Pirate Party Invited To, Then Banned From, Swedish Gaming Show

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Pirate Party Invited To, Then Banned From, Swedish Gaming Show


The Pirate Party says that after months of being pestered to take part in Sweden's biggest gaming festival, it was banned from attending.

Gamex, the biggest gaming show in all of Sweden, ran this past weekend and everybody who's anybody was there, from the big guns like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League. One group that didn't take part, however, was the Swedish Pirate Party.

Despite the silly name, the Pirate Party is actually a legitimate political force in the country - it currently holds two seats in the European Parliament - which on the surface, at least, makes it a natural fit for a convention like this. And according to party leader Anna Troberg, Gamex actively solicited the Pirate Party's participation for months, eventually leading it to book a booth and spring for advertising and hotel rooms. But then the wheels came off.

"On Tuesday afternoon, I called a representative of the show with a few simple practical questions, but she seemed generally stressed out and said something vague about the show and not wanting any problems before she hung up," Troberg told Torrentfreak [http://torrentfreak.com/too-controversial-pirate-party-banned-from-gaming-exhibition-111105/]. "I thought it was a bit strange, but in the afternoon, the pieces fell into place when the fair manager, Bear Wengse, phoned me and kindly, but firmly, announced that the Pirate Party was no longer welcome at the fair."

Wengse said that Gamex is not a political venue and expressed concern that the presence of the Pirate Party could cause problems because some of their activities "could be perceived as criminal." Troberg noted that as a political party, the Pirate Party seeks to change laws, not break them, much like the Social Democratic Youth League, which was allowed to attend despite its support for the decriminalization of non-commercial file sharing. But the ban remained.

Nonetheless, Troberg is sticking to the high road in the dispute. She actually thanked the Gamex people for the ban, saying it resulted in more exposure for the party than it would have received through the show. And although the Pirate Party wasn't allowed in, it was well represented anyway: members of the party's Young Pirate group gave away free Pirate Party t-shirts to attendees who wanted to show their support.


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John the Gamer

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So........ No pirates allowed in scandinavia, the region were all the vikings came from? What? Respect your roots, swedish piratofobes.

Also, that is totally a dickmove; They're all like: "You can totally come to my birthday party", and then when you have finally bought a present and spent the entire weekend baking a beautifull cake they say: "Just kidding! I really kind of hate you, but you already knew that right? Right?"

So now you're stuck with a wasted gift and a bunch of old cake. Possibly a broken heart and sore stomach as well.
 

HerbertTheHamster

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Maybe if the pirate was something other than angry teens who want free stuff I'd care more about them being discriminated.
 

Richardplex

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DVS BSTrD said:
Well OF COURSE they're not gunna let the Pirates come. I mean zombies are still in with video games and you couldn't keep the ninjas out if you tried. We don't want a turf war breaking out!
Don't worry, Ratchet and Clanks' Robot Zombie Pirate Ghosts in Space will come in and bring back the peace.
 

Xaryn Mar

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HerbertTheHamster said:
Maybe if the pirate was something other than angry teens who want free stuff I'd care more about them being discriminated.
They are.
Piratpartiet (the Pirate Party) is a legitimate political party in Sweden (as the article says) that wants to change the laws regarding, among other things, copyright and rights online.
They are not, at least as a whole, what is generally consideret software pirates but normal people with an interest in the things I mentioned above.
 

microhive

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HerbertTheHamster said:
Maybe if the pirate was something other than angry teens who want free stuff I'd care more about them being discriminated.
That's not what the political party is about.

Introduction to Politics and Principles

The Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected. With this agenda, and only this, we are making a bid for representation in the European and Swedish parliaments. Not only do we think these are worthwhile goals. We also believe they are realistically achievable on a European basis. The sentiments that led to the formation of the Pirate Party in Sweden are present throughout Europe. There are already similar political initiatives under way in several other member states. Together, we will be able to set a new course for a Europe that is currently heading in a very dangerous direction. The Pirate Party only has three issues on its agenda:...

http://www.piratpartiet.se/international/english
 

The Madman

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Makes sense to me, the pirate party doesn't have any ties to or support the gaming industry, quite the opposite I would imagine. Their only reason for being there would have been political. Frankly I wouldn't have invited the other group either but that's just me, I prefer to keep politics away from my fun gaming pastime.

John the Gamer said:
So now you're stuck with a wasted gift and a bunch of old cake. Possibly a broken heart and sore stomach as well.
Don't feel sorry for them, they pirated those gifts anyway. Of course the one thing they can't pirate is a mended heart though I'm sure they've been trying to find a torrent for that too...
 

