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Interview With Leader of Sweden's Pirate Party

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the two-party-system?-never-heard-of-it dept.

476

CrystalFalcon writes "Linux-P2P has published an interview with Rick Falkvinge, leader of the Swedish Pirate Party which is aiming to gain entry to Swedish Parliament this fall. (The party's founding was previously covered on Slashdot.) The party is totally for real, totally serious, and has seen approval ratings of 57% in some polls, with only four percent needed to gain seats. Its goals are to cut back copyrights, abolish patents, and strengthen the right to privacy."

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476 comments

So... (5, Funny)

brilinux (255400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049625)

How do you say, "Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" in Swedish?

Re:So... (4, Informative)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049643)

It's the same, actually. Talk like a Pirate Day is observed internationally and this year in Sweden it's on September 17 (election day). Arrr!

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050026)

I thought Talk Like a Pirate Day was Sept 19th?

Re:So... (1)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049646)

Well, according to this thing [rinkworks.com] (Swedish Chef setting), it's "Yerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"

Re:So... (0, Redundant)

escapedlabmonkey (965708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049647)

"Bork. Bork. Bork. Bork."

Re:So... (0, Redundant)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049649)

Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, bork bork bork!

Re:So... (3, Funny)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049652)

Something like "Hum, de dum de dum, de dum de dum, de dum de yaaarrgh yaaargh yaaargh yaaargh bork bork bork".

Re:So... (1)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049677)

Jarrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049800)

Actually, I think it's "Bork! Bork!"

Or is that "Borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk!"?

Re:So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049964)

Don't forget the other benefits of having more pirates around, such as a reduction in global warming [venganza.org]

In other news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049632)

global average temperatures are decreasing.

here? (4, Interesting)

sjg (957424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049640)

I would be curious to hear arguments as to the viability of a pirate party in the US.

Re:here? (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049660)

Don't you mean over there?

Re:here? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049666)

I would be curious to hear arguments as to the viability of a pirate party in the US.

Not viable at all I'm afraid - its got more to do with the character of the voters then anything else & the swedish are better educated & more aware of issues then the lazy, apathetic US citizens.

Re:here? (5, Informative)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049676)

Very slim, unfortunately.

In Sweden, you only need four percent of the votes TOTAL to gain seats in parliament, in stark contrast to the UK or US systems where you need to gain majority in a certain area. There just aren't many enough technically savvy to gain absolute majority in a geographical region.

Four percent across the country may not sound like much, but if the left- and right-wing blocks get 48% each, like they typically do, then the Pirate Party will hold the balance of power. And that is a very good bargaining chip.

(In the last election, the Green Party achieved this position, counting in at 4.2% in the election, and they got basically everything they wanted.)

The party's home page is at http://www.piratpartiet.se/ [piratpartiet.se] -- the main site is in Swedish, but there's an English translation as well. And as a shameless plug, the party is currently doing a fundraiser to buy the necessary ballots. :-) Those small pieces of paper you put in the voting box cost obscene amounts.

Disclosure: I am involved with the party and am a paying member.

Re:here? (1)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049739)

How ironic that the "great" American political system is such a shambles. Electoral College means unfair representation, something as simple as counting ballots gets messed up, and once you are elected you _must not_ represent your constituents but instead must follow what the party whip says. AND it is basically impossible to get a third party into the picture.

Oh well, time for a Bud and an extended session with the TV remote...

Re:here? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050018)

You're full of shit.

The Electoral College is intended to give more power to smaller states in order to ensure that their interests are represented. Otherwise, the entire nation would bow to New York's interests. It was designed that way.

Ballot counting is the responsibility of each state. For presidential elections, they don't have to take your vote. The state could simply cast its vote however it likes, and to hell with the people living there. You should be glad that all the states currently ask your opinion instead of deciding for you. It wasn't always the case.

As for following the Party Whip, well that depends on whether the representative was elected on straight party ticket or not. If you voted for someone who was going to tow the party line, don't be surprised when he tows the party line. If you voted for someone who was going to shake things up, don't be surprised when he shakes things up. Geez, it's not rocket science.

