Pirates Are Staying In European Parliament

As of 18:00 on Election Day, it is clear that the Pirate Party remains in the European Parliament for another term. The German exit polls predict that at least Julia Reda from Germany has just been elected as Member of European Parliament, securing a pirate seat for the coming term. More results as they come in (developing story).

In the past five years of the 2009-2014 term, having two pirates in the European Parliament – Christian Engström and Amelia Andersdotter – has been absolutely vital to civil liberties in Europe, and sometimes even worldwide. Without these two individuals, ACTA would now have been in effect worldwide, there would be a three strikes scheme across Europe, and European net neutrality could have been in grave danger. Additionally, a copyright monopoly reform proposal has gone from the radical fringe to the real mainstream. Two pirates in the European Parliament have accomplished an enormous lot in the past five years.

So as of 18:00 on election day, we know that at least one German pirate will continue that work for the coming term, defending civil liberties for the net generation – and the preliminary results from Germany are very close to a second seat, with Fotios Amanatides taking a MEP seat as well, so the story is developing.

It is still unknown whether the Swedish pirates Andersdotter and Engström are getting re-elected from Sweden, the uncertainty coming in no small part due to having been deliberately omitted from contender lists by Swedish oldmedia. Polls have been very close to projecting at least one Swedish seat, and the first exit polls are expected at 22:00.

We’re also eagerly anticipating results from the other 14 European countries where pirates are running, from Austria to the United Kingdom. But for now, we know at least that pirates are staying in the European Parliament.


Update Monday 0600: The movement remains in the Europarl, but with just one seat in total, that seat from Germany (Julia Reda).

The Pirate Party from Sweden lost their two seats, the Czech Republic fell just short of the finish line for a seat with 4.78% of the vote with 5.0% needed, and Germany won the one seat coming very close to a second. This election could just as well have been three seats in the Europarl, but it turned out to be one. Still, one is much much more than zero in these matters.

Austria, Luxembourg, and Slovenia also had notable results, with 2.1% (4.0% threshold), 4.23%, and 2.57%, respectively. While not enough for a seat, these are strong numbers in themselves.

The Piratenpartij Nederlands got 0.8%, which is not enough for a seat in the Europarl, but which notably is enough for a seat in the Dutch national parliament.

So where just one country’s Pirate Party had a notable score in 2009 – Sweden at 7.13% – this election saw seven Pirate Parties with notable election results. That’s a strong improvement. A painfully slow improvement, since it didn’t result in seats, but the political world tends to be that painfully slow for people coming from the Internet.

Live Updates

Updates below through the election night. No need to refresh; the page will update by itself.


According to Associated Press, Assange’s lawyers (Thomas Olsson and Per E Samuelsson) will appeal today’s verdict.


The official verdict from the Stockholm District Court, in English, is here.


(No more news from today’s hearing. Liveblog ends.)


It would increasingly appear as though Julian Assange’s actual crime was “pissing off the United States”, just like the operators of The Pirate Bay. The Defense was walking all over the Prosecution in this hearing, literally quoting chapter and verse to show on the record that they are – and I am not exaggerating – criminally lazy on the job.


VERDICT: Julian Assange is to REMAIN in detention in absentia. Just announced.


According to side-channels from the Court to Swedish media, the verdict will probably be further delayed: “18:00 at earliest”. This is, of course, just a qualified guess.


It’s also important to remember that a lifted detention in absentia does not, repeat not, mean a closed or dismissed case. It does, however, mean that the Prosecution will have to deal respectfully with Assange without being able to restrict his movement in the continued investigation. If there is any.


The press conference has still not started, despite being announced to start at 17:00.


It’s been my consistent impression that the Defense was just steamrolling all over the Prosecution in this hearing. But this is a political trial, and I’ve seen those before. In those, common sense don’t apply, and the victor can be predetermined and therefore spit gibberish in the hearings if they like, they’ll still win.


Regardless of appeals, if this court lifts its previous detention in absentia, it’s undoubtedly a brighter picture even on appeal. Still waiting for a verdict.


It’s unclear whether and how this verdict (continued or discontinued detention) can be appealed, considering the Stockholm District Court issued the detention in absentia in the first place. If the same court lifts its previous order, how can that be appealed, and what are the precise mechanisms? Unsure.


Press conference in Stockholm District Court, announcing the verdict, is about to start.


Hearings are over [as of about 16:20]. The court closes its doors for deliberations.


Prosecution, final statement: “The European Arrest Warrant did in no way prevent Assange from coming to Sweden. Quite the opposite, it would have made sure he traveled to Sweden. While this may have been a question of form and comfort rather than actual destination, the EAW did not prevent Assange from traveling to Sweden as such.”


Defense: “This case also breaks three other Swedish judicial principles. One, use of force must not only be necessary and in the public interest. Two, it must also be effective, and the use of force must cease when it is no longer effective. In this case, the rules say, the detention shall – shall – be lifted. There’s also the question whether a continued detention is even legal. The court approved a detention because of a flight risk, which was a legitimate reason. However, we know now that this is no longer valid. It cannot be effectuated. The only reason for the Prosecution to keep him detained at this point is to pressure him into abandoning his right to asylum – and this is not legal. Detention may never be used against a defendant to force them into admitting guilt or to make them surrender rights. Third, the proportionality principle: no matter what happens, a continued detention has no positive effects for the Swedish state nor for this case, but it has enormous negative effects for Assange.”


Defense plays back clips from Fox News and other channels with political commentators stating Assange should be assassinated, calling him a terrorist, an enemy of the state, his organization a “weapon of mass destruction”, illustrating a clear and present danger to his person justifying political asylum. Defense argues that this shows clearly that Assange needs to exercise his political asylum, without that action being motivated by evading Swedish law. [UPDATED: Added link to video shown by Defense]


Defense: “I’d like to play back this clip.” / Court: “That’s not possible. There’s a sound cable missing. Defense didn’t inform they’d be playing sound, just video.” Court starts digging through drawers looking for a sound cable for several minutes.


Defense: “In an excerpt from Ecuador’s granting of asylum … it becomes clear that Ecuador is protecting Assange from Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Australia, from persecution in the United States. This has absolutely nothing to do with a Swedish legal case. The conclusion is that the assertion from the Prosecution that Assange only has himself to blame is nonsense on a pure legal basis; there are good reasons for political asylum which Ecuador has listed.”


Defense: “In the UN Declaration of Human Rights, it’s clear that political asylum is not just a right to apply for, but also a right to enjoy and exercise, once granted. It’s absolutely clear that Prosecution’s points are in complete violation with international law.”


Defense: “Applying for political asylum – is this even something reasonably encompassed in the concept of flight risk? First, you have to separate the application for asylum, and it actually being granted. If somebody is actively evading the law on their own, that’s one thing, but this is not what’s happened here. Assange can’t give himself this asylum. Prosecution is plain wrong in saying Assange did this on his own. He applied for political asylum, but a sovereign country granted it to him. That’s a legitimate mechanism. Granting somebody asylum can’t with any reason be construed to aid and abet a fugitive, of being a flight risk in the legal sense. International law requires respect for the institution of political asylum.”


Defense: “Then what legal relevance does it have where the fingers are pointed? Prosecution is pointing at Assange, who applied for political asylum. We’re pointing at the Prosecution. It’s the Prosecution who have a duty under law to be active in an investigation, and not the defendant.


Defense: “By staying in the embassy, Assange has evaded British police and prevented effecutation of the detention, claims the Prosecution. He has chosen to stay in the embassy, they say. I’m not yet at that point, at proportionality. Rather, does the Prosecution have a legal right to stay passive? The answer, legally, is no. Prosecution is breaking the law in their handling of this case.”


Defense: “The prosecution is actively choosing to refrain from completing the investigation, with the justification that “Assange must come to Sweden for a trial or jail anyway” — this is a behavior that’s disgraceful for the Prosecution. This is not up the Prosecution. A sentence is communicated by a Court, and not by the Prosecution.”


Defense: “Since Assange has been granted political asylum, force can no longer be applied. The Court must lift the detention, and thereby force the Prosecution to move ahead with the investigation as a case where the defendant has freedom to roam.”


