Now that I’m FAIRLY certain this is not a joke…………………………… This week, the new generation of creators and fans alike got some amazing news: another hero has volunteered to carry our voice into the halls of government. The grey-haired old guard in suits cannot ignore the internet generation much longer: Peter Sunde, founder of the Pirate Bay, is running for European Parliament!
Formerly known as Brokep the Pirate Bay’s spokesman, Peter is of Finnish/Swedish background and is running in this election with the Finnish Pirate Party. It is a confusing move for many because before now, he has not aligned himself with the Pirates – at least not in party form!
@puz_le I’m not a member of anything actually. I like the greens, the socialists and the pirates. Call me multi-political.
— Peter Sunde (@brokep) May 14, 2013
@puz_le I am only a member of the swedish left I think, at least on paper. I give my support where it’s earned though.
— Peter Sunde (@brokep) May 14, 2013
But although he has hesitated to throw his weight behind a specific party name before, his work is perfectly in line with the Pirates’ platform of internet freedom and helping to foster new opportunities for both fans and artists:
“Non-commercial file sharing should of course become legal and protected, and must re-think copyright all together. Copyright is not the thing that makes ARTISTS money, it’s only for their brokers and distributors… I’d rather see us sponsor culture by pushing more money to music education, and facilities for your people to create music. It would be much more sane for cultural advancement then extending copyrights.”
Unlike many politicians, Peter’s conviction can hardly be doubted. Throughout the Pirate Bay trial, and before it began, and in his work after, he has long fought for the right of creators and fans to share freely. And while he’s not with TPB anymore, he has only gone on to fight the good fight on other fronts. In 2010, Peter launched Flattr, a micro-donation platform and one of the most seriously useful tools for artists to get support and recognition for their work, and something that, together with his involvement with the Pirate Bay, gives him some serious credibility in the fight for the internet – something that the FInnish Pirates recognize:
“The Pirate Bay has become a worldwide symbol of standing up against the corporate bullies for the rights of internet users around the glove. Flattr, on the other hand, is a great example of creating positive and constructive solutions at the same time”
~Finnish Pirate Harri Kivistö
While the Pirate Bay is basically the biggest and best library that the world has ever had, Flattr is the way that the library can turn distribution into financial support, answering the oft-repeated question How will the artists survive?
Flattr bought the cover art for my first book.
Flattr helped me afford proof copies & review copies of my work.
Flattr helped me find other creators to support who were working in the same FREE territory as me.
Ok, I’ll stop.
I won’t go into way too much detail on it right now because I’ve actually been working on a whole series of in-depth intro/how-to/why-to posts on Flattr for TUEBL users who want to support their favorite authors! (Will work faster….. Promise!) So if you’re unfamiliar, stick around for a little while, and I’ll get back to the Flattr love in upcoming posts.
The Pirate Party
Like our librarians here at TUEBL, the Pirate Party seeks to legally change copyright law from the inside out. Pirates across the globe are working to make more fan- and artist-centric policy that embraces the sharing of culture and art instead of propping up the old monopolies and disadvantaging independent creators, and breaking the internet.
While still a mystery to many Americans, the Pirate Party has had great success in elections across Europe. Sweden currently has two pirate members to keep Peter company in the European Parliament should he win a seat. Pirates have stormed four German state-level parliaments in Berlin, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. Eichberg, Switzerland had a Pirate mayor. And Pirates are not just for Europe either – for a short time, Tunisia had a Pirate cabinet member.
So for now, let’s wish Peter luck, and hope that he gets the chance to join his fellow Pirates in the halls of government.
The grey-haired, suit-wearing old guard won’t know what hit them!