On top of that, you're basing your entire opinion of the Swedish system on the off chance that the Pirate Party will get represented. Nothing has yet changed, and there's no guarantee that anything will change. Yet you are making out like Sweden is already leading the world in anti-anti-piracy! I've got news for you, buddy: The Swedish government screws up just as much as the American government. Many Swedes feel just as unhappy about their government's choices and policies as you do about America's. If you took the time to study their system of government, you'd know that.

In short, the only thing in shambles is your off-the-cuff rant about nonsense that you don't comprehend. If you actually want to make a difference in politics, take an active interest, learn how the system works, and understand what each candidate can or can't do rather than backing every joe who makes a promise that he might not be able to keep.

Re:here? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049740)

It's better or worse than that, I'm not sure which. To get seats in the house a pirate party member would have to win his local jurisdiction by majority vote. For the senate, the state he represents. I'd say it's probably easier to get a seat in the house if you represent the right county (like say: areas in San Jose, Austin, Redmond, etc.). On the other hand Pirate Party members may get 5% of the votes nationwide but still get no seats if the votes are not sufficiently localized.

Re:here? (1)

thefirelane (586885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049838)

(In the last election, the Green Party achieved this position, counting in at 4.2% in the election, and they got basically everything they wanted.)

Which is exactly why I like the US system so much, even though it is fashionable to pan it: Parlimentary systems increase the power of fringe minority groups. Under the US system, the moderates are more powerful, as they are swing voters and will be pandered too. This of course is 'not cool' to young radical types, but having a stable moderate government is quite desirable to everyone (except the indymedia types who want fast and radical change.)

Re:here? (1)

SigILL (6475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049965)

having a stable moderate government is quite desirable to everyone

You mean so they can keep the status quo wrt. copyrights and patents?

Re:here? (1)

hclyff (925743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050030)

increase the power of fringe minority groups. ... having a stable moderate government is quite desirable to everyone

First, I don't see how these two things are opposite. Having in 5% parliament still doesn't really mean much. You can push your (possibly wicked) agenda, but when it comes to key issues, 5% is not enough to really change things. You can align with other parties who hold similiar view, but that's it.

Second, US political situation is no more stable than in most European countries. US system allows less variety, but people still swing between the two parties which is basically what happens in EU countries, only there are more players and more options. Radical parties getting any power is very rare situation.

Re:here? (5, Funny)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049900)

Four percent across the country may not sound like much, but if the left- and right-wing blocks get 48% each, like they typically do, then the Pirate Party will hold the balance of power. And that is a very good bargaining chip.
(In the last election, the Green Party achieved this position, counting in at 4.2% in the election, and they got basically everything they wanted.)


So 4% of the vote gets you 100% of the power... sounds like a great democratic system.

Re:here? (4, Funny)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049911)

Those small pieces of paper you put in the voting box cost obscene amounts

Why don't they just copy them?

Re:here? (2, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049684)

>I would be curious to hear arguments as to the viability of a pirate party in the US.

see "on the viability of any 3rd party in a consumer society with privately-funded campaigns" i.e. "none".

compare also with the recent party-funding scandal in the UK.

Re:here? (1)

rodgster (671476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049698)

I'd vote for them just to spite the corporatists.

AAArrrrrrr I mean the Corpocracy Party...

Aaarrrrrr I mean the Republicans & Democrats.

 

Re:here? (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049775)

Fine, throw your vote away. (yay democracy...err republic...err ..plutocracy)

Re:here? (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050003)

I'd vote for them just to spite the corporatists.

Because having your actions motivated only by your hatred of others always has such a great outcome...

Re:here? (1)

multiOSfreak (551711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049783)

I would be curious to hear arguments as to the viability of a pirate party in the US.

We have two pirate parties, and they're both doing very well. They pretty much have complete control of Congress.

The Ninja pirate will kick their arse (-1, Offtopic)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049659)

real ultimte power! [realultimatepower.net]

ninja-pirate pump-up [realultimatepower.net]

Ninja are way better than Pirates...

Re:The Ninja pirate will kick their arse (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049793)

Ninja are way better than Pirates...
No they are not! [xmission.com]

Call them the hyprocrite party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049662)

Its goals are to cut back copyrights, abolish patents, and strengthen the right to privacy."