Defense: “What else? Well, this weakens the Defense, too. Björn Hurtig asked for hearings in London in fall 2010. We asked the same July 4 2012 in a mail, and repeated it in an in-person meeting. If the Prosecution had done what they were legally obliged to do all along, we [the Defense] would also be able to see the entire case by now. The behavior of the Prosecution is damaging the ability for Assange to mount a legal defense, which is his right. Passivity on the behalf of the Prosecution is not acceptable.”


Defense: “Hearings must be held in a time and place which brings the least inconvenience to the heard, unless there is significant danger to the investigation. This is a hard and fast law, and it is no secret at all where Assange is located. Prosecution is choosing to break this law.”


Defense: “This investigation is in the exact same state today, in 2014, as it was four years ago, in 2010. This can lead to one or more hearings. But it’s not a complex investigation. After this hearing, it’s time for the Prosecution to decide whether to press charges or not. The fact that this has not moved at all in four years is due to the facts that Attorney Olsson [the other defense attorney] just enumerated: detention for one and a half years, and a political asylum with deadlock for two years. We are at a de-facto deadlock. The only action Prosecution intends to take is to wait out the arrest warrant and wait for Assange to be brought to Sweden. My question to this court: is the Prosecution even formally allowed to just sit down and wait, doing nothing? The response is a clear and resounding NO: This kind of passiveness is not allowed beacuse of actions on behalf of the defendant, in particular not within their legal rights. What duty does the Proseuction have to drive the investigation forward, rather than staying passive, offering nothing but a continued deadlock? Who bears the responsibility? The Court must carry this responsibility, for the Prosecution has shown no intention whatsoever to execute anything but passiveness in this case. The basic fault in the thought process with the Prosecution is that they’re just pointing fingers and find it possible to sit down and do absolutely nothing, which is in violation of the right to a speedy trial [“skyndsamhetskrav”] in the law.”


Court has resumed [at 15:20]. Because of connectivity issues in the courtroom, the timestamps won’t match – they’re spread out from 15:20 onward, in reality. They’re posted after recess because the courtroom prevented mobile phone signals.


The court takes a twenty-minute break.


Defense repeats earlier points that Prosecution must have understood that Assange can’t stay in Sweden forever, and that Assange can be hard to reach, and hammers home the point that absolutely nothing in this justifies the use of force that Prosecution has applied.


Defense: “There’s a completely unreasonable dragging-out of time here, causing significant harm to Assange. It has been in everybody’s interest to just go there and hear him, but this hasn’t even been tried.”


Defense accuses Prosecution of being plain lazy in not going to London to hear Assange. “It’s too much work.”


Defense compares to a case where somebody was suspected of genocide, a much more serious crime, and had been detained for three years. This had been appealed to the European Court of Justice, and after three years, the case was dropped because the defendant had not had a speedy trial. This case has now dragged on for three and a half years. “If he hadn’t complained to the ECJ, he wouldn’t have been detained for three years, so it’s his own fault”, by the Prosecution’s logic. However, the Supreme Court is brutal in its verdict that a person exhausting their legal options cannot and must not be held against them.


Defense: “Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador on August 16, 2012. There has been a clear and present danger in the form of threats from the United States, ranging from extradition to plain assassination and execution. The United Kingdom is bound to respect Ecuador’s asylum. Assange has been on the Ecuadorian embassy since June 19, 2012, which has cost the British [enormous amount] and which the British is starting to consider Sweden liable for. In all this time, Assange has not even been able to go outdoors, something normally considered a human right – even detainees in jail are given outdoors time. However, since Assange has shown no intention of surrendering his asylum, there is no purpose to continued detention: it serves no purpose and must therefore be lifted. Assange has a full legal right to maintain his political asylum, and therefore, the detention serves no further purpose. This has now dragged on for three years and six months. In this time, in all this time, Assange has been restrained in various ways, everything from jail to something resembling a permanent house arrest.”


Defense: “During these one and a half years, Assange has not been able to maintain a normal life. This is not a British citizen but an Australian citizen. He has been unable to have an income, unable to keep in touch with his family. He has been trapped in a foreign country, unable to fulfill professional or social obligations. Prosecution has used very unusual force in locking Assange in London in this way.”


Defense: “During these one and a half years, Assange’s freedom was severely restricted: he was unable to travel, unable to see his family, and unable to have an income, and this was solely use to Prosecution’s actions and use of force. It is clear to the Defense that the Prosecution has been obligated to go to London and hear him: Assange has been unable to travel to Sweden because of Prosecution’s very actions. Defense refers to a case where the prosecution says it’s “impractical” to hear a defendent abroad, coming across as plain lazy. This case was struck down by the Supreme Court for the specific reason that the defendant had repeatedly invited Prosecution to hear him on location. Defense draws clear and direct parallels to this case, except this case is much more serious with disproportionate effects.


Defense: “On December 7, Assange was apprehended and detained in London. From December 16, he was electronically shackled with an obligation to report daily to a police station. He was in partial house arrest. He had had his passport rescinded, and had been ordered by a court to not acquire travel documents. So from December 7, 2010, until June 14, 2012, Assange had no practical possibility of coming to Sweden for a hearing. Prosecution’s argument that Julian could have let himself be arrested is nonsense; an accused always has a right to exhaust their legal options, and this must never be held against them.”


Defense: “There has never ever been a statement from Assange to refuse a hearing.”


Defense: “It’s easy to see, looking at the time frame leading up to September 27, that Assange has showed up to a hearing, has stayed in Sweden, has asked the prosecution whether there would be a problem leaving Sweden, and that Assange could not stay in Sweden indefinitely waiting for whatever the Prosecution was doing. Nowhere here is there anything constituting anything resembling a flight risk (in the legal sense). Also, there was nothing preventing Prosecution and Assange to agree on a date for a hearing, and there was a tentative date set in October. It’s correct that it was hard to reach Assange. But this was a PRACTICAL matter, which does never constitute a flight risk. Flight risk must be based on intent of flight, not practical difficulties.


Defense: “Assange leaving Sweden on September 27, 2010 was planned well in advance and was based on a planned keynote in Berlin, and was not related to this case or any imaginary flight risk.”


Defense enumerates the threat situations against Assange, and shows an article from [UPDATED:] Washington Times with the headline “Assassinate Assange”, with his face against a target with blood spilling out the back of his head. Defense argues that it’s beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a clear and present danger against Assange’s person, and that he has reason to fear being abducted to the United States and fear for his health, liberty, and even life. By reason of this, Defense argues, Assange has a good and valid reason to be careful to announce his whereabouts at all times, and that this had absolutely nothing to do with this case. [UPDATED: Clarified “American media” to “Washington Times”, which was named in hearing and stated to be a well-known publication; linked to article and its graphics; and added “blood out the back of his head” describing graphic, which was said in hearings but not initially noted here]


Defense: “One can clearly see that when these charges were filed, including when the decision was made to re-open some dismissed charges, Assange was visiting Sweden. He’s an Australian citizen and well known; it comes to a surprise to no one that he does a lot of travel and works internationally. Therefore, it’s unreasonable to assume that Assange had no need whatsoever to leave the country to do ordinary work. Still, Assange deliberately chose to stay in Sweden and showed up to the first hearing on August 30 [2010]. He shows no flight tendencies whatsoever. After that point, Assange stayed in Sweden until September 27. There were a few contacts between Prosecution and Defense in this time frame, when Defense asked if there was anything preventing Assange from leaving the country. Therefore, Prosecution was well aware that Assange had an interest in international travel.”


Defense: “Prosecution hasn’t taken any action that would indicate this is a matter of a serious nature. Even if there would be a public interest to theoretically move ahead with all charges ever filed, the nature of this case clearly shows that the ends can’t justify the means.”


Defense: “As for how these allegations were originally filed, there are considerable irregularities. The intention of the original accusers were NOT to press charges but something completely different, and there is considerable doubt whether the alleged actions even constitute a criminal act.”


