In 2006, Rick Falkvinge, a Swedish software entrepreneur, founded a new political party centred around the subjects of file sharing, copyright and patents. He called it the Pirate Party and it rose to prominence after a government crackdown on the file-sharing site, the Pirate Bay. Since then, the Pirate Party has swept Europe and beyond to become an international political movement, active in 40 different countries with representation in the European parliament.
In Sweden, it’s the largest party for voters under the age of 30 with 25% of the vote, and in September 2011, the German Pirate Party won an unprecedented 8.9 per cent of the vote and now has several members in the Berlin state parliament. Focused on the subjects of government transparency, internet privacy and copyright law, the Pirate Party hosts Wikileaks on its servers and uses new technology to leverage political power in new and interesting ways. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine called Falkvinge one of the top 100 global thinkers.