They want to strenghten privacy rights but weaken copyrights? So, to state it another way, they want their interests protected, but not those of others? Does information want to be "libre" or not?

Not Very Bright (2, Interesting)

Aque0us (955275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049667)

Such a thing makes you wonder, if copyright were to be abolished in such a fashion as Falkvinge is proposing, then would the artist/director/musician have any incentive to pour his time and money into a project?

While I believe that many aspects of copyright are downright silly, this could be related to a kid whining about not getting what he wants.

Re:Not Very Bright (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049786)

I dunno. Ask Bach or Handel if they would have written their masterpieces if their children hadn't gotten the royalties for decades after their death. Ask Dante if Inferno would not have been written. Ask Da Vinci if he would have painted the Last Supper (or without patents to guarantee that only he could use his inventions, invented the many things he did).

The world worked before copyrights and patents, it'll keep on working after them.

Re:Not Very Bright (4, Informative)

TripleA (232889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049856)

So, obviosly, you didn't read the article.

Piratpartiet proposes a five (5) year exclusive commercial copyright. That is more than enough time for most projects to reach a sound profit. And, as most people reading this now are aware, the non-profit sharing of music and other copyrighted materials tends to make the material sell more, not less. Just like having a song played on the radio.

Only but a dream in the US (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049672)

If only this were possible in the US. People actually taking time out of their day to care about something other than what's on TV... hell, for that matter, this is more about the Swedish caring about what's on TV. People in the US don't really care much about anything.

I wonder where I can get a rubber band to wear that is in support of copyright and patent reform?

Re:Only but a dream in the US (1)

MadTinfoilHatter (940931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049876)

If only this were possible in the US. People actually taking time out of their day to care about something other than what's on TV...

Yeah, well the Swedes seem to care about what's on The Pirate Bay... :-)

worth noting (1, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049679)

Worth noting is that the 57% approval rating was most likely achieved on a completely unbiased straw poll on DALnet.

I very seriously doubt 4% of the voting public is even aware of this party's existence. We already have three other new mobs of power-hungry morons^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H groups of upstanding, concerned citizens hogging the spotlight; don't expect this one to make much of a splash.

Re:worth noting (5, Informative)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049702)

No, the 57% poll was achieved by online newspaper Aftonbladet, with almost 100,000 readers participating.

Re:worth noting (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049779)

...or one reader participating 100,000 times.

Re:worth noting (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049813)

...if he took the time to fake his IP address for every vote. I'd like to meet this industrious individual.

Re:worth noting (2)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049861)

Not to mention the gravity and seriousness of participating in an anonymous online poll on the frontpage of the foremost sensationalist evening paper in the country.

"Hehehe, cool, 'pirate party', let's click on that. Free rum to everyone, right? Hehehe. I like parrots. Hehehehe"

Re:worth noting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050028)

Well, no. The poll was on Aftonbladet's site, not Expressen's site. (Not that the difference in sensationalism is all *that* great, but it's definitely noticeable.)

Re:worth noting (5, Funny)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049807)

So now we know that at least one person who cares about pirating is a skilled hacker. Somehow, I'm not surprised...

Re:worth noting (1)

SigILL (6475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049899)

don't expect this one to make much of a splash.

Even one seat in the swedish parliament would be a huge victory. Copyright and patent reform is probably going to take quite a while, but you got to start somewhere.

If this party gets the voter attention it (IMO) deserves, I'm seriously considering starting a similar party here in The Netherlands. Any other slashdotters interested in doing so?

Re:worth noting (4, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050012)

Even one seat in the swedish parliament would be a huge victory.

It would. It won't happen. 4% nationwide is a huge barrier, and it's a rare thing indeed for a party to be able to.

And this election year, as I mentioned, there are already a couple of other new parties with a lot more visibility and general appeal sucking away the available pool of risktaker voters. Notably, even the most visible, most believable new party is currently polling at below 1%.

Far easier is to get local seats; this happens in a few places every year. Those parties are focusing on local issues, on the other hand.

So, the party is a fun idea, a good exercize in democracy, and possibly a very good way to raise awareness of copyright issues, but no, it won't get seats in parliament.

