Pirates Unwelcome At Swedish Games Expo

Sweden's Pirate Party had a booth all paid for at this weekend's Gamex, the nation's largest video games expo, until someone from Gamex came to their senses, phoned the pirates and said GTFO. The real head-scratcher is why, as Piratpartiet says, they were invited in the first place.

Indeed, there's the party name on the banner, Piratpartiet, along with Activision, Namco, Electronic Arts and all the heavy hitters. The Pirate Party's leader, Anna Troberg, said Gamex organisers hounded them for two or three months to pay for a booth at the show. OK, so, they did, also buying advertising and booking hotel rooms. What probably happened at the last minute is Activision, Namco, EA or someone saw the name in a list and said WTF, quite loudly, to Gamex.

Piratpartiet is not a fringe association; it's been successful in Swedish parliamentary elections and won two of the country's three European Parliament seats in 2009. It's generally considered the strongest of the piracy political parties.

Piratpartiet's name on the banner of Gamex, along with EA, Activision, PlayStation and others. Image via TorrentFreak.

The pirate leader was informed by the show manager that Gamex wasn't a venue for political agitation and that the pirates' presence by itself was a political statement, as their aims and activities "could be perceived as illegal." Piratpartiet countered that they only want to change laws concerning copyright protection, but the fuck-off stood.

"I find it absolutely hilarious that a gaming fair banned the Pirate Party on the official pretext that ‘our culture is harmful to gaming'," Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party, told TorrentFreak. Considering what legitimate consumers must put up with in response to their actions, I find it hilarious that a gaming pirate thinks his culture isn't.

Too Controversial: Pirate Party Banned From Gaming Exhibition [TorrentFreak]

WATCH MORE: PC Gaming News


Comments

    Surely I hope they'd still be allowed to attend the expo, if not have a booth to push their agenda.

    While I appreciate the irony in money being taken from pirates, Gamex has done the wrong thing here, quite clearly.
    That said, I despise the act of pirating.
    So, no-one gets my sympathy here.

      They aren't pirates...

        To repost from an earlier comment I made:

        "All non-commercial copying and use should be completely free. File sharing… should be encouraged rather than criminalized.”

        This seems to be a clear statement that they want piracy to be legalised. (from http://www.piratpartiet.se/international/english)

        My disgust at piracy similarly applies to people who want it to be legalised.

          Still not pirates.

          Piracy is pretty good, I think. You can be disgusted at me now.

          Now go shoo and play some Zupapa, it's an awesome game for the NEO GEO. You'll love it.

            Thank you for an eloquent and well-thought out response.

    I've got to say, and I stand to be corrected here, that this is really the first article with a note about piracy that actually states the opinion that piracy is bad or damaging.

    Piracy is bad, mkay?
    Pirate party is an legit political party working toward a more open and consumer friendly market place.

    Don't confuse the two. Arrrrgggggg. ;)

      "All non-commercial copying and use should be completely free. File sharing... should be encouraged rather than criminalized."

      This seems to be a clear statement that they want piracy to be legalised. (from http://www.piratpartiet.se/international/english)

    maybe the Pirate Party representative turned out to be a porn star :p

    Basically, here's my two cents: piracy is bad. This is a fact. At the same time, though, you can't /ask them/ to come and then kick them out. That's just bad manners.

      No. It is not a fact. This is what annoys me about this topic; people act like they have done the research and know the numbers, but nobody has or does. There are all kinds of arguments about why piracy may not necessarily be bad, too long to go into here, but you cannot just say it's a fact when it quite simply is not.

        I cannot see how piracy can be defended - and your "too long to go into here" argument is weaker than even the usual "if it was good I'd pay for it" one.
        Taking and enjoying the labour of others without payment is wrong. Fact. Special pleading is a logical fallicy - the logical error most pirates commit.

          I remember reading a while ago that a Judge came out and said that piracy may boost sales! I don't know whether this is true or not.

          I also know that there are multiple arguements that allow for the possibility of piracy actually being a positive thing, not just something horrible. You know, just because everyone thinks something is good and right, does not make it so, for example; recycling. That was in fact, worse for our environment a few years ago, yet everyone thought otherwise. I'm not sure of its effects currently though.

          Either way, what one person sees as a horrible thing "A soldier killing a man", thousands might see as something to celebrate "A soldier killing Osama Bin Laden".

          Its not all black and white like that, what about people in Africa who accept aid? They aren't giving anything back. Does your wife demand payment for all the joy she gives you?

          Were you a fan of that speech George bush gave when he said, if you're not with us you're with the terrorists?

            • The people in Africa need food and water. We don't need games. We like to play them. There's a big difference. Not to mention that we give them aid. Game developers don't give you their product for free.

            • Marriage, like all relationships, needs to be reciprocal. She won't demand payment, but she deserves love in return.

            No, things aren't always black and white. But some things are.

            "Does your wife demand payment for all the joy she gives you?"

            Yes, in the form of getting her hair done every two weeks.

            Oh, all this conversation reminds me.

            I was at an anime convention once, and there was a famous director there. He asked who in the room pirated anime, obviously no one put their hand up. I did in the end. We'll skip the conversation there, but in the end, he said that he mainly just wants people to see and enjoy his works, he'd prefer it if people bought them, but he's happy knowing people can enjoy them.

            It wouldn't surprise me if some game devs are like that, and I don't mean the big companies themselves with the lawyers made of pure hatred, but the people who spend hours and hours doing all the work. I know, it doesn't make it right, but I can't buy every game I want currently. Hell, I can't even find copies of some really old games for the SNES and whatnot.

            More logical fallicies to explain a position. Yours : False Analogy and a Straw Man arguement. Check out
            http://www.theskepticsguide.org/resources/logicalfallacies.aspx
            for a bit of a rundown on what I'm talking about. These are really good tools to validate your understanding of subjects and people's logical processes.
            If you can point me to articles or papers giving an analysis of how beneficial piracy can be, I would be happy to take it on board.

          "Taking and enjoying the labour of others without payment is wrong."

          Can we spread that message to people who want DLC for free?

            To an extent, yes. But I think the original comment should be expanded:

            "Taking and enjoying the labour of others without payment WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION is wrong"

            Wanting something for free and taking it for free are very separate. But you do make a good point.

    This article is all kinds of unprofessional. I don't give a toss who the party is, what they stand for, or how controversial what they want is. When you're reporting on a fact that happened, ESPECIALLY one involving politics, you do not cram your own raw irrelevant opinion into the final sentence. Fire this guy, give me his job.

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Kotaku writers Ashcraft, Owen Good, and Luke Plunkett.

      They are bad people.

    Pirating is bad? I'm glad that we all understand that everything has to be black and white, that there's no chance for something to have both good points and bad points.

    I know pirating isn't morally right, but either is what companies are doing most of the time. Some people may never have the money to play certain games or watch certain films. I don't have a problem with people pirating as long as they do try to still support industries when they can. Not everyone can have a full time job and make a lot of money.

    The world aint perfect, nor is it a simple black and white.

      I agree, back in high school my parents would never give me an allowance and there was no way I could afford the 90 dollars for games so I had to pirate them (Besides 2 which I could ask for Xmas and birthday). If not for piracy I probably would have taken up sports and wouldn't be buying 50+ games a year today now I am working full time.

        Nor would we be enjoying games like Rendering Ranger and perhaps Secret of Mana. These games are long out of print and are out of a lot so f people's budgets.

        Just the fact that people are debating this subject shows that it's not a yes or no question.

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