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 organizers 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.
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.