Pirate Bay cofounder to run for European Parliament
Seeks freetard vote for 'solutions we're in dire need of'
Peter Sunde, one of four cofounders of notorious BitTorrent search site The Pirate Bay, says he plans to run in next year's European Parliament elections, despite his impending incarceration for copyright violation.
Sunde, along with partners Carl Lundström, Frederik Neij, and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, were convicted of "accessory to breaching copyright laws" by a Swedish court in 2009.
Since then, they've been fighting their convictions through every channel imaginable, most recently through an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. That bid was quashed in March, however, leaving most of their legal options exhausted – though not all, claims Sunde.
If his sentence is ultimately upheld, Sunde will have to sit out eight months in prison, in addition to paying his share of 46 million Swedish kronor ($6.9m/£4.5m) in fines.
Nonetheless, on Tuesday Sunde announced his intent to run as a candidate for Finland's wing of the Pirate Party in the 2014 European Parliament elections.
"Even though I'm not a politician, or perhaps because of that, I think that my experiences and knowledge could help create the solutions we're in dire need of," Sunde told TorrentFreak.
Naturally, among the top issues on Sunde's agenda will be reform of copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property laws, in addition to legalizing "non-commercial file sharing" – which we understand to mean the kind where you download things for free.
"Copyright is not the thing that makes ARTISTS money, it's only for their brokers and distributors," Sunde said. "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."
If elected, Sunde wouldn't be the first Pirate Party candidate to serve on the European Parliament. The current Parliament includes two affiliated members – both hailing from Sweden, where Sunde was also born.
Sunde seems to have few allies in his cause, however. The 34-year-old reportedly reached out to German-born Mega mastermind Kim Dotcom to also stand for election next year, but Dotcom declined, citing "other priorities."
Dotcom is currently sought for extradition to the US on charges that he engaged in "an international organized criminal enterprise" involving copyright infringement, fraud, money laundering, and racketeering – but he apparently wants nothing to do with politics.
The forthcoming European Parliament elections are scheduled to be held in all EU member states between May 22 and 25, 2014. ®