file-sharing.

The result puts the Pirate Party in fifth place in Sweden, behind the Social Democrats, Greens, Liberals and the Moderate Party.

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