Swedish government backs 'Young Pirates'

Ung Pirat - the youth division of Sweden's Pirate Party - is now receiving state funding
Ung Pirat - the youth division of Sweden's Pirate Party - is now receiving state funding

'Ung Pirat' (Young Pirate), one of the most popular youth organizations in Sweden – closely associated with the Swedish Pirate Party – has received over 1.3 million krona (circa £111,000) in funding from the Swedish government this month.

Predictably, a number of anti-piracy lobbyists in Sweden have criticised the move of Sweden's national board for youth affairs.

The IFPI's Swedish director Lars Gustafsson moved quickly to pooh-pooh what he perceives to be state support of internet piracy: "It is surprising. Ung Pirat works in principle to encourage something illegal. That they then receive money from a state institution is remarkable."

TorrentFreak reports that this is the "same Gustafsson [who] last year urged ISPs to spy on its customers, which is of course completely illegal".

The sonic youth

The funding for Ung Pirat was based on a membership estimate of around 1,280 members, "but with current membership of around 4,872, next year's amount should be even greater" adds TorrentFreak.

That report adds that: "At least two of the board members of Ung Pirat are listed on the Pirate Party's list of candidates for June's EU elections."

Director-General of Sweden's national board for youth affairs, Per Nilsson adds: "It is our understanding that they want to change legislation around copyright issues and that's an opinion that they're entitled to."

"It is positive that the organisation in a short time has managed to build large, nationwide activities on issues involving many young people."

Ung Pirat is now the third biggest political youth organisation in Sweden, slightly behind the Moderate and Social Democrat parties, and a nose in front of the Christian Democrats.

Per Nilsson added that it was "likely that come the next election, the Pirate Party will be voted into parliament."

Adam Hartley