Sweden's Pirate Party wins seat in European Parliament

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Sweden's Pirate Party wins seat in European Parliament

A Swedish political party made up of copyright patent liberators and privacy campaigners has won a seat in the European Parliament.

The Pirate Party campaigned on a number of issues, including free online content.

It managed to secure 7.1 per cent of the vote in Sweden in the 2009 European Parliament elections, guaranteeing it at least one seat.

"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," Christian Engstrom, the party's top candidate, told Reuters.

The Pirate Party has strong support in Sweden, where two similar parties also exist, and is gradually expanding its message across the globe.

At its launch in 2006, the party's leader, Rickard Falkvinge, said in an interview with Wikinews that publicity surrounding anti-piracy initiatives is having a dramatic effect on its membership.

"Following the raid on the Pirate Bay, and our tripling of the member roster, we do not need advertising. We have been mentioned in almost every news hour across all channels on national television in the last week. We have received another 50,000 Swedish krona [£4,000] in donations," Falkvinge said at the time.

An exit poll carried out in Sweden suggested that 12 per cent of men and four per cent of women, and almost 20 per cent of all voters under 30, had voted for the Pirate Party.

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