Defense: “As for the flight risk: this may be acceptable as an argument in the general case. However, in this case specifically, there are several facts talking against a public interest of allowing any means imaginable to conduct this investigation, in particular the unacceptable time elapsed. First, the allegations are not one of the more serious crimes in the Swedish Law. We’re not talking about murder, genocide or terrorism. The Court must consider that the severity of the alleged crimes presented by the Prosecution is limited, and can’t justify any arbitrary use of force against a suspect.”


Defense: “The third principle is the principle of expedience, saying that any accused has the right to a speedy trial. These three principles are pillars in a democratic state. Putting a suspect in detention during the entire investigation would be considered by many to be considerably more use of force than sentencing somebody to jail following a trial – and, importantly: detention is only allowed to be used as an exceptional tool. It is not allowed to be used to be used by Prosecution and Police as a general rule or to get less work.”


Defense criticizes Prosecution that any unclarity must speak to the favor of the defendant, rather than in favor of use of more force.


Defense criticizes Prosecution that they haven’t justified how a continued detention remains in the public interest (European Convention on Human Rights specifies that a restriction in freedom must be necessary, effective, and proportionate).


Defense calls on European Convention on Human Rights point 5.3, the presumtion of innocence.


Defense: “There are three principles here. The necessity and proportionality principles, being applicable on the detention themselves, but also on the effectuation of this detention. Defense argues that you can’t effecutate a detention by any means available [letting the ends justify the means] but must evaluate whether the means applied must be evaluated whether they are proportionate to the presumed gains.”


Defense: “We claim this detention must be lifted. Is it reasonable to keep Assange detained given these circumstances? Prosecution brings up three issues, and in combination, Defense means they lead to unreasonable consequences. The first is the time passed. In Assange’s case, it’s the lack of progress in the case that has the real effect [and not an arbitrary day count in jail]. The second is the effects to Assange’s personal situation and the restrictions on his freedom, in real effect. The third is how the case has been handled by the Prosecution, and specificially, the Prosecution’s refusal to go to London to hear Assange.


Defense opens.


Prosecution compares to other cases which appear peripheral to the argumentation. Prosecution closes: “There are no reasons whatsoever to re-evaluate this detention. There is a clear and present flight risk and we don’t consider a continued detention disproportionate.”


Prosecution: “We do not consider a continued detention disproportionate. Assange has not been formally detained more than ten days; he has chosen to restrict his own freedom over and above in Ecuador’s embassy in London, but we argue that the time detained should count as the ten days in British jail. His time in the embassy is not a restriction of freedom effected and under control of the State.”


Prosecution: “We have tried the question of hearing Assange in London and dismissed the idea as not effective.”


Prosecution: “We would not be able to conduct a secure and just investigation, were we to go to London to conduct the hearings.” Prosecution compares to a case where they did go abroad, which was a case concerning economic crime.


Prosecution: “There are several reasons we haven’t made hearings in London. This kind of allegation don’t work well for leaving public defenders or prosecutors on foreign soil, and we can’t apply force for taking DNA samples and similar if we consider it necessary. Besides, we can’t hold a trial in London. We’ve re-evaluated this continuously.”


Prosecution: “We have exhausted everything speaking in favor of the defendant. There’s nothing we’re withholding from his lawyers in that regard.”


Prosecution appears trying to define political asylum as a “flight risk”.


Prosecution: “We are arguing that Assange has deliberately refused to come to Sweden for this hearing … and have learned that Assange has no intention of coming to Sweden to such a hearing … which we consider to fill the definition of a flight risk.” Prosecution handwaves and tries to diminish a point of proportionality, which the defense will probably pounce on.


Prosecution talks about the possibility of traveling to London to hear Julian Assange. “We didn’t know where he was until December. We also tried repeated attempts to contact Assange through his lawyer, Björn Hurtig. This led to prosecutor Marianne Ny detaining Assange in absentia on Sep 27 2010.” … “These statements that the Prosecution has failed trying to hear Assange are forcefully refuted.” … “Detaining in absentia appeared as the only way to proceed with the investigation.”


Prosecution begins talking about “risk of flight”.


“The negotiations are now public again.” We are let back into the room. Guards remind us that no recording of sound or video is permitted.


It’s been over 30 minutes since the doors closed when the defense wanted to show something on-screen, after the first few minutes where the court just exchanged opening pleasantries. The effect of today’s proceedings remains uncertain: if the detention in absentia in Sweden is lifted, that’s one thing, but what’s keeping Julian Assange locked into a room in an Ecuadorian embassy is an Interpol Red Notice. In other words, the internation arrest warrant must be revoked, which is a separate step from lifting the Swedish detention. Will the Prosecution do that if they lose today’s proceedings? They would be supposed to.


It’s been over 30 minutes since the doors closed when the defense wanted to show something on-screen, after the first few minutes where the court just exchanged opening pleasantries. The effect of today’s proceedings remains uncertain: if the detention in absentia in Sweden is lifted, that’s one thing, but what’s keeping Julian Assange locked into a room in an Ecuadorian embassy is an Interpol Red Notice. In other words, the internation arrest warrant must be revoked, which is a separate step from lifting the Swedish detention. Will the Prosecution do that if they lose today’s proceedings? They would be supposed to.


Still waiting. More nothing.


We’re still waiting outside of room 27. There are quite a few reporters here talking to members of the public, including from the large news agencies. They’re typing a lot on laptops, despite oxygen-starved standing room only.


We’re still standing outside room 27 with no sign of what’s happening behind closed doors.


We of the public are standing waiting outside room 27 in the Stockholm District Court.


Network is painfully inadequate. (Testing.)


Before the doors closed, prosecutor and defender presented their respective stances. No surprises there: Defense; “we call for the detention of Julian Assange to be lifted, effective immediately”. Prosecution: “We object to this motion and call for its dismissal.” After that, the defense wanted to “show something” on-screen, at which point the court closed its doors to the public. This is not unusual for sensitive parts of trials dealing with privacy-sensitive material.


Parties greet each other. The court starts off by closing its doors and chasing everybody out, to resume public parts later.


Call over the PA system: “Renewed-detention negotiations, Prosecutor v Assange. Parties and representatives are called to room 37”. Room 27 opens; we of the public pour in.


It’s almost five past the hour, and the room has still not opened. Rumors in the audience here say that the press conference with the Police afterward won’t be open to the public and is by pre-announced presence only.


Some people have asked me why I haven’t taken a clear stance on this issue. The explanation is simple: since I have first-hand observations of the events surrounding the allegations, if this should ever come to trial, I would be a defense witness (and I have left a deposition with the Police to that effect). Therefore, I have refrained from speculating on the case in the media, given that such speculation could burn my testimony, and I consider that to be more valuable than a random voice with opinions. When people have asked me about my opinions anyway, I have pointed to the fact that I’m slated to be a defense witness and asked them if they can draw any conclusions from that, refusing to elaborate further.


The room (27) has not opened yet. Maybe 30 people of the public are gathered outside. I recognize many or most of them.




Only people with media accreditation are being let into the room where the actual court proceedings are held (room 37 in the Stockholm District Court) – the public is only welcome to an audio feed of the proceedings, which is fed to a room on a different floor (room 27). This mirrors the mock trial of The Pirate Bay, which was done the same way, in this very court, actually.


Closing: the European Pirate Parties grew significantly, having seven parties with a strong showing rather than just the one Swedish party five years ago. Still, we went from two seats to one. New summary written in an article edit (liveblog ends).


Unconfirmed reports say that the German Piratenpartei was 0.08% (zero point zero eight per cent) short of the bar for a second seat.


Pirates in Czech Republic finished at 4.78% with 5.0% needed to pass the bar for seat allocation, so the Czech Pirate Party fell just short of one seat.


As the vote count stabilizes, it appears final that the German Piratenpartei has won one seat and one seat only. The Czech Republic is still open.


First Swedish election results project the Swedish Piratpartiet at 2.2%, slightly below the exit polls. This confirms that the Swedish Pirate Party has lost both seats in the European Parliament.


Exit polls published in Sweden. The Pirate Party is projected to get 2.5% of the votes. That is not enough for a single seat, and it’s very unlikely that this can be caught up as the votes are counted.


