On this date, five years ago


Five years ago, I toyed with the idea of setting up a political party for driving better (read “sensible”) information policies. The idea had been growing on me since summer, but on this particular day five years ago, I purchased a domain name, planning to set up a prototype website over the holidays.

The site came online on January 1, 2006, at 20:30 CET, which is considered the founding time of the first Pirate Party. (This event will undoubtedly call for more recognition than the registration of a domain name, but still.) Over the next two days, the prototype site (ugly as unbelievable) got three million hits. That’s not bad in a country with a population of nine million.

Fast forward five years, and the party has two seats in the European Parliament. It has also inspired activists in other countries to politicize the same issues, and sister parties have been formed in 46 more countries, from Kazhakstan in the east to Mexico in the west, all named “The Pirate Party” in their local language.

We’re approaching something that might be characterized as the end of the beginning. Pirate Parties are growing everywhere. The high score in elections to national parliaments is not currently held by the Swedish Piratpartiet, but by the German Piratenpartei. That, too, is a sign of the internationalization of the movement and how it is growing out of its cradle.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. jeffer

    It was a great initiative! I am very greatful for the step you took then. Like The Pirate Bay it is a wonderful kick in the face of the vicious copyright lobby 🙂

  2. jeffer

    Sorry – It was … not I was … Fixed. /Rick

  3. Mind

    Grattis pÄ födelsedan ^^

  4. Simon

    Grattis och tack för allt bra jobb du gjort under tiden!

  5. Tomas Kronvall

    Bara som en liten not, Australien Àr en bra bit öster om Kazakhstan.

  6. farmorgun

    NÄgot du kan vara stolt över!

  7. MRhama
  8. Josef Boberg

    All lycka till ❗ – och jag hoppas innerligt pĂ„ att PP i Sverige – ej gĂ„r i samma fĂ€lla som Aktiv Demokrati “sitter i för tillfĂ€llet.

  9. Josef Boberg

    All lycka till ❗ – och jag hoppas innerligt pĂ„ att PP i Sverige – ej gĂ„r i samma fĂ€lla som Aktiv Demokrati “sitter i just för tillfĂ€llet.

  10. […] whether the  intervals were of days or weeks or only  seconds, there  was  no way of […]

  11. MĂ„rten

    God jul och gott nytt Ă„r Rick!
    Tack för att du startade Piratpartiet.

  12. Rob8urcakes

    As much as I adore and admire what you and the movement are doing to further our freedoms, my main problem is the Parties still use the word pirate 🙁

    For many politicians and government authorities in nations worldwide, piracy and pirates convey a terribly lawless and anarchistic connotation which is terribly negative – so we have an uphill struggle to begin with just because the name appears to promote criminal activity.

    For years now I’ve been trying to distinguish the difference between filesharers who share for no cash, no gain and no profit, with “real pirates” who use other people’s work without their permission to achieve a profit or some other tangible gain. And on that basis Rick, I’ve always been terribly uncomfortable with the name Pirate Party despite the fact I wholly and utterly agree and admire what it truly stands for and wants to achieve.

    Time to try and change the name maybe? Or are we just too late for that?
    Kindest regards and all the best to you and the Parties,

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Hi Rob,

      this question inspired me to the topic of today’s blog post. Thanks. 🙂



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