Editorials Christmas 2011: Editorial

Three planks of the Pirate Party’s platform that matter to doctors

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d8101 (Published 20 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8101
  1. Waldemar Ingdahl, science journalist
  1. 1Valhallavägen 141, 115 31 Stockholm, Sweden
  1. waldemaringdahl{at}gmail.com

Reform of copyright law, respect for patients’ right to privacy, and the abolition of drug patents

Now almost six years old, Sweden’s Pirate Party has inspired Pirate parties in several European countries, including the UK (www.pirateparty.org.uk/).1 The party gained two of Sweden’s 18 seats in the European Parliament in the 2009 elections (winning 7.1% of the vote), and this September its German sister party gained seats in Berlin’s state parliament. Although the party was initially concerned with file sharing, it has expanded its focus to include three areas that are especially relevant to doctors: reform of copyright law, respect for patients’ right to privacy, and the abolition of drug patents.

The Pirate Party is critical of the copyrighting of scientific articles and anything else that reduces their accessibility because it believes that knowledge has intrinsic value. The reform of …

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