According to Sampo Smolander in the comment field, Finland is not taking any seats with 0.5% of the votes.


The lowest score in Germany that gave a seat was 0.7%. The German Piratenpartei is projected at 1.4%, suggesting that they are very very close to a second seat.


Swedish exit polls are expected at 2100, in seven minutes. That’s the first gate we need to pass. If the exit polls are in the 1-2% range, achieving 4% is tough; if it’s 3-5%, the rest of the night is a nailbiter.


It’s going to be a while until results come in. Expect meaningful news at about 2200.


Exit polls in Germany predict between 1.3 and 1.5 percent for the Piratenpartei, securing one seat and closing in on a second. We’ll also need to pay close attention to Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Finland as the night progresses.


MtGox has found 200,000 bitcoin which apparently were just laying around in a random drawer, following the scam blueprint to the letter, although on a slightly more drawn-out schedule.


An article at CryptoCoinsNews, dealing with the past of Mark Karpeles, describes a previous business arrangement of Karpeles’ where he basically took the money and ran, bankrupting his business partner and not doing any of the contracted work. This fits very well with the overall image of a string of complete and untroubled deceptions and lies.


Added more detail to the February 2014 timeline, with links to the now-gone press releases, courtesy of Internet Archive.


Don’t miss the comments in the discussion thread over this article at /r/bitcoin on Reddit. Otherwise, mostly silence today on the matter. First relatively quiet day on the subject of Empty Gox in what feels like a month.


Added the CoinLab lawsuits and the 2011 proof-of-solvency to the timeline. They are both relevant in context.


According to the bankruptcy filings, the situation is even worse than previously imagined: 64 million US dollars and 850,000 bitcoin are missing.


Unconfirmed just now (via Joanne Heidi): It seems Karpeles is seeking a reconstruction of Empty Gox though bankruptcy proceedings and to pay back account holders partially with a reconstructed company. If true, it continues the blueprint copycat scam.


It’s possible to watch Mark Karpeles in the Japanese press conference declaring the bankruptcy. His body language is interesting to observe.


A class action lawsuit has been filed that sues Mark Karpeles, MtGox Inc (US), MtGox KK (JP), and Tibanne KK (JP) for pretty much all of the above.


Live updates, additions, and/or corrections will be posted here as the story keeps unfolding. All timestamps are European.


You can feel the noose tighten around Karpeles’ neck as the picture becomes clearer, both in a figurative and literal sense. The horror stories of ordinary people losing all their savings, the money they were going to pay off their house or student loan, are beginning to surface. At the same time, the degree of mismanagement is becoming clearer – it appears that Karpeles was hiding a billion-dollar hole in the assets by cooking the books for three years. If that’s the case, this is no longer the “MtGox implosion” but the “Karpeles Scam”, second only to the Madoff scam as far as private schemes go (not counting LIBOR, etc). Jail would be one of few places Karpeles would be adequately protected from former clients, and there will be an interesting legal case as authorities will probably want to have a go at his personal assets.


New information from Two Bit Idiot who first leaked the crisis response document detailing the loss of 744,408 bitcoin: There were never any interested buyers, there was a desperate CEO of Empty Gox who tried to get bought out. Once the courted propspective buyers saw the extent of mismanagement or fraud, they alerted the authorities instead. All of them.


The site GoxBalance has been set up to gather information from individual people on just how much is stuck in Gox. As of this time, 807 people have submitted their claims on Empty Gox, adding up to 26.2 million US dollars and 108,522 bitcoin.


Jesse Powell, a self-declared MtGox insider, makes a very interesting qualified guess that the loss of coins happened much, much earlier and at a much higher amount – possibly over 800k coins, and in June 2011, almost three years ago – and that Gox has been operating a fractional reserve since, working to fill the hole. Powell guesses that it seemed to work until fiat withdrawal problems caused people to start withdrawing bitcoin instead, depleting the thin reserve. Hence the absence of books and balance sheets, posits Powell: they wouldn’t have added up, so Gox management preferred to go without them entirely rather than declare the gaping hole where its assets should have been.


Another update to the Gox home page. This one says “We’re working very hard […] to find a solution to our recent issues. Stop asking us questions”. Yes, they really are calling the loss of a billion dollars “recent issues”. Also, the “stop asking us questions” statement at this time has to go down as a superb case study of a glass crater in future Public Relations textbooks.


On Reddit, user ‘thesacred’ notes about the first interview with Mark Karpeles (CEO Gox) after the shutdown, that “in the first public communication after shutting down site containing millions of dollars belonging to thousands of people, who have been kept completely in the dark with no information about the status of their money, Karpeles posts a picture of his cat, links to a batman meme, and complains about getting fat.” He then adds, “This fucking guy”.


The bitcoin exchange rate passes $600 per coin, already having regained 50% from the bottoming out at $400 yesterday on these news. You have to give it to bitcoin; its ability to survive and overcome crises that would have killed anything else is remarkable.


Roger Ver, who has seen the Gox books, has made a video statement where he states that the cause was “…a total lack of book keeping on the part of Mtgox”. If the Gox management did indeed fail to list the one-billion-dollars-worth of vault bitcoin assets in their books and balance sheets, then that’s criminal mismanagement in most jurisdictions.


Andreas Antonopoulos (one of the key bitcoin developers) points out, in a rather technical post, that it is impossible for funds to “leak” from cold storage. The very definition of cold storage means it doesn’t leak. Either there was no leak, or there was no cold storage.


Mark Karpeles, CEO of Empty Gox, has confirmed the authenticity of the leaked document, though he points out that it’s a draft with suggested options.


This story has reached beyond tech and financial media; it’s being covered in mainstream oldmedia up to and including the evening TV news.


Mark Karpeles has recently bought the domain gox.com, according to the people who brokered it, which lends further credibility to the leaked crisis recommendations document which suggested just that – a rebranding to “Gox”.


The exchange rate seems to already recover from the loss of Empty Gox from the ecosystem; the exchange rate at Bitstamp is already back at $550, having bottomed out at $400. However, as with anything bitcoin, this is too early to call.


Empty Gox has added a nonsense statement on their previously-empty web page: “In the event of recent news reports and the potential repercussions on MtGox’s operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly.”


The claim of a years-long-running hack against the vault comes from the leaked strategy document: “At this point 744,408 BTC are missing due to malleability-related theft which went unnoticed for several years”, in bold. At this point, there is nothing that contradicts its being genuine; to the contrary, the timetable of the report agrees with events unfolding today.


Yiiee-hah! Meteor server is operational on VM Smallwebs. In addition, this meteor.js seems better-behaved than the old one…


Testing after having configged Meteor better (hopefully)…


Testing, foobar


Testing II – why is Meteor not updating?


Testing aplenty – is the new Meteor up?


(End of liveblogging session. This page will not update further.)


I will publish a longer article about today’s events in about an hour.


Last question from the press – press conference is ending.


The press conference room is full, with people standing in the back again. The press is starting to ask (relevant!) questions – the room is acting as if ACTA is a done deal now, disregarding the fact that the European Parliament still has its plenary vote to go. The discussion feels like a post-mortem of just exactly where the crazy train was driven off the nearest cliff.


EPP representative plays down rumors of EPP gunning for a secret vote in INTA. “That’s not how it should be done.”


EPP: It appears that the Polish EPP delegates voted against ACTA, breaking party lines.


Andersdotter concludes with a healthy dose of reminder that today’s copyright/patent regime is an active impediment to the next generation of entrepreneurs and industries in Europe. More people need to hear that.


Amelia Andersdotter is applauded from the audience, as the first speaker getting that treatment.


“This was the first time that the citizens of Europe won against combined forces of big industry and the Commission. Epic, really.”


Amelia Andersdotter (Greens/EFA, Pirate Party). She talks about access to medicine, and weaves in the three pillars of the Swedish Pirate Party. She moves on to bash the Commission’s lack of respect of Parliament in the most eloquent and unmistakable ways.


“Thanks to participatory democracy, and citizens who voiced their concerns about this agreement, we canow go in a different direction.”


EPP: “We are going to lose a lot of time and put people at risk of counterfeit products where they’re working if we ultimately reject ACTA…” How does that work with ACTA not changing any laws whatsoever?


