I found files in an old backup that I thought had been lost to history: the very first web site of the first Pirate Party.
Sometimes, reporters ask me if we have our very first party platform archived somewhere, for the reporters to read and compare to where the party is today. I’ve always responded with a sad “Alas, we edited the files live on the server at the time – it’s been lost to history at this point; we didn’t realize it would have historical value before it was too late.”
I’ve frequently told the story of how I put up a really ugly web page with a rough political platform on January 1, 2006, that signalled the start of the Pirate Party movement. But nobody has been able to see just how ugly the web page was, or how rough the edges of the first platform really were.
The first website of the Swedish Pirate Party. Now in English, too!
(The first platform and website was also reviewed in a some 700-plus comments on Slashdot, the Reddit-style sitekiller of its time. Copyright and patent monopoly discussions are mixed with laughter over the Swedish-language site, and even over Swedish language as such.)
So when I was looking for something completely different, I came across a Temp folder in my boneyard from mid-spring 2006 (I never delete anything, I just move it to a place called Boneyard), and realized these were the source files of the first Pirate Party website, files dated January 3, 2006… it was an archeological find. It was precious information that I thought was perished.
So I took the liberty of restoring those files to run on an Apache server, stripping out the back-end functions that was running against a Windows server at the time. I also translated the original site to English: Original Swedish site, translated English site.
Of course, these sites don’t aspire to be any kind of up-to-date representation of the Swedish Pirate Party; I have brought the site back online for historical reference at a different address than that of the party.
(Did you know that the first platform included policy that the then-minister of Justice, Thomas Bodström, shouldn’t be allowed to get any new public job beside selling hot dogs outside of Parliament? In the winter half of the year? Mr. Bodström was one of the engineers behind the Data Retention Directive, and had pushed it through the European Union behind the back of the Swedish parliament.)
This website was from a snapshot on January 3 – before we had the now-famous Black Sail logo. That logo didn’t come on stage until January 5, 2006.
There’s also a very clear lesson for entrepreneurs and activists here. This site was ugly as anything on launch, and yet, it has grown – no, detonated – into a worldwide activist movement gradually gaining entrance to parliaments. The saying “Perfect is the enemy of good enough” springs to mind.
Would it be interesting to hear of the early history of the Swedish Pirate Party in a series of articles?