People learn by copying other people. All the knowledge we have today, all the progress we’ve made, are based on this simple fact – we copy.
For thousands of years we’ve improved our possibilities to collect and distribute information. There’s always been fighting about the control of the information, from the old antique libraries and todays internets. Libraries has been burned down, book burnings has taken place. The nazi regime considered it as morally righteous to exterminate “the ungerman spirit” by burning books that had other views. Todays copyright regime talks about the disallowing the digital spirit. A spirit of free access to information and knowledge, only embettering our society. Today book burnings are done digitally, by blocking or closing down internet services that the information controllers deem immoral.
But the society is constantly changing. Today we might associate the term “digital” with movies and music. But most of our society is becoming more digital! One can already print car parts, bicycles or clothes with thing printers (3d printers). Research on how to print meat and other foods are so far it’s becoming a reality to feed people this way.
The companies that will get hit by the thing printers (and other new technology) will look at how we’ve previously dealt with it. They will also want laws in place to prevent the new technology from ruining them. They will do just as the movie and music companies have done, try to criminalize the future.
Right now these companies say they need to stop piracy to protect consumers from dangerous things such as exploding batteries or illegal medicines – or for that matter viruses in movies you’ve downloaded. In the future the viruses will be said to be in the food you illegally downloaded to feed your family, instead of paying the food license to a big company. It’s not about the consumers safety, it’s about control and power. It’s about money.
The cells in my body are copies of my parents cells. Vaccines they might have been given might also protect me. At the same time as this is reality, we allow companies to have insane patents on genes. There are for instance illuminated fish that is not allowed to mate, since it will break patent law. With a society that allows this to happen, are we also going to allow these companies the same rights in our own bodies?
During most of my life I’ve been working with the topic of information. From my early childhood when I copied programs from friends to learn how to program, until today when I’m using those skills as an activist, creating important internet services. One of those was The Pirate Bay, the biggest informational exchange in the world. A service that scares Hollywood so much that the White House went to Sweden and said they would stop trading with them if the country didn’t put an end to The Pirate Bay. No laws was broken, but Sweden still tried to stop it. After an illegal raid, carried out by a police officer that during the investigation was also an employee of two of these Hollywood companies, there was one of the biggest trials in Sweden. The judge was the chairman of a pro-copyright organisation lobbying for harder control of information, sponsored by some of the companies from Hollywood. I was sentenced to prison and one of the highest fines in Swedish legal history. The crime was aiding with aiding with informational exchange that might have happened without permission somewhere in the world.
We from the North have a view of our systems to be ethical and fair. This court case made people re-consider that view. It was made obvious, power belongs to the people with money. It’s not a society I want to have!
I am doing what I can to help solve the problems we have today just as well as the ones we will have in the future. That’s why I’ve decided to participate in the election for the EU-parlament 2014. Even though I’m not a politician, or maybe due to that, I think that my experiences and knowledge could help create the solutions we’re in diar need of.
Power over our society must be handed out by a democracy. The people are to decide which rules and laws that should exist, not corrupted companies. We have to sacrifice some things that we don’t need anymore in order to make way for the improved version.
Those who know me personally know that I fight for a lot of things. I’m a vegetarian and thus I want better animal protection and food regulations. I’m worried of the centralisation of power to the EU, as well as the centralisation of personal information to big companies. I want a working social safety net, great education for all, no matter gender nor background. I believe that tomorrows class inequalities are based on what kind of access to information and knowledge people get. I always put up a hard fight and I never give in to authority just for the sake of it. Just as The Pirate Bay was never gave up, I never do so either.
I usually call myself a socialist, green and a pirate. With my quite varied background as (among other things) a hacker, activist, artist and a DJ I don’t really fit in to a normal political party. That’s why I’ve decided to put in my candidacy with a party that, with being focused on few issues, fits what I want to achieve, Piraattipuolue (The Finnish Pirate Party). I think there’s a huge possibility for us to impact the EU and I would like to be part of it.
Today The Pirate Party has two parlamentarians in the EU, both from Sweden. They are the only two there really focusing on what I see as the base for the future of our society. These topics are important globally, not just in Sweden. And my home country of Finland is even more dependent on the future of the digital, so I think it’s time for Finland to get a pirate into the EU!