Pirate Party in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049681)

Here down under there have been plans to start a similar party. The "No Pokies" party in South Australia actually got a couple of seats. If they can, the Aussie Pirate Party sure can...

If anyone is interested in running for the Oz Pirate Party please send mail to software dot [TLD two-letter code for Oz] at gmail dot com. Thanks.

Re:Pirate Party in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049745)

You're software.au@gmail.com email adress is allready on the web from posting to wikipedia.

Perhaps you should also consider making a slashdot account? (quoth the ac)

I'm sure they're going to be really effective (2, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049686)

with a name like "Pirate Party". Certainly it does no harm whatsoever to the cause of copyright reform internationally to associate everyone who wants copyright law liberalized a little with wanton copyright infringers.

(The word "sarcasm" appears in this sentence for the 20% of Slashdotters who never recognize it when it appears.)

Re:I'm sure they're going to be really effective (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049732)

Maybe they are more concerned with reform in their country, where it is probably achievable and not concerned with the international movement, which wont really happen until the individual countries start to

I don't like the term "pirate". (5, Interesting)

TechnoGuyRob (926031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049690)

As we all know, today is the Information Age. For this reason, I believe that information should not be restricted anymore. I know that as an individualistic--as opposed to collectivistic--society we find the individual's achievements laudable and attributable. However, as we have seen over the past decade, movements towards free information have been very successful. "Piracy" has rampaged. Firefox has flourished. The internet has become (in my opinion, at least) one of the greatest inventions of mankind. EVER. Because of Tim Berners-Lee's refusal to privatize or commercialize the internet.

Sweden is a strong country as far as free information goes; very little is restricted. For example, the popular torrent website The Pirate Bay [thepiratebay.org] , a warehouse of torrents for popular files is hosted in Sweden and hasn't had much problems with the Swedish authorities. Interestingly, its corresponding crime rate [indymedia.org] is one of the lowest in the world--60 people imprisoned per 100,000, as compared to the United States' 690.

Call me unpatriotic, call me crazy, but I think this "Pirate Party" might very well just be a good idea. It will give people a different perspective on things: It is possible to not restrict information, and still manage a flourishing--if not something greater--economy and society.


I, for one, welcome our new pirate overlords.

Re:I don't like the term "pirate". (1, Flamebait)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049751)

Well sure, if nothing is against the law, your crime rate is going to be quite low. If we legallized most drugs in the US, the crime rate would drop by something like 90%. If we legallized murder, rape, and child abuse we could get rid of most of the remaining 10%.

Re:I don't like the term "pirate". (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049858)

Last time I checked murder, rape, and child abuse are still illegal in sweden. I'm fairly certain that the same drugs that aren't legal here are illegal in Sweden. I'd guess there's far less steep penalties for drugs though, and probbably just treatment.

One thing I do know about Sweden is they treat they take rehabilitation of criminals very seriously. In the US we throw people in a hole for a few years and try to forget about them. I saw something (can't remember which station) on TV about different justice systems around the world, and Sweden treats their criminals better than many Americans live. Even I thought it was a bit overboard, but if it works it works. The one really funny thing was that the inmates still complained about prison, even though it looked more like a day care than a prison. One guy complained about having his urine tested for drugs every day. I'd guess any US prisoner would jump at the chance to trade with that guy.

I don't think it's quite fair to compare Sweden to the US though. They're very different cultures, so picking out one factor and saying that's responsible for the lower crime rate isn't necessarily valid.

Re:I don't like the term "pirate". (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049789)

Interestingly, its corresponding crime rate is one of the lowest in the world--60 people imprisoned per 100,000, as compared to the United States' 690.
That's because we don't have any police. So the 60 out of 100000 is just the ones there was a general consensus in the crowd about should be hunted down and locked in. Not so bad.

Re:I don't like the term "pirate". (2, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049804)

>Because of Tim Berners-Lee's refusal to privatize or
>commercialize the internet.
TBL had nothing to do with the Internet - he came up with the WWW, not the same thing *at all*.

Re:I don't like the term "pirate". (2, Informative)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049895)

The internet has become (in my opinion, at least) one of the greatest inventions of mankind. EVER. Because of Tim Berners-Lee's refusal to privatize or commercialize the internet.

