Six years ago, the Pirate Bay was raided by the Swedish police, taking down the torrent site and tracker, but such success was short lived. The site still lives on, and six years later, no sentences have been served, and nothing has changed as far as the site is concerned. There are other consequences though, that have had significant impact.
When 63 police officers stormed the PRQ datacentre, it didn’t seem like they were the catalyst of a major political movement. That is one of the legacies however. As officers covered cameras, little did they know that it would drive people into politics, and into elected office.
The Pirate Party, as a movement was born that day. That day, parties were formed in Germany, France, The US, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, and Australia (as was Pirate Party International). They were born of the sense of outrage against the police raid against what is essentially a legal site, operating like any search engine, and targeted by an industry used to getting its own way.
As we look back, 6 years later, we see that the site is still up, sentences are unserved, and yet there are now Pirates in Parliament. In fact, today, 6 years after the raid that created a movement, Swedish Pirate MEP (elected thanks to the trial generated by this case) Amelia Andersdotter had her proposal, AGAINST the Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty (ACTA) approved, by the Industry and Legal Affairs Committee (JURI). Meanwhile in Germany, they’re taking large segments of the state parliaments, and making substantive inroads into the government there.
It must seem like a bad nightmare to those pushing for ever-greater restrictions, to control their monopolies, and it all started thanks to that raid. I’ve spent almost 6 years working on Pirate Party stuff, and I wouldn’t have started at all, were it not for that raid. I know I’m not alone in that. For that we say THANK YOU, and PIRATE ON!