German Pirate Party Wins Seats, Fights For Copyright Reform

Germany's Piratenpartei (Pirate party) members don't wear Aye patches (at least not all the time) or win debates with bribes of booty and rum. But what the self described "social, liberal, and progressive" group does do is fight for copyright reform and better protection of online rights...and win hearts and seats in the German Government.

Earlier polls predicted the Pirates would win nearly 10 percent of the popular vote in the Northern State of Schleswig-Holstein and the Pirates did just about that with 8.2 percent of the popular vote and six seats in state elections.

This isn't the first big win for the German Pirate party, as they scored 8.9 percent of the vote in Berlin's city assembly last year and are currently third in German's party pecking order according to Reuters.

The Pirates are not only limited to Germany but are an international movement trying to gain traction across the globe. The first Pirate party was founded in Sweden on January 6, 2006, and 39 more have followed.

On September 10, 2006 the German Pirates planted their flag. They've sailed a long way from their modest roots from when their name drew from the action of downloading copyrighted material illegally, to drawing comparisons to the German Greens when they stormed onto the German scene in the 1980s to challenge the establishment.

Now sporting such props as cutlasses and pirate caps, the German Pirate party is filling their ranks with those discontented with the current ruling and major German parties, and are so far the most successful of the Pirate parties, which have united to push "internet freedom and more direct participation in politics."

The Guardian writes that the Pirates' success "can be explained by the fact that they surfed on this vague notion of fed-up-ness, combined with a progressive self-assessment of being anti-establishment and committed to drive "real change" in politics. It chimes with the '99%' movement in the US, or Spain's indignados, with one central message: politics, as it is, is no good for us."

We ask you, would you vote for a Pirate Party in the United States? Sound off in the comments below.