Just to clarify, Tim Berners-Lee invented the web, not the Internet, which it runs on. Thankfully, the Internet is also open to anyone who wants to have access to it and contribute to it, be it in the form of e-mail, IRC, or that old medium of free speech, USENET. And you're right: that's the way it should be, and it has gone a long way to showing oppressed people a glimpse of freedom.

Apparently, you don't know much about sweden. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049971)

"Sweden is a strong country as far as free information goes; very little is restricted."

A Conservative Swedish political party posted the 12 danish drawings of Mohammed on their website, and the swedish minister of internal affairs ordered swedish intelligence to get the site taken down for "Reasons of security" - even though everybody knows, it's a clear case of DDR'esque political censorship by the ruling far-left opinion elite, slithering behind the curtain.

Sweden has MAJOR problems with freedom of information.

Re:I don't like the term "pirate". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050041)

I know that as an individualistic--as opposed to collectivistic--society

Tell me what society you're living in, because I want to move there.

Governments today consume more revenue, hold more power over the people, and are more destructive than ever before in human history. This is collectivism, defined by the fact that nobody has a choice. Individualism would require that each individual actually has a choice in whether or not to obey or invest in government. As it stands, there is no such choice, and therefore, what we have is much closer to collectivism than individualism.

In fact, government always represents collectivism no matter what government does, by the simple fact that government is not voluntary. Individualism is represented by voluntary association (freedom), and as you are aware, your level of freedom is being reduced by the day.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of Absolut (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049692)

If they win, does this mean we can download as many Swedish CDs, Games and Movies that we like?
AWESOME!

Re:Yo ho ho and a bottle of Absolut (4, Funny)

braun (673524) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049771)

I'm sorry, but wanting to download a Swedish movie is concidered as an act of mental illness here.

Re:Yo ho ho and a bottle of Absolut (1)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049889)

Re:Yo ho ho and a bottle of Absolut

Or for a more traditionally Swedish drink, Akvavit (flavoured potato alcohol) would do me just fine.

The Pirate Bay (2, Interesting)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049695)

There's a famous Swedish pirate site. I wonder if there's a link....

Re:The Pirate Bay (1)

P2PDaemon (723609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049721)

RTFA. That is all.

Re:The Pirate Bay (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049905)

Actually, TFA does not talk about the Pirate Bay at all. The only thing that comes close is the statement that copyright needs to be rebalanced and made fair again and that the Pirate Party supports a period of protection of 5 years or a similar amount.

You *can* read into that that they disapprove of the Pirate Bay. On the other hand, Rickard also mentions that non-commercial sharing should never be prohibited by copyright, and that criminalising (more than) 20% of your voters is a bad idea - not just for politicians, but also for society as a whole.

Since neither the Pirate Bay nor those sharing files there is actually operating commercially, I'd say that the Pirate Party does not disapprove of it.

But that wasn't even the original question, of course - the question was whether there's a link between the Pirate Party and the Pirate Bay, and TFA does not talk about that *at all*. However, if you check Wikipedia, you'll learn that neither the Pirate Bay nor Piratbyrån are affiliated with the Pirate Party - the only connection seems to be the fact that Mikael Viborg is both the legal advisor for the Pirate Bay and a member of the Pirate Party's interim board.

Abolishing patents (3, Insightful)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049730)

Do these guys realise that abolishing patents means the death of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries? These are 2 industries that I have worked for and I cannot see them surviving without patents. Maybe they should go and talk to some people in these domains.

Re:Abolishing patents (1)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049784)

Are you saying that without patents, there will not be a market for things that people need and are prepared to pay for?

You, sir, seriously need a fresh perspective.

Re:Abolishing patents (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049802)

Developing and testing a new drug costs nearly $1B. Copying one costs a few 100K.

Re:Abolishing patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049865)

Developing a new drug that increases your wang size or bust size, costs billions of dollars a year. Researching and developing new drugs like vioxx when superior older drugs have come out from under patent protection, costs billions of dollars a year. Marketing Ritalin and funding studies that incidentally show that everybody and their dog needs to be on ritalin, costs billions of dollars.

