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Comment Caspar Bowdens testimony in the EU Parliament (Score 4, Informative) 199

Last week, Caspar Bowden testified at a hearing in the European Parliament, and presented a report on the NSA surveillance to the European Parliament's Committee for Fundamental Rights LIBE.

Link to the report:

Link to the Youtube-video with Bowden's statement and the following Q&A (63 min):

Comment This agrees with "The Case for Copyright Reform" (Score 5, Informative) 285

As a Member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Pirate Party, I have just published a short book (108 pages) on copyright reform together with Rick Falkvinge, who is the founder of the first and Swedish Pirate party.

The studies mentioned here seem to paint exactly the same picture as a number of studies that we refer to in that book. File sharing is not hurting revenues for the cultural sector. When we look at statistics for the last decade, with rampant file sharing on the internet, we see that more money is going into film, music, books, games and other culture than ever before, and that a larger portion of it is going to the artists and other creative people involved (as opposed to middle men such as the big record companies).

Two weeks ago we had a book launch for "The Case for Copyright Reform" in the European Parliament, and I have distributed a paper copy of it to each of the 754 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).

Now all that remains to be seen is how many of my colleagues in the parliament will actually read it, but that's another story. ;)

If you are interested in checking out the book, you can download "The Case for Copyright Reform" (for free, obviously) from You can also order a paper copy at cost price via print-on-demand, if you prefer that.

It is time that we start looking at copyright legislation in a fact-based manner, as opposed to the IPR fundamentalist way that has been dominant in this policy area so far on both sides of the Atlantic.

There is a better way.

Comment It is a legislative report (Score 5, Informative) 297

I took part in the vote as a Member of the JURI Committee in the European Parliament, and I can correct you on a few points. The amendments to a report can change its meaning completely, and the amendment that we lost was a rather important one. Therefore it is wrong to say that it was and "obscure" amendment, and imply that it was not important. The report is a legislative report that will turn into a binding directive and then national law once it is adopted, so it is not the question of a non-binding (or "own initiative") report this time.

Submission + - Pirate Party to host The Pirate Bay in parliament ( 1

m94mni writes: The Swedish Pirate Party has announced today that they will host The Pirate Bay from inside the Swedish parliament, should they gain enough votes (4%) in the elections on September 19. The party plans to take advantage of parliamentary immunity to protect information freedom from being abused be the entertainment industry.

Comment Re:Read into the record. (Score 5, Informative) 210

A MS Word version of (what I believe is) the same ACTA document can be found on my blog: Consolidated ACTA leak as Word document.

I don't really think that any parliamentary immunity will be necessary in connection with spreading this document, but as a Member of the European Parliament I can confirm that I have it, in case it turns out to be useful.

/Christian Engström
Member of the European Parliament
Piratpartiet (The Pirate Party), Sweden

Comment Swedish Pirate Party has its servers there (Score 4, Informative) 109

This is where we have located the servers of the Swedish Pirate Party.

Part of the reason is that the ISP Bahnhof has taken at stance on privacy issues that we are very happy with as pirates. But of course part of the reason is that it's a pretty cool looking data center. :)

You can find a couple of pictures from when we installed our servers in the data center here.

/Christian Engstrom
Vice Chairman, The Pirate Party, Sweden

Comment Re:Why all the fuss about cost. Should be cheap (Score 1) 279

Why was that modded troll?

If you look at the amount AT&T, Comcast, Verizon spend on marketing you'll find it comaparable to what they spend on upgrades.

Comcast spends millions on TV commercials to tell you how Comcastic they are.

These companies are government sanctioned monopolies that run humongous bureaucratic hierarchies. They have diminished incentive to be efficient because entry level into the market is so high as to preclude real competition.

Submission + - Swedish NSA to wiretap all phones, internet (

steelneck writes: This is from from the leader of the Swedish Pirate party Rick Falkvinge, who has been running a pull-down-their-pants series on how the national security agencies have been violating the Swedish Constitution for several years. He even had the former minister of defense to visit and comment on his swedish blog about what he is now writing about in english.

The fuss is about a bill in the Swedish Parliament that will mandate the national security agency (FRA, Försvarets Radioanstalt, translates roughly to Radio Agency of the Defensive Forces) to wiretap all phone calls and all Internet communications that happen to cross one of about 20 key points in the national infrastructure, typically placed along the Swedish borders.

All communications will be screened in real time according to automatic criteria. All of it. The communications that match will be automatically saved for manual inspection. These criteria are known only to the FRA and to an equally secret political oversight board, and will be changing constantly depending on what the FRA wants to find.

What this does is to change the default from "you have a right to privacy" to "all your private communications is always wiretapped". The only difference between this and when the East German security agency Stasi opened all letters and selected some of them for closer inspection, depending on a number of criteria, is that the capacity and scale of this system is immensely larger.

The way it looks now, this bill will pass in a vote on June 17. The parties have put so much prestige into passing this bill they can't back down without crashing hard.

Read it all on Ricks blog.

Ohh BTW.
The FRA recently bought one of the 5 most powerful computers in the world from HP. Gee.. wonder why?


Submission + - What the IFPI tries to conceal about its origins (

An anonymous reader writes: An old, influential, international organization usually wouldn't miss the opportunity to celebrate its own 75th birthday and inform the world about their history. Not so with the IFPI, the international lobby group of the record industry (closely affiliated with the RIAA). That their 75th anniversary takes place in 2008 is not only ignored by themselves. In fact, they actively try to conceal and suppress information about when and where they was founded.

Submission + - The Swedish OOXML vote as been declared invalid! (

Landreth writes: "The Swedish Standards Institute has tonight issued a press release, according to OS2 World, where they declared this weeks earlier vote regarding OOXML as invalid and by that Sweden don't have any official position regarding OOXML any more.

According to the press release (Swedish) issued by SIS, Swedish Standards Institute tonight (the pdf document is created 18:05) the SIS board has declared this weeks earlier OOXML vote as invalid due to that one of the participating companies has voted two times where the SIS rules clearly says that each company can only cast one vote each."


Submission + - Sweden shuts down The Pirate Bay again

larkly writes: "(From the i-told-you-so-dept) The Swedish Pirate Party released a press statement today, claiming that the Swedish police authorities have classified the torrent site The Pirate Bay as a distribution site for child pornography. The filter has not been subject of much national criticism, as it was only intended for blocking child pornography sites, but its usage now seems to drift in a different direction."

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