Many people will have heard of the Pirate Party, founded in Sweden in 2006 to fight what some people see as the abuses of big media corporations fronted by their trade organizations such as the RIAA & MPAA to protect their copyrights against the claimed "devastation" that so-called "piracy" causes them. However, no one really took the Pirate Party seriously and saw them as just another fringe party. Then they had two members elected to the European Parliament in 2009. Now they have 9% of the vote in the latest Berlin state parliamentary elections. This level of success, is because they support important issues to do with freedom and lack of oppression from big corporations and governments, something that the traditional parties have consistently failed to address. This is now making the Green Party sweat, because they were previously seen as the "alternative" party to the main ones in Europe and hence had a chance of getting into power. Now they risk getting sidelined and being put back into the category of "fringe" party and being ignored again, somewhere no party wants to be. So, what do the Greens do to fight the Pirate Party? They begin adopting many of the Pirate Party's policies, such as being against the draconian "three strikes" and you're off the internet government policies (France's active HADOPI legislation is one example of this being recently implemented) data retention, online surveillance and software patents. They promote things such as net neutrality, internet anonymity and psuedonymity eg anonymous usernames on internet forums... This is actually a good thing, because it's raising the profile of these kinds of issues, which may eventually lead to them becoming key election issues. So, this trend is looking like the road to establish an elected political party who actually looks after the interests of their electorate on important issues of freedom, instead of corporate interests. The big question of course, is how well will any such well-meaning party resist the lure of big money and the corruption in their principles that this ultimately brings? There's lots more info on this story at the source article from Techdirt, which covers this kind of thing daily. If www.techdirt.com isn't yet in your bookmarks, we recommend putting it there now and checking back on it regularly. Note that Techdirt does not use copyright and their content can be used freely.