Look into what drug companies actually spend money on. They aren't looking for cures, they're looking for solutions to hair loss, the female viagra, etc. The big pharma companies are looking for continual users to keep profits high.

Re:Abolishing patents (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049880)

Developing and testing a new drug costs nearly $1B. Copying one costs a few 100K.

Only for the most easy-to-copy substances, and those really shouldn't have been patentable in the first place, even under the current system. Add to that all the years and money spent for FDA approval (yes, the copycat drugs do need those too) and you have a natural monopoly of several years with none of the harmful side-effects of the patent system, like what happens if two companies develop the same drug at the same time. With patents, only one of them are allowed to profit from the invention while effectively "stealing" a billion from the other. How's that fair?

In real life, ouside the reality distortion field of patent bureaus, it's quite expensive to manufacture, distribute and market a drug. Actually, only about 15% of Big Pharma's expenses are spent on R&D, the rest is marketing, patent bureau fees, patent licensing fees, manufacturing, distribution and overhead costs. Check their annual reports.

And, as we can clearly see anytime a new drug's patent runs out, the original drug still outsells the copycats, despite often quite large differences in price as the new-comers try to muscle in on the market. The original's trade mark is obviously much more valuable than the patent.

Re:Abolishing patents (1)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049885)

Developing a new drug is mostly paid for by public funding. TESTING a new drug takes 5-15 years and costs a couple million, last time I checked with the pharmas. Don't know where your billion figure comes from.

However, the testing that they do isn't patentable.

And with up to 15 years of lead before the copies can arrive, what do you need the patent protection for, anyway?

Re:Abolishing patents (5, Interesting)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049796)

Do these guys realise that abolishing patents means the death of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries?

No we don't, for the simple reason that it isn't true. Do the math yourself. Or, read up on some people who have:

Dean Baker [paecon.net]
George Monbiot [guardian.co.uk]

In fact, our very own Ericsson was founded by copying a Siemens telephone design. History shows, repeatedly, that countries and/or markets with little or no IP protection flourish for the simple reason that time-to-market and true innovation are much stronger incentives for the making of new creations than the stale state-imposed monopolies of patent and copyright.

No country, Schiff notes, has ever contributed "as many basic inventions in this field as did Switzerland during her patentless period".

Re:Abolishing patents (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050031)

History shows, repeatedly, that countries and/or markets with little or no IP protection flourish

Please citations on this one. The industrial revolution occurred immediately after the institution of a patent system in the UK. Much of what became the British Empire was based on the industrial supremacy of the UK. All through history it has been the strongest economies that have had sound patent systems, and the economically depressed third world nations that have had not patent systems.

Re:Abolishing patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049816)

Is this the same big pharma that squanders it's money on plush offices for expensive executives, where entire companies can exist for 20 years on the profits extorted from a single patent?

Yeah, I'm sure all the research scientists will just go and bag groceries when reality seaps into that industry!

Re:Abolishing patents (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049862)

I don't see anyone talking about the pharma/chemical industry and their patents. Different strokes for different fields, I say.

One patent per product (1)

2901 (676028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049968)

Patents work for pharmaceuticals because it is one patent per saleable product.

There is a push on to change this, so that a drug company can get a patent on the site that a drug targets. Then subsequent drug discoveries that target that site will be covered by two patents, the early broad one on the site and the later specific one on the new drug.

At this point the patent system will start to implode. It will be hard to get research money to work on drugs for sites that are covered by patents, because the owners of the earlier patent can leech of the investors in the research for the second drug.

The patent system will end up restricting research funding in pharmaceuticals just like it does in other areas that are overgrown by patent thickets.

Re:Abolishing patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049994)

Hey if that means fewer limp dick drugs, I'm all for it. Maybe then people will realize the real cause of impotence: high cholestorol brought on by the meat-laden western diet. Enjoy your impotence, flesh eaters.

This seems valid (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049748)

"The party is totally for real, totally serious, and has seen approval ratings of 57% in some polls"

-"What is right isn't always popular, and what is popular isn't always right."

Uh...wait a second... (1)

hadj (926126) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049827)

Are you suggesting (pure) democracy does not work? Are the Arab countries informed about this issue? I think they should know this before bombs start dropping demanding democracy.