Now, a representative for the EPP group, explaining their desire for ACTA’s passage. “ACTA as it stands needs to be clarified and improved.” Yes, except that wasn’t possible. Smoke and mirrors.


Still can’t move my left foot without searing pain.


“Second lesson: Parliament needs to be better at engaging with citizens.”


“First lesson: This vote proves that the European Parliament is definitely perceptive; it is definitely hearing the voice of citizens.”


Rapporteur David Martin is sitting next to Amelia Andersdotter (Pirate Party MEP) on stage, talking about the benefits of “intellectual property”. Something tells me the entire stage doesn’t agree with that. Martin ends with a brilliant conclusion, though; “In the end, [we decided that] civil liberties should win over intellectual property.”


“I think it is quite telling that nobody put forward an alternative to adopt ACTA. The only alternative was to reject or postpone. What this shows is that ACTA was a political decision, and not a legal one.”


The rapporteur, David Martin, opens and thanks everybody involved in the process so far. “I welcome particularly the active involvement of citizens, who have been highly involved in this dossier.”


Press conference starts. “The committee decided today to recommend the rejection of ACTA, with 19 votes in favor [of rejection] and 12 votes against.”


If I were still in the military, I’d know exactly how to bandage my foot right now. But I don’t have any bandages… (It’s not broken, is it? Hurts terribly.)


Now in press conference room, where the rapporteur on ACTA (David Martin) will be giving comments on the INTA committee approving his opinion. On the way there, I sprained my left foot and ankle badly – I hope I’ll be able to get through the day despite the pain :/


“Could I ask the journalists to leave the room…” the room is in disarray. Moving to press conference room.


The recommendation to reject ACTA PASSES, in a 19-against-12 vote! WE WON! WE WON!


The final vote remains, and there appears to be some major confusion as to the results of the vote on the amendment that just happened.




Amendment three is re-voted, and it is rejected 19 to 12. WE WON!


It is now clear that INTA will recommend a REJECTION of ACTA with a safe margin!


AMENDMENT THREE FAILS, 13 VOTES FOR AND 19 AGAINST! This, however, is 32 votes, one too many.


“If amendment three is adopted, the final vote on ACTA is suspended until the European Court of Justice has given its verdict. If it is rejected, we go to a final vote.”


Amendment procedures have started. Amendment one (yes to ACTA) was just WITHDRAWN. As was number two. There’s only one amendment – postpone ACTA.




People are not just standing along the back of the room now, but also along the sides of it. I count four TV cameras from where I’m sitting (Jerezim counted six, but I can’t see the entire room), in addition to the eleven (!) TV cameras built into the room itself.


“Establishment of instrument for stability”, six amendments. Still not ACTA.


Still not ACTA, but voting is proceeding at a breakneck pace on a large number of other items. ACTA is last in today’s session.


“Establishing rules and procedures for the European Union’s instruments for something something external actions”. Voting on amendments. In other words, still not ACTA.


Ok, so the live page is updating. All set for today’s main attraction: ACTA coming up any minute now.


Test – do I have enough bandwidth, here?


Still not voting on ACTA.


Bandwidth is becoming scarce in the room, indicating that we’re approaching today’s main attraction.


Another item. Still not ACTA. 58 amendments.


31 votes in a vote right now. A lot of stirring in the room. It appears another MEP with voting rights has joined the session, upsetting the vote balance AGAIN!


“We are approaching the end of the session…” INTA votes on an item with 57 amendments right now, didn’t catch which one, but obviously not ACTA as it has three or two amendments – two if MEP Fjellner (EPP) has retracted his amendment to recommend acceptance of ACTA, as he told media.


INTA session continuing. Still not ACTA. When ACTA arrives, there will be voting on amendments first, and then on the final, possibly amended, report. All amendments must fall for INTA to recommend a rejection of ACTA.


By “another vote just appeared”, I should clarify: it was not a random extra vote, as before, but another Member of European Parliament with voting rights actually entering session.


Another vote just appeared in INTA, changing the ACTA vote balance! It’s one of the non-inscrits, one of the groupless Members of European Parliament. I did not catch his name. This vote is now completely up in the air.


“One person too many was voting, there. It’s like a crime story – whose vote is extra?” Recurring theme.


I’ve been told that the EPP group tried to disqualify one vote count from the S&P group. One ordinary member was prevented from voting, and when this happens, reserves from the party group take their place – this is standard procedure. However, the EPP argued that the reserve would not be allowed to vote in stead of the ordinary member, and that S&P would have one vote less. This parliament can really be kindergarten level sometimes – such disrespect for democracy would never happen in places like a high school student council.


Media is everywhere in this INTA session, and people are standing in the back. Yes, the session room has run out of seats – this kind of bureaucracy practically never draws attention otherwise.


According to @EuroparlPress, the ACTA vote will come around 11:00, around 20 minutes from now. However, this is far from certain and determined – it will come whenever the previous items are finished.


The list of amendments on the still-upcoming ACTA vote is here, in LQDN’s summary. We see that amendments one and two, if adopted, change INTA’s recommendation to a “yes”, and amendment three calls for a postponement of the ACTA decision until the European Court of Justice has decided on the treaty’s legality. Thus, no amendments on ACTA must pass; the rapporteur’s draft opinion must be passed as written.


According to Jeremie Zimmermann with la Quadrature du Net, all the MEPs from party groups opposing ACTA are present in session.


Yet ANOTHER vote interrupted because the EPP group had one vote too many. I did not track on which session item, but there’s a clear pattern here. That was the third time today.


Still not voting on ACTA. Some big-business industry group had gotten to the session entrance and put up big posters about how industry organizations comprising 120 million European jobs (this number climbs fast!) support ACTA passing.


The pace of voting is ridiculously fast. “Amendment two, those in favor, those against, abstentions, carried. Amendment three, those in favor, those against, abstentions, carried.”


The number of people voting are varying quite a bit. Another proposal (still not ACTA) just passed by 29 votes to none. I’ve been told that it’s supposed to be 14 INTA delegates in favor of ACTA and 14 against in session.


Ok, I was confused by the rapid pace of the voting here. We are not voting on ACTA yet; it is the final item of the day.


The final vote on a random item (not ACTA) was re-made AGAIN, with one too many EPP votes, and then passed 25 against 2.


An amendment to a random report (not ACTA) passed with a 16-13 vote, but was redone. The chair is now pointing out that there are too many EPP members voting. After a re-vote, the amendment passed 17-10.


Voting has started. The chair warns of a long list of items today. ACTA is last.


The session starts. The chairman addresses some media formalities for the session, and reminds the press that there will be a press conference 15 minutes after the vote [on ACTA, presumably]


The live video broadcast from this session is right here. Unfortunately, it appears to be Windows-Media only, so it doesn’t work on Android.


There is a live broadcast of this meeting for those who prefer following video. I am trying to find it; Google-fu with “INTA committee video european parliament” should be a starting point. Despite being past 10:00, the meeting has not yet started.


Jeremie Zimmermann from La Quadrature du Net is also here in the room.


The voting margins are harrowingly narrow, and nobody knows which way INTA will lean. One thing is clear – INTA does not care at all about the recommendations of the previous committees (ITRE, DEVE, JURI, and LIBE); this issue is far too high-profiled to vote on somebody else’s recommendation. But that sword swings two ways: that also means that INTA’s recommendation today will be next to meaningless, being little more than a half-time indication of what the plenary majority looks like, rather an actual recommendation with weight. Still, it draws enormous interest.


What we can expect from today is that the conservative and big-business party groups (ECR and EPP) will attempt to recommend a postponement of the final vote on ACTA until after the European Court of Justice has given its final opinion, thus delaying the final vote by about two years. Nobody knows if an INTA recommendation of postponement means an automatic postponement by the European Parliament as a whole: as usual, the ones deciding that are the ones interpreting the rules, and the ones interpreting the rules are the ones who are politically strongest for the time being.


On location in the INTA room, JAN-4Q1. I can’t recall having seen a room this full 15 minutes ahead of the session start time before.


