Je n'ai pas le temps de les traduire tout de suite (ça vient à peine d'être traduit du suédois), mais en gros ça raconte la chose suivante :
Lors des dernières élections, le Parti Pirate suédois (qui représentait quelque chose comme 200 000 personnes), a représenté un enjeu de choix pour les politiciens, en particulier le parti modéré qui a remporté les élections, en faisant notamment la promesse d'un adoucissement de la répression anti-piratage.
Mais évidemment, ces promesses sont restées lettre morte après le scrutin. Du coup, un des députés de la majorité a fait sécession, entraînant avec lui trois, puis sept, puis 13 députés "rebelles".
Ces députés font beaucoup de bruit actuellement, avec l'appui du parti pirate ; ils s'expriment dans tous les médias nationaux et internationaux ; ils ont de plus un argument de poids : un rapport officiel commandé par le gouvernement (ça ne vous rappelle rien) est parvenu à la conclusion que _soit_ on lutte contre le piratage, _soit_ on respecte la vie privée des gens, c'est inconciliable.
Le remous est tel que peu à peu, l'assemblée toute entière vacille sur ses bases : on se rend compte qu'il est beaucoup plus sexy (et électoralement rentable) d'être pro-pirate que pro-répression. C'est une affaire à suivre mais je peux vous dire que ça remue pas mal.
Political breakthrough for filesharers in Sweden
In last days and weeks there have been dramatic political developments around filesharing issues taking place in Sweden. Sweden has been known to be the international front line country when it comes to p2p politics, and the leading pirate figure on the political side has been Rick Falkvinge, the charismatic founder and leader of the Swedish Pirate Party. But the key person to initiate the latest developments has been Karl Sigfrid, a parliament member from the liberal conservative Moderate Party which has been ruling Sweden with a center-right alliance since their landslide election win in September 2006.
During the election campaign 2006 the leader of the Moderate Party and the present Prime Minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt, was under heavy political pressure from the newly founded Pirate Party who attracted young voters in thousands and threatened to enter the parliament with its radical copyright reform agenda. At the time, in a TV interview, Reinfeldt made a public promise not to criminalize the young Swedish generation for filesharing. After the election he conveniently forgot his promise and has been preparing new legislation that would toughen the punishments for filesharers and give new surveillance powers to the copyright industry. This is where Karl Sigfrid, his Moderate Party fellow, stepped in. In a strongly worded debate article in Expressen, one of the main newspapers of Sweden, he challenged the prime minister to keep his election promise and legalize filesharing instead of criminalizing it more. The prime minister did not respond in any way.
This did not stop Sigfrid from continuing with his demands. He kept writing high profile debate articles - getting strong support from the Pirate Party - and then in last October he made a parliamentary initiative for the legalization of filesharing in Sweden. He was no more alone: three other members from his own party and one from Center Party had joined him as signers of the initiative. It looked like a beginning of a parliamentary revolt, and that was precisely what it was about. The initiative itself was quickly buried into a committee treatment, as expected, but the warning signal of things to come had been given.
At the end of last year the public debate around filesharing started to heat up considerably. The Swedish Ministery of Justice had received a long-waited report about possible solutions for the filesharing problem, ordered by the previous social democratic Justice Minister Thomas Bodström. The report itself, work of an independent lawyer Cecilia Renfors, was more or less a wet dream for the copyright industry. Among the things Renfors suggested was a proposition to force the ISPs to act as copyright cops, watching that their customers do not download or upload any copyrighted works. Renfors also suggested a system where copyright infringers would have their internet connections cut off or seriously throttled. The copyright industry and the antipirates naturally praised the report but it got heavily criticized by many heavy league actors and officials including all ISPs, Attorney General, National Lawyer Association, Competition Office, Data Protection Office, National Postal Service and Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
In the heating debate, the representatives of old media and copyright industry started a public lobbying campaign in support of Renfors report and its suggestions. Among the notable figures of the campaign was Carl-Johan Bonnier, the head of the wealthy Bonnier family who owns half of the media companies in Scandinavia. He came up with typical antipirate arguments, characterizing Sweden as a retarded paradise of pirates, accusing file sharers of stealing intellectual property etc. What he did not expect was that the young editor of Expressen, Peter Magnus Nilsson, made a head on counter attack on the media mogul in his editorial. Nilsson reminded Bonnier that this is not the first time in history when new communication technology challenges old information monopolies and power structures. The situation was much the same in the 19th century when the liberal press with the help of new printing technology started a social revolution that turned out to be very beneficial for the whole society. "Copyright is not the same thing as property right", he argued. "If copyright law protects old distribution organizations rather than artists, if it is impossible to enforce and if it is not embraced by the majority of people, it can well be considered as a harmful construct for the society." This debate took place in mid-November, and Bonnier did not dare to continue it.
The Christmas time went quietly in the debate but on 3rd of January this year Karl Sigfrid hit again. Together with already six other parliament members from his party he published a new debate article where the copyright rebels declared that filesharing is a right, and that legalizing filesharing and forcing the market to adapt to free p2p was not only the best solution but the only realistic solution. The writers were highly critical of copyright industry and antipirates, telling that the antipirates who demanded new rights to violate the privacy of people's online communications would never be satisfied by any such measures as no measures would be enough to stop filesharing. "At the end of 1970s the copyright industry wanted to deny people from video recording TV programs. In 1998 record industry tried to ban mp3 players. We politicians have to take a clear stand on this issue and declare that we will not help in building such a technology hostile control state that would make the antipirates happy."
This major political statement caused a panic reaction on the side of the copyright industry. Only three days later the heads of six copyright industry and lobbying organizations, lead by the standing secretery of Swedish Academy, Horace Engdahl, responded with their own debate article where they accused the Moderate Party politicians of taking an exteremist position and attacking the foundations of propery rights and capitalism.
The counter attacks started immediately both in the press and in the Swedish blogosphere. Next day Rick Falkvinge, the leader of Pirate Party, crushed the arguments of copyright industry representatives in his own article. He emphasized that copyrights have legally and morally nothing to do with property rights and that they are rather a limitation of private property rights than an extension of them. Falkvinge told that the industry tries to ride with a 300 year old lie. In 1709 when the first copyright laws were being set in London, the publishers pretended that the laws would be for the benefit of authors when in fact they were for the benefit of publishers themselves. "The society has changed greatly since 1709; the copyright industry obviously hasn't.", Falkvinge concluded.
And next day came the biggest bombshell so far. Karl Sigfrid attacked the copyright industry with heavy verbal artillery - and sensationally the number of rebellious Moderate Party parliament members had grown from seven to thirteen in less than a week! These thirteen politicians gave a blistering bashing to the secretary of Swedish Academy and his copyright industry allies. They told how copyright industry with its demands to intrude into people's privacy in order to enforce their copyrights is acting against the best of the society.
"Of course we understand that the record industry opposes the present development because the industry will soon become obsolete", the politicians wrote. "There will always be forces that want to maintain the status quo profitable to them. When the markets change, these old industries scream the politicians to help them with draconic measures. Should the politicians have agreed to all past demands of the copyright industry we would today have a very poor media landscape with no video recorders, no mp3 players and no online TV. "
Something remarkable has happened in the political atmosphere of Sweden. Now the press and mainstream politicians are siding with the pirates, and the representatives of copyright industry are getting no public sympathy whatsoever. The pirate ideology is no more an underdog but rather the norm in the Swedish public debate. One does not need to be a clairvoyant to predict that Sweden will be the first country where the p2p revolution will make a political breakthrough and where the international tide will turn against the copyright lobby. In fact, this revolutionary breakthrough is happening in Sweden right now.