Pirate Bay soon to be hosted within Swedish Parliament?

The Pirate Bay logoSweden's political Piratpartiet (Pirate Party) and the operators of The Pirate Bay have always stressed their independence from each other, but they are now lashed tightly together—and could soon be much tighter. If Piratpartiet has its way, The Pirate Bay won't be using secret servers anymore. The servers will be quite public and located... inside the Swedish Parliament.

After a pan-European legal attempt to shut down The Pirate Bay, the site has run out of firms who will connect its servers to the Internet. The most recent casualty was German ISP Cyberbunker, which cut off the Bay after an injunction from a German district court. Cyberbunker's boss was furious, but he complied.

Soon after, the site was back up, this time helped out by its fellow Swedes in Piratpartiet. This might seem like a risky move for a nascent political party (Piratpartiet has two members sitting in the European Parliament), given that the Pirate Bay admins were recently found liable for contributory copyright infringement in a Swedish court.

Piratpartiet knows this. In a new editorial published in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet (English translation), the party says that it hopes to host the Bay from servers located within the Swedish Parliament to take advantage of parliamentary immunity. The plan relies on 1) The Pirate Bay agreeing to it and 2) Piratpartiet's performance in the upcoming September elections.

Talk about a symbolic gesture; such a move would be a high-profile stick in the eye to copyright owners and to the Swedish courts. The editorial asserts that "The Pirate Bay is actually both legitimate and legal already today, so technically no such immunity should be needed, but it is a practical way to get a short respite from the copyright industry's legal barrage."

Piratpartiet also describes the Bay in the most complimentary terms possible. Not only is it a beacon of free speech, it stands for "the future of Sweden as an industrial nation and Sweden's reputation as leading the way into the future." In a connection that remains murky, Piratpartiet also insists that Sweden's fall in average household bandwidth is "largely because today's politicians do not see the connection between file-sharing culture and future industry skills."

The Bay will help create new industries, and the stupid politicians currently in office "simply do not understand that the Internet is as important as electricity and running water, and that its unfettered freedom will create the jobs for the next generation."

The rhetoric is over the top (copyright holders are compared to "professional saboteurs" and "criminals"), but the goal is quite serious: continue to defend people's "right to act politically" by swapping films like Hot Tub Time Machine and Twilight: Eclipse (the two most popular films on The Pirate Bay at the moment). And to do it from within the Swedish Parliament.

Tags: BitTorrent, Internet, The Pirate Bay

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