Testing on reinstall of Peregrine with separate SATA controller.


Ok, live updates (refreshless) seem to work again. It was really a very simple error.


(Yes, I’m still testing.)


Except perhaps Game of Thrones.


Indeed it was. And that concludes the postmortem of this session. Nothing more to see here.


Testing again. Looks like it was a simple case of PEBKAC.


Testing April 16.


Ok, liveblogging appears broken. Sorry about that (it does not auto-refresh). I will have to troubleshoot that later.


Testing CloudFlare interference.


Testing meteor.


Ping meteor server.


My server died right after the last note. I still have no idea why – a cold reboot (power cycling) was needed to bring it back online, the hardwire reset button was not enough. Sorry about that.


Doctorow: “If all the Napster users in the US had voted for a particular president, that person would have been president.”


Now: Cory Doctorow!


I’m not sure if the live updates work on all browsers.


Meeting with many of the people who were at the first 2007 meeting in Vienna. It’s kind of funny how we share this feeling of being veterans, and explaining how things were “back then” – meaning five years ago – to new pirates.


Pulled back from the crowd for a few minutes just to breathe, hanging out in the openspace area where people are discussing various projects. Doctorow on soon.


Met Fabio Reinhardt, one of the people elected into the Berlin Parliament. He’s giving a keynote tomorrow, shortly before I give the closing keynote. Another guy I’m looking forward to hearing. The purposely chaotic arrangement of this conference really shows its strengths, letting each and every participant get the most from it.


The social parts of the PPI general assembly is starting to show its merits. Everybody is hanging out and getting to know one another, rather than necessarily listening to everything going on in the main session. People getting to know one another across country borders is what causes the organization to learn across those same country borders.


Cory Doctorow has arrived, hanging out at the bar with a really large coffee. Apparently, he just flew in from the States.


Several new pirate parties are being voted in as new members of the Pirate Parties International. Applause follows after every vote.


Back after lunch. I could hardly get through the door before being grabbed by reporters and have done three more interviews. This liveblog is getting a very boring message, me doing what I do. One observation, though, is that the (MANY!) reporters here have definitely done their homework. They know about minute details of the movement and ask about plans, about trends, about leadership. Cory Doctorow is coming up for a keynote shortly – I’m really looking forward to that.


Lunch break. My entire morning was spent before TV cameras, so I missed much of the in-session action, but on the other hand, I did things as well as I could in order to spread the ideas, the messages, and the message about the parties’ impact. Sessions resume… when people get back from lunch.


Another five interviews later, I need some air. Currently outside, chatting to a couple of Slovenian reps that I last met in Ljubljana.


Three TV interviews later. Interest remains high.


The room is full and out of seats, as I can tell. People are standing in the back – I can’t tell if media or participants. We are still in the meeting opening formalities. One of the organizers just asked me to go to the press room, so small pause in liveblogging.


What strikes me at the 2012 PPI meeting is how many new countries are here, and how successful they are already. Greece founded three months ago, and are already polling at 1%. Moldavia is here, as is Romania. I’ve met with reps from pretty much every country in Europe already. Oh, Portugal was another nice surprise.


The meeting as such has just started. media is EVERYWHERE. Gefion_UK tweeted succinctly, “wherever there is @Falkvinge, there is Camera”. The PPCZ has arranged this beautifully, especially given the unexpetedly large interest at the last minute.


Final test before disabling post


ooh aah, a little bit more


Testing a little bit more


Demoing more




Demoing more


Update, showing off as demo


Testing la la la


And more – foo


Testing again


Testing after installing Meteor


Final test


Testing again


Testing. Start.

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. Idee

    Sweden Pirate Party is also in EU Parliament. Proof: Unibet last quotes. Betting People are sure the Piratpartiet has at least one seat. ^^

  2. F_F

    At some point I hope it will become laughable that 60 year old men ever had a say in politics. I hope for the Pirates eventual takeover in the years to come.

    1. Enntsätt

      60 year old conservative (read: frightened of everything new, because they can’t handle it) and even religious (read: schizophrenic) and „liberal“ (read: fascist) people (not just men) actually.

      Well, for that to change we need population growth. And we can’t have more population growth, as the planet is *already* being destroyed by us. We already passed the limit where we can only keep eating meat by industrializing it and treating animals horribly… or by reducing the population.
      And I’m not one of those detached-from-nature vegetarians who’d feed vegetables to a carnivore.

      So at best, if we don’t allow more than 2 children per couple, there can be just as many young people as old people… unless we plan on lowering the life expectancy again.

      But people aren’t mentally grown-up enough to even start discussing such a limitation. They prefer to destroy the whole planet and kill every single human before they’d tell anyone to use a damn condom after the second pregnancy.

      1. ORLY

        Is that so.. I often see people spouting this Malthusian garbage these days, i very seldom (never in fact) see any proof of their statements. You have any credible sources for this?

        1. me


      2. Dennis Nilsson

        It exist endless resources in space.

  3. Piratenpartei

    Hm, ok a few seats. But still this is not a great breaktrough. Pirate Party must grow in europe if it wants to become succesfull in politics. Thats only possible by adressing more people then now. Most people dont understand this “Internet Politics”, we must take a more populist apprauch by focusing more on trancparency and direct democracy then “technical” topics. We need top topics even thoose who dont use the internet understand.

    So not focusing on Propaganda for “Machine readable OpenGovernment” but instead “Transparency for the People” Both is quite the same, but pirates will get more votes if the dont usw these Digital Elite speech but instead a linquistic everyone on the streets is able to understand.

    So Pirates MUST focus more on average people then on Hacker, Programmers, Nerds and other digital Elites. The average People are not going and vote an elitarien digital party, they want politicans whon they understand what they want.

    Pirateparty must learn to speak the language of the People to get the Support of the people. Otherwise it will stay a 1% Digital Elite Party without any political influence.

    So, please have a thought on changing the strategy towards the general public !

    1. HeadWar

      In Sweden we have used posters with “Good friends share” and a picture of two kittens lapping milk from a plate. Is that populistic enough do you think? =)

      1. Ananymous Torrent Downloader

        “Good friends share” …… “two kittens lapping milk from a plate”

        Only nerds understand the meaning of such a poster. And most nerds (around2-3%) vote allready pirate. Want more people voting for you ? Create Topics and Themes average people understand.

        1. BAReFOOt

          Only nerds understand the concept of sharing?

          I’m sorry but no matter how old people are, everyone learned about file sharing when we didn’t have porn video sites yet. Even 60 year olds knew it. And stay at home mothers got music that way.
          This “only people with brains will get it” argument is stupid. in general. (Hence it’s so popular with stupid people.)
          People with brains are the only ones who *can* get it. You are stating the obvious.

          And on top of that it’s irrelevant whether people understand the file sharing reference. Everyone agrees that it’s better to team up that to be in a dog-eat-dog society.

          There’s only a few sociopaths and psychopaths who don’t understand it.
          But they don’t want to be helped and we’re not forcing them, so they can’t be helped … and we don’t have to actually listen to them.

    2. AeliusBlythe

      You’re not wrong. But hopefully more seats = more visibility = more of a reach to more people. Of course its the Pirates job to USE those seats and that visibility to reach people, but getting more Pirates in the door to start with is a BIG step.

      I for one am really excited to see the outcome!

    3. Gerion

      its like ebay,

      two, one and away!!

      2009, 2014 and 2019.

      have fun.

  4. HeadWar

    In Sweden we have used posters with “Good friends share” and a picture of two kittens lapping milk from a plate. Is that populistic enough do you think? =)

  5. Sampo Smolander

    Finland: With 53.4% votes counted, our Pirate Party is getting about 0.6% of the vote, which is definitely not enough. It might rise a bit, like to 0.7% or 0.8%, when the election day big city votes get counted in, but still not enough.

  6. Sampo Smolander

    Finland: With 53.4% votes counted, our Pirate Party is getting about 0.5% of the vote, which is definitely not enough. It might rise a bit, like to 0.6%, when the election day big city votes get counted in, but still not enough.

  7. Greece

    Greece: Around 1%, together with half of the Greek Greens. Not enough. Whould not be enough even if the other half of Greens (0,5%) was together.