Re:This seems valid (2, Insightful)

thedletterman (926787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049867)

no legislation without representation. i presonally think this is hilarious, and their ability to actually PASS any legislation is nil. However, it would be refreshing for the anti-ip faction to have a voice in the legislature.

Re:This seems valid (1)

nem75 (952737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049922)

"What is right isn't always popular, and what is popular isn't always right."

Now if copyrights and patents just were about "right" and "wrong" these days.

Partly reasonable, partly not (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049757)

Cutting back the term of copyright is what many people here agree on.
But they also say that in their proposal, only the "exact copy" is protected - you can sample a clip and then sell it as a new work! Now, there might be a grey area, but that seems a bit on the nose. Just pass it through a Digital to analog converter, and back to digital, and you've somehow created something?

Abolish patents? (4, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049758)

Bad idea.

Obviously patenting has run amok and needs to be fixed, but I don't see where anyone would benefit from the elimination of patents. "Hey guys, I've got an idea...let's remove the ability to make money off massive R&D investments by making it so that people who didn't do any of the work can produce and sell a product as soon as it comes to market!"

Copyrights run way too long, but are a good thing; people work hard to produce works and should be given some legal protection so that--if they choose--they can profit from those works. It encourages the creation of new works by allowing people to make a career of it.

I really think that people who think intellectual property is a bad thing think that simply because they are out of touch. Or maybe they've just never had ideas/works that were original enough to be protected under IP laws and so they don't know what it means to have an idea stolen. Taking away the protections the law currently gives would discourage new ideas because they would no longer be profitable.

Re:Abolish patents? (2, Informative)

geo.georgi (809888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049836)

Read the interview.
They want only to limit the patents to maximal 5 years.

Re:Abolish patents? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050010)

LinuxP2P: Patents provide a huge financial incentive for inventors and researchers. Won't abolishing them effectively stop innovation?

Re:Abolish patents? (1)

floodis (965705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049870)

Patents is one of the worst ways of making money for people with good ideas, and specially for SME:s. Patents don't boost innovations, they impende it. And patents don't bring in the money, they waste it. It's a myth created by the big industries that patents are boosting development. Patents is just an instrument for the big companies to controll the market. "Hey guys, I've got an idea... but I can't develop it because it's patented or will be if I reveal my idea." No one wants to remove tha ability to make money, that's way patents have to go.

Re:Abolish patents? (4, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049891)

The problem most of us have with patents is just that they are so severely broken that we'd be better off with no patents than with the current system. Which is not to say that something in between might not be best, but it would need to be much closer to the no patents side of things than the current system, and so it will seem to many that abolishing patents entirely (and then if need be re-establishing a new system) would be a good solution.

Re:Abolish patents? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049935)

"Hey guys, I've got an idea...let's remove the ability to make money off massive R&D investments by making it so that people who didn't do any of the work can produce and sell a product as soon as it comes to market!"

Can you think of any patentable (or patented) product where a competitor would really be able to analyse, copy, produce and market it "as soon as it comes to market" ?

Taking away the protections the law currently gives would discourage new ideas because they would no longer be profitable.

Of course they would. Not *as* profitable, to be sure, but still profitable.

Re:Abolish patents? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049986)

Can you think of any patentable (or patented) product where a competitor would really be able to analyse, copy, produce and market it "as soon as it comes to market" ?

Yes. Pretty much anything that is not electronic.

You are aware that patents extend far beyond software and electronic devices, right? There are a LOT of mechanical devices that are patentable, and mechanical devices can be disassembled and their designs copied in a matter of days.

Some quotes from TFA (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049969)

Basically, because the politicians didn't listen to their voters, but to yesterday's industry interests instead, which led them to criminalize 20% of their voters (1.2 million file sharers, 5.2 million voters).

Argumentum ad numerum.

DRM is effectively media companies writing their own copyright laws, harming society and consumers. We have a parliament to write such laws, thank you very much.

DRM is more of a license agreement. Like any given license agreement, it spells out what you can and cannot do with what you have purchased. DRM simply takes it a step further and makes it difficult for you to violate the agreement.

