Slippery Slope Starting In Europe

Strange happenings occurring in Europe this week with the The Pirate Party winning a seat in the European parliament. These guys, who are based in Sweden, support The Pirate Bay people who were sentenced to jail for having a website that hosted illegal content for download.

At the outset, I will go on record as saying I don’t agree with copyright infringement. Some people think they have a God-given right to get stuff for free. Because a copyright is not as tangible as a car, house, food or any other commodity that you have to pay for, people think no harm, no foul. To be fair, some of these monolithic record and film companies garner little sympathy with their multi-milliion deals. However, there are a huge number of bands and independent film makers who eke out a living in the industry, let alone those on the periphery like the crews etc, who have little or no job security.

Now, aside from the issue of stealing content, voting somebody into a governing body based on this pretext does seem to send out the wrong signal. Here, you will have somebody in parliament who votes on legislation whose only reason for being there seems to be to make file sharing legal.

What sort of precedent doe that set? What if some other very important vote comes before the parliament and their vote is needed? It’s not the first time somebody has been voted into office based on a cause celebre, but what happens when you expand their mandate to include all the other mundane, and not-so mundane pieces of legislation that go through?

While the download folk seem happy with the outcome, the wider implications are little more unsettling. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds and what sort of effect this parliamentarian has on the inner mechanisms of Europe’s top legislative body.