  8. Sampo Smolander

    Ha, actually Finland publishes results in English, too: http://vaalit.yle.fi/results/2014/euro_elections/results_by_parties.html

    Looks like our Pirates will settle near 0.7%, which is an improvement from the 0.51% of Finnish Parlament elections 3 years ago.

  9. Roni

    Final result: 0,72 % for pirates in Finland. Good, not bad.

  10. DGH

    Spanish Pirates got 0.24% (17th place), lowest score for a seat is 1.91% (10th place).

  11. Idee

    Germany (397 von 402, status 00:00:56):
    “PIRATEN 382.972 1,4 215.168 0,9 0,5”
    2009 0,9%
    2014 1,4% diff. 0,5%
    2009 215.168
    2014 382.972 diff. +167.804 => +77,98% more PIRATE Party voters
    There five cities not counted, yet. But that’s it.
    We have 1 seat in EU for sure, eventually 2 (with luck).

    1. Idee

      PIRATEN 424.510 1,4 229.464 0,9 0,6
      +84% voters
      Last voter is counted. 🙂 There can be a change in result only when it is recount if there is a doubt of fail.

    2. Idee

      There are about 23.805 votes = 0,08% missing for a 2nd seat. We have to recount and hope there are more positiv-false counted than false-positive counted. *eg*

    3. Evi1M4chine

      Damn. I remember an election where we had that many voters in Nordrhein-Westfalen alone!

      1. Autolykos

        Yup, back when we still had good people like Seipenbusch at the top and not on some marginal position without hope of getting anywhere. Quite a few people were afraid of the Pirates getting too many votes and seeing ideological feminists like Anke Domscheid-Berg, or, even worse, Anne Helm getting elected. Both of them caused more than enough harm to our cause without any real power, and I don’t want to think about what they could do with an actual office.
        Still, Julia Reda seems ok and Amanatides would’ve also been good.

  12. gurrfield

    Hi Rick. Sad with the swedish pirate party… However :


    Czech Republic Piráti at 4.78 % where 21/100 = 4.76 % average. Any reasonable algorithm should give at least one seat for those numbers.

    1. Anonymous

      Yep – any reasonable – sadly not here (5% min) – our parties (old ones) were always good at maintaining non-reasonable even system even in national elections as it makes it easier for them to maintain power (mostly used argument – it would be too messy to have that many parties that got elected..).

      Pirates beaten Greens here and will get some funding by state.
      Hopefully leader (Bartoš) wont leave as he is the only one widely known.

    2. smokiieee

      Yep – any reasonable – sadly not here (5% min) – our parties (old ones) were always good at maintaining non-reasonable system even in national elections as it makes it easier for them to maintain power (mostly used argument – it would be too messy to have that many parties that got elected..).

      Pirates beaten Greens here and will get some funding by state.
      Hopefully leader (Bartoš) wont leave as he is the only one widely known.

    3. Idee

      Looks like no seat out of the stream. 5% min 4,78% => 0 Seat…what a pitty.
      You have to fight to drop the % obstacle!

      1. gurrfield

        Yes, I saw this, it is very sad, but according to someone it is possible to ask a court to challenge the barrier in a particular case and they may find it unjust.

  13. Max Pont

    If the German Pirates are smart they should hire outgoing MEP Christian Engström as a staff expert (or someone else from the outgoing Swedish team). He has a ton of valuable inside experience about the dirty tricks in the EP.

    1. suchenwi

      I very much hope that Julia offers assistant jobs to Amelia and Christian. They really know the place…

      Also, I think Julia was elected by German voters, but should represent the Pirates from all EU countries (she is president of the European Young Pirates, iirc)

  14. Anonymous

    @gurrfield: First: Do you have a threshold in Czech Republic? If yes, it may be neccessary to get more votes than just 4.78% to get a seat.

    And 21/100 is not 0.0476. 21/100 is 0.21. 100/21 is 0.0476.

    @Idee: Please be aware that “eventually” is not the correct translation of “eventuell”. “eventually” means that something will definitely happen at some point in the future. For example: “We will eventually learn whether we got a second seat.”

    1. gurrfield

      Yes, I’m afraid you’re right, there is a lower limit at 5% , however it is possible to go to court and plead something and maybe get it. Their hovercraft may be full of eels. No wait that would have been funnier if it was in Hungary. Also a pun on phrasebook… In more senses than one!

      1. Rockefeller's Koch Off

        I will not purchase this parliament, it is scratched.

  15. Christoffer

    I agree fully. They should rely on the swedish MEP:s experience to get up to speed as quickly as possible.

  16. Anonymous

    @gurrfield: I just figured that Czech Republic has a threshold of 5%. FUCK.

    1. gurrfield

      It seems you’re correct. Fuck is a suitable word indeed.

    2. me

      FUCK indeed.

  17. Idee

    translation? I don’t need that for my own words, do you?
    You already said it with more blubber words:
    “that something will definitely happen at some point in the future.”
    => Either we count again
    => or we have to wait five years, but we will get over the 1st seat. 🙂
    And one seat is same for a pirate as two seats: we do the max out of the min. Afaik, all our German Pirates will go to EU-Parliament. They will rotate ~monthly.

  18. henk

    in netherlands you guys lost because you stopped fighting against copyright. dutch pirate party is pro copyright for artists. most of us dont want this.

    1. BAReFOOt

      WAT? How did that happen? Moles from the industrial lobby front?
      Because they successfully raped (that’s the only suitable world) the PP in Germany with their Agents Provocateurs and their divide and conflict methods. (The same methods that destroyed Occupy, Anonymous and made Assange lose some of his friends. Among dozens of other documented groups that we don’t even hear about…)

      1. kristi

        Yep thats pretty much what happened. And if you try to complain about it, you get legal threats thrown at you by the board. So much for transparency, accountability and whistleblowing. Its a gross insult to pirates that members of the body which keeps the board in check get legal threats if they have valid complaints.

      2. gurrfield

        They obviously spend money at battling piracy and infiltrate/saboutage pirate politics, but in the long run as whole generations grow up to question copyright… will that really be enough? In the United States you can profit off having kids in jail, but in Europe that’s not allowed. So over here it’ll be a burden on society costing more and more tax money to incriminate otherwise well behaving kids, and over there it will be outright oppression.

  19. Anonymous

    this certainly seems to show one thing for Sweden. the ‘old guard’ tactic of keeping the PP names off the lists worked! it also shows how scared they were of the PP gaining wins but also how the people were not for change, happy with being a down trodden race and ready to receive any and all further restrictions on their freedoms!

    good luck to you! you will need it!

  20. […] die aangelopen weken vele nationale Piratenpartijen hielp met hun campagne Rick Falkvinge houdt in een analyse de moed erin en zoekt met een zoeklicht naar lichtpuntjes. Hij wijst op oplopende steun in […]

  21. Joss

    A huge chunk of the German pirate party has turned into a trojan horse for radical leftwingers and German anti-fascist extremist thugs. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I for one expect only little.

    1. gurrfield

      Well, anti-pirates have tried to make it look like the pirates are nazis and many other scare and smear tactics. They obviously are scared enough to spend lots of money on trying to stop the pirate movement which will just drain their money even faster. In the end the system probably can’t finance it’s own protection.

  22. Ninja

    I wonder why Sweden lost the seats. I wonder if people are blaming the Pirates for the recent stuff happening in Sweden (with their injustice system and their police acting as personal armies). Hope you write about it Rick. PS: I’m not mocking or something I think we can learn from it.

    1. gurrfield

      Personal armies..? Wat?

      The success in 2009 was a lucky shot. Many lucky things combined. FRA law and TPB trial being screwed up et.c. 2.5% is the most the Pirates has ever gotten in Sweden except for the lucky burst in 2009. Politics is not a linear road, it has many hills and vales and bumps. Just look at history and you’ll see that for almost every party. MP got the highest votes ever and once upon a time they fell out of Swedish parliament. I bet some pessimistic people said “well, that’s the end of that party..” back then.

