One cool thing about Sweden is that it has relatively strong legal protections for freedom of speech and online privacy, especially by European standards. As a result, it’s something of a hotspot for peer-to-peer file sharing and copyright infringement. The other day, I slept in the same basement as one of the Pirate Bay admins. I felt a little bit like I was in the presence of internet royalty.
The pirates in Sweden have even created an organized political party to lobby for changes to copyright law in Sweden. Recently, the youth wing of this party, Ung Pirat (Young Pirates) received around $159,000 from the government bureau tasked with giving money to youth organizations to encourage young people’s participation in politics. Ung Pirat is apparently the third largest youth political organization in Sweden, and the money is distributed according to membership.