HerbertTheHamster

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Xaryn Mar said:
HerbertTheHamster said:
Maybe if the pirate was something other than angry teens who want free stuff I'd care more about them being discriminated.
They are.
Piratpartiet (the Pirate Party) is a legitimate political party in Sweden (as the article says) that wants to change the laws regarding, among other things, copyright and rights online.
They are not, at least as a whole, what is generally consideret software pirates but normal people with an interest in the things I mentioned above.
redmarine said:
HerbertTheHamster said:
Maybe if the pirate was something other than angry teens who want free stuff I'd care more about them being discriminated.
That's not what the political party is about.

Introduction to Politics and Principles

The Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected. With this agenda, and only this, we are making a bid for representation in the European and Swedish parliaments. Not only do we think these are worthwhile goals. We also believe they are realistically achievable on a European basis. The sentiments that led to the formation of the Pirate Party in Sweden are present throughout Europe. There are already similar political initiatives under way in several other member states. Together, we will be able to set a new course for a Europe that is currently heading in a very dangerous direction. The Pirate Party only has three issues on its agenda:...

http://www.piratpartiet.se/international/english
Trust me. I almost voted for them until I saw that they were basically all upper-middle class 18 year olds. By "privacy" they mean "the government is looking at all my porn man, they gotta be stopped".

It's a single-idea party which doesn't give a shit about anything but making downloading legal, and it's voters are the kind of people who go around quoting V for vendetta without even knowing what Guy Fawkes did.

At least the pirate bay is fucking honest about it's cause.
 

The Random One

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Man, inviting then uninviting risky people is the latest craze in videogames, isn't it?

Hey Escapists! You're all invited to my home. We're going to play games and eat nachos. Please bring your own controller. And nachos.

NEVER MIND I CHANGED MY MIND. YOU ARE ALL UNINVITED.
 

microhive

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HerbertTheHamster said:
...SNIP

Trust me. I almost voted for them until I saw that they were basically all upper-middle class 18 year olds. By "privacy" they mean "the government is looking at all my porn man, they gotta be stopped".

It's a single-idea party which doesn't give a shit about anything but making downloading legal, and it's voters are the kind of people who go around quoting V for vendetta without even knowing what Guy Fawkes did.

At least the pirate bay is fucking honest about it's cause.
For me it doesn't matter whether or not downloading entertainment content will be totally free one day but rather limit and diminish the stranglehold the entertainment industry has over the technology industry.

An examples would be the android chaos, such as digital patents? Who the heck came up with that crazy idea? Hardware, sure. Code, Hell no!
 

aksel

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That's the definition of "dick move" right there.

And I know that piracy is quite the taboo issue on the Escapist, but, as stated in the article, they are a legitimate party, with logical and straightforward causes and arguments concerning copyright laws. They might even be the most honest party in the world.

I support their causes, and agree with them fully.
 
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I'm not sure what they were expecting to happen. This was probably inevitable for them.

That said, I'm glad it turned out ARRRRRight for them in terms of publicity. :p
 

Stalydan

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DVS BSTrD said:
Well OF COURSE they're not gunna let the Pirates come. I mean zombies are still in with video games and you couldn't keep the ninjas out if you tried. We don't want a turf war breaking out!
Or we could some how breed them all together and get the ultimate life form of death and destruction. That would be kinda cool :)
 

Trucken

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You wanna know something funny? Appearantly Anonymous (at least they claimed to be from Anonymous) did a hackerattack against Gamex and Kistamässan (the place where Gamex was held) because of this. That means that they shut down their websites. When there was one hour left of the convention.

Yes, you read that right. Gamex was held for FOUR days and they managed to shut down the websites (and NOTHING else) when there was one hour left of the entire convention.
 

Keymik

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The Random One said:
Man, inviting then uninviting risky people is the latest craze in videogames, isn't it?

Hey Escapists! You're all invited to my home. We're going to play games and eat nachos. Please bring your own controller. And nachos.

NEVER MIND I CHANGED MY MIND. YOU ARE ALL UNINVITED.

Awww man! I was already half-way there! I'm so sad now.
 

Varya

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Nov 23, 2009
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HerbertTheHamster said:
Trust me. I almost voted for them until I saw that they were basically all upper-middle class 18 year olds. By "privacy" they mean "the government is looking at all my porn man, they gotta be stopped".

It's a single-idea party which doesn't give a shit about anything but making downloading legal, and it's voters are the kind of people who go around quoting V for vendetta without even knowing what Guy Fawkes did.

At least the pirate bay is fucking honest about it's cause.
While I do not agree with much of what the Pirate Party stands for, they ARE a legitimate party, and not just a single-idea party. A lot of people I know are voting for them because they believe in the cause, not to be able to download illegally. There are even creators of famous sandbox-indie games with hats that supports the party
Of course there are stupid teens in the party, there are stupid kids in EVERY party, that does not mean they represent the party.
Like "miljöpartiet" (enviromental party), while I do not fully believe in their cause, I think they could be a possitive force in Swedish government, and if you want to dismiss them, you should base it on facts, not on generalisation of its members.