In discussions with the US ambassador in September 2009, Sweden’s deputy prime minister Maud Olofsson said that the Pirate Party’s success in the European elections showed that young people don’t trust the government, according to a #cablegate cable.
”Spot on!” says I.
The relevant parts of the cable look like this:
Tuesday, 08 September 2009, 05:22
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 STOCKHOLM 000569
EO 12958 N/A
TAGS ENRG, EUN, ECON, EIND, KGHG, SENV, SW
SUBJECT: SWEDISH DEPUTY PM URGES SENIOR USG VISITS TO SWEDEN DURING EU PRESIDENCY; WANTS TO LAUNCH U.S.-EU ALERNATIVE ENERGY PARTNERSHIP AT U.S.-EU SUMMIT
Bridging the Gap on Illegal File Sharing
19. (SBU) The Ambassador concluded the meeting by raising intellectual property rights, since Olofsson’s party (the Center Party) is the one member of the ruling coalition least supportive of U.S. efforts to improve Sweden’s efforts against illegal file sharing. Olofsson said there are discussions within the government about putting more legislation in place against file sharing. While legislation is needed, and Sweden follows European level legislation, she argued that a solution should not only be left to politicians via legislation. The problem was a market failure, the lack of a product that people could easily access at a reasonable price. Many young people, she said, think that all file sharing is free. It is hard to change their perception of the rules. Olofsson said she wanted artists and creative people to be paid for their ideas, but we need to create a market solution that is easy for people to follow.
20. (SBU) The U.S. side countered that as knowledge-based economies, both the U.S. and Sweden have a lot to loose from illegal file sharing. We need to make this public debate about the artists being stolen from.
21. (SBU) Olofsson noted that Nokia and Ericsson have introduced new services to share products while paying the artists, which is good. We need to find a way to pay artists property, not just to pass legislation, she repeated.
22. (SBU) Olofsson said we need to understand how young people see the problem. We should talk about what is happening now, not just pass legislation, she stressed. She pointed to the success of Sweden’s Pirate Party in the European Parliamentary elections as an example of that young people ”do not trust us.” She said the Pirate Party attracted voters from both the right and the left, and the Pirate Party MEP now has two advisors, one with a background in the Left Party, and one from a neo-liberal party.
If it is any help to intelligence analysts on the other side of the Atlantic, I can confirm that the Pirate Party is indeed neutral on left-right issues. Instead, we focus all our energies on working for intellectual property reform, and trying to protect the fundamental rights in the age of the Internet.
For this reason we are very concerned about many actions taken by the US administration lately, such as the attempt to curtail freedom of speech by harassing the Wikileaks organisation by judicial and extra-judicial means.
Erik and Henrik (with their respective backgrounds in the Left Party and the neo-liberal party) send their regards from the other side of the desk where I am writing this, and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!