(Don't think I'm defending DRM...I hate it. But you do have the option to simply not purchase DRM files)

The equivalent would be if someone sold you a product that shut down on purpose in daylight, or outside of a particular city, or under whatever condition the manufacturer hadn't approved. We call it fraud in the cases where we can relate, so I can't believe the media industry is getting away with this.

If it said on the box "this product does not work in the dark or outside Seattle" what's the problem?

Apart from that, there have been numerous horror stories about DRM abuse. Starforce and XCP come to mind.

That's like saying that P2P software should be banned because it can be (ab)used to pirate movies and music. ...we will require the public sector - which is quite large in Sweden, and spends quite some money - to purchase systems in a way that does not "promote the formation or continuation of monopolies on ideas and concepts". This translates to more or less requiring FOSS, or at least more open systems than are common today.

Just...wow. ...In short, the story about striking it rich on a patent is a fairy tale. There are way too many interests out there who don't want you to get rich on that patent, and they make very sure you won't be...

Basically, because it's hard to get a patent that isn't already claimed by someone else and because the system is abused by major corporations, let's get rid of patents.

Does he realize that this would just hand everything to big business? Every good product that any small-time inventor came up with would be instantly copied by some big company and in every Wal-Mart inside of a week. This guy wants to remove the only protection the "little guy" has from the predators.

You might want to note, though, that once the copyright has expired after five years, such activity would be totally legit. It would be no different from printing a really old book today.

FIVE YEARS??? They're insane. It can take five years for a band to work their way up from garage band to being noteworthy enough to get a recording contract. This would mean that all of their early works would be unprotected right as they became popular enough to actually make money off them.

For individually-owned copyrights, give them lifetime rights, plus five or ten years (as opposed to 75...this allows their unreleased works to be profitable for their heirs). If at any time copyrights are transfered from the creator to another individual or corporation, give them the same 5-10 years the family would get if the author died. This would encourage more creators to hang on to their rights rather than give them to corporations.

Re:Some quotes from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050035)

"If it said on the box "this product does not work in the dark or outside Seattle" what's the problem?"

And what exactly happens to those DRM files when the original copywrite has expired??? Thats right, even though it then becomes legal to do what you want with the file, it is still locked, and they have taken away your "fair Use" clause in the meantime.

Real pirates will sue (2, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049769)

for copywrite infringement.

Sounds nice... BUT... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049782)

I am a hardcore communist/socialist and would never vote for these guys even if they did campaign here in the U.S. I want to see tax rates at 100% with everyone on welfare, absolute prohibition on private gun ownership, forced labor camps, a lot more "Ruby Ridges" and "Wacos", people being forcibly relocated to the big cities, amnesty for all undocumented workers, and the abolishment of the constitution. I would vote for the pirate party if they did the above.

Flying Spaghetti Monster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049839)

Am I the only one that thinks that this Swedish "Pirate Party" is a thinly veiled attempt by the "Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster" (www.venganza.org) to beef up their ranks and prevent global warming?

Re:Flying Spaghetti Monster? (2, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049996)

Am I the only one that thinks that this Swedish "Pirate Party" is a thinly veiled attempt by the "Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster" (www.venganza.org) to beef up their ranks and prevent global warming?

Wrong kind of pirate.

Anyway, when Swedes go in for pillage and murder on the high seas, they don't call themselves pirates. They're Vikings. Much, much scarier ;-)

Arghh (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049893)

Even if Swedens ruling party (The Social Democrats) has their tongue right in there in Bush's crack i dont think nice thoughts when i see the American flag in this topics headline.

Finally! An end to global warming! (1)

scooter.higher (874622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049945)

This is a great day! The FSM will be proud to see that with the growing nuumber of Pirates in the world the Earth's temperature will begin to reverse it's present course!

http://www.venganza.org/ [venganza.org]

RAmen

Ninja Party (2, Funny)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049983)

I'd personally vote for the ninja party myself.

Donation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050001)

Even if they were to turn out to be a complete failure, which I wish they wouldn't, I just donated them 5 Euros.

They are just too cool to pass with no donation!

Cheers, Kuba

the real pirate's opinion ? (1)

joeyspqr (629639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050034)

quick, somebody ask Maddox [xmission.com] what he thinks !!
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