      1. Ninja

        As in the police is working for private interests heh

        Indeed you do have a point. Hope the Pirates can develop. I found out that the main issue they are facing in my country is lack of awareness. I’m doing my part in rising it even though I don’t agree with everything the Pirates are thinking and doing here they are generally much superior to the established parties. Then again the labor party was exactly like that in their origins… The cynic in me is strong these days hah

  23. […] Laut http://falkvinge.net/2014/05/25/pirates-are-staying-in-european-parliament/ haben die Piraten Luxemburg 4,23% der Stimmen geholt, und die Piraten Sloweniens 2,57% – […]

  24. […] the movement’s founder and loudest voice, Rick Falkvinge, claiming on his blog that the results are a “strong improvement”, it’s clear that this is a bit of a […]

  25. dmol8

    Are the pirates going to deal with the freedom of speech problems this article describes?: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140523/09554627346/europe-verge-destroying-online-comments-free-speech.shtml

  26. Zirgs

    It’s obvious – most people do not like your ideology “freeload and profit from other people’s hard work”.
    That’s why you got only one seat.

    Change the message, stop promoting illegal stuff and maybe you’ll get better results next time.

    1. gurrfield

      No that’s not why. It’s much more probably because people don’t see filesharing being illegal as a pressing practical matter.

      File sharing is still possible and no measure has ever become effective in stopping it and the risk is minimal getting caught and there are also AT LAST (after 15 years of hobby sharing) professional alternatives almost able to compete with the quality of file sharing infrastructure.

      1. Zirgs

        So – your main selling point is something utterly irrelevant to most people.
        If you continue that way – next time you’ll get 0 seats.

        1. Scary Devil Monastery

          No, our main selling point is and remains civil rights. The right of privacy to begin with. Proportionality in law. The right to have one’s communication unsurveilled unless one is actually considered, for good and valid reason, a suspect of a serious crime.

          Ironically, most of the nazi-lookalikes to carry home the big win across europe have no problem trying to gain votes by promising to kill IPRED and similar copyright enforcement treaties.

          …so filesharing wins either way, but in such a way as to not touch the overarching issue which is the threat to constitutional liberties imposed by blanket mass surveillance of the citizenry.

          In short, I can see absolutely no reason for you to crow victory. As far as the copyright cult is concerned you got the shaft in a far bigger way than we did.

        2. ZIrgs

          What have you produced SDM?
          Can you post a link to your AAA game or movie?
          Have you released any album?
          Maybe at least a book?
          Do your works have a public domain licence? (Anything more restrictive and you’re a horrible hypocrite)

          Show me.

          Or maybe you don’t have anything to show and you’re just a pathetic freeloader who just downloads works, made by people who are a lot more talented than you’ll ever be, without paying.

        3. gurrfield


          Large games have been funded by crowd sourcing and even if only a few have managed so far – the game industry is extremely fast growing. People still buy games! The good movies still sell so many cinema tickets all expenses are covered many times over. Music performers reach all time high on selling concert tickets and on festivals and such. People will always be willing to pay for good entertainment – in one way or another.

          Copyright is not about the artists / creators making enough money. Copyright is about the ability of some middle-men to profit off copies of the creators work. Not just today or in the short term, but as long as the author lives and 70 years afterwards.

          Your argumentation is trying to mislead both creators and “fans”.

          Copyright was designed to replace the information monopolies of the organized religions of pre-1900. The Berne convention was not a coincidence…

        4. gurrfield

          Zirgs writes: “So – your main selling point is something utterly irrelevant to most people.”

          Well… 30% youngsters still share files illegaly in Sweden _almost every day_.

          PP is a counterweight to anything the anti pirates could try and pull. Every thing they try will add on to the pirates vote count, but if they don’t try anything, then sharing will probably continue to be the most popular hobby in our country.

          Action and reaction.

    2. Scary Devil Monastery

      “It’s obvious – most people do not like your ideology “freeload and profit from other people’s hard work”.
      That’s why you got only one seat.”

      Oh, please. The vote-winner this time around was the “Out of the EU” messages proposed by the main pan-european winners here.

      At least in Sweden the pro-copyright parties lost all over the board. The Greens, the feminists and the left who all won big are ALL quite positive to filesharing.

      As, by the way, are the brownshirts who’d prefer to leave it criminalized but unpunishable.

      So…the copyright cult lost completely in Sweden. EVERYONE lost big in the rest of europe.

      Copyright enforcement died, for all practical purposes, on the day the internet was invented and put in practice. This election isn’t going to resurrect it’s corpse.

      1. Zirgs

        Why don’t you want to pay to people whose works you enjoy?

        1. gurrfield

          Well, we do pay for their work. Check out sales for cinema / live music tickets. All time high. And there’s patreon and kickstarter for funding of creation of new originals.

          We just don’t think that other people are entitled to make money off the creators work 70 years after they are dead.

          Example: Earnest Hemingway died in 1960s. Wrote most of his works before 50s. Still today the publishing company owning the copyright to his work has the right to profit from his works for some 20-25 more years!

          That is not to encourage creating something new.

          That is to encourage people to sit on their asses and get money for other (dead) peoples old work.

        2. Zirgs

          I do agree that current copyright terms are ridiculous and that they should be reduced to 10-20 years max.
          But that is no excuse to pirate newly released stuff.
          It’s morally wrong not to compensate author for his work.

        3. Austin Williamson


          Yeah. I agree – downloading copies of recent works without compensating the creator is morally wrong. Pirate Education is still a work in progress.

          Rather than calling people a “stinkin’ lot of freeloaders” like so many do, it would work best to simply say: “pirating old works harms none, but please: support recent works!”. Or better yet: “if you really enjoy recent works, work to make watching them legal and easy. Get out and vote!”

          We could have had a government-mandated version of netflix years ago, but instead, we argued about home taping. Friends: stop fighting.

          We can build a better, fairer, free-r world. Together.

  27. John Doe

    I did not vote and I am proud.

  28. That Guy Who Posts on TF

    Well, the Pirates pretty much got burned pretty much everywhere. Outside of one or two areas, the existing Pirate Party vote count dropped dramatically, and you now have only a single person in the EU parliament. That puts you behind a bunch of other lame, one trick / one topic marginal parties.

    Quite simply, the party is over. The piracy thing is slowly fading, the supporters have grown up, gotten jobs, and changed their views. Just like the hippies of the late 60s, the goal sounded noble but the reality didn’t add up much.

    1. Zirgs

      Yup – I was a pirate too when I was a poor student.
      Rent and food was a priority – I was not able to pay full price for entertainment.

      But now I’ve got a full time job and have less time to waste on video games and movies.
      (And do not want to risk getting malware or waste time trying to get my cracked copy working online).
      I can easily afford to pay for my entertainment now and just can’t justify not paying for works that I like.

    2. Zirgs

      I can tolerate sharing that does not involve money, but I really really despise tracker operators and other scumbags who are earning money from piracy.
      That is THEFT plain and simple and must be stopped – that’s why I don’t see Thepiratebay operators as martyrs because they made shitload of money from advertisements using other peoples hard work without permission.

      1. gurrfield

        First and foremost : sharing is free advertisement. If people like what they see, then they can decide they want to support the creator or not. I know it is really hard to grasp for some people out there but it is not the copies or distribution of copies that have any value any more – it is (the work) to create new originals that may have any value to people.


        Secondly, trackers are not needed for torrenting any longer. It has not been needed for at least 5 years or so. The Pirate Bay tracker was really interesting from a technological point of view about 2003-2008 because then it really was special and “state of the art” file-sharing technology that most commercial services were not even close to obtain (at the time).

        Once the legal theatre started in 2009, magnets and discrete hash tables (DHT) were already a reality – trackers not needed any more.


        There are many examples throughout history of copyright where the “artist” or “creator” has been lured into an extremely crappy deal and get nothing from it but the middle-men in publishing get everything. Just because they are right according to the law does not mean they are any less “scumbaggery”.

        It is maybe not illegal to make people sign outrageous contracts, but clearly it can be immoral. At least if you ask me.

    3. ^

      Cool story, troll.

  29. Lynell

    great Blog I’m a big bet365.com fan from Germany

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