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Pirate Party Invited To, Then Banned From Gaming Exhibition 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-up-your-minds dept.
esocid writes with this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "Despite having booked and paid for their booth at Gamex, Sweden's largest gaming exhibition, the Pirate Party have been excluded from the action this week. The party, who say they were nagged for 2 to 3 months to book for the event, were this week informed they were too controversial and no longer welcome. ... [Pirate Party leader Anna Troberg] says that after the sales people from the exhibition pursued the party for months to participate, they decided to book and pay for a booth. ... 'I thought it was a bit strange, but in the afternoon, the pieces fell into place when the fair manager, Bear Wengse, phoned me and kindly, but firmly, announced that the Pirate Party was no longer welcome at the fair.' Wengse informed Troberg that the exhibition is a meeting place and not a venue for political conflict and the party's presence could cause problems, particularly since some of their work "could be perceived as criminal."'"
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Pirate Party Invited To, Then Banned From Gaming Exhibition

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  • The point is: why would they even try to invite them? It isn't like three months ago the public opinion of something named "PIRATE PARTY" would be any diferent.
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      To belittle them?

      • Re:Obviously. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nepka (2501324) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:20PM (#37978002)
        Because sales guy wanted his commission and when the higher ups figured out who the booth had been sold to, they cancelled it.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          And we have a winner, I never met a salesman(or woman) that wouldn't give up their first born for a sale...

          and that's being polite...

        • Obligatory XKC^H^H^H 1.00FTE: http://onefte.com/2010/05/25/ [onefte.com]
        • Re:Obviously. (Score:4, Informative)

          by metacell (523607) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @09:26AM (#37984576)

          Because sales guy wanted his commission and when the higher ups figured out who the booth had been sold to, they cancelled it.

          The funny thing, though, is that the Pirate Party's name features prominently on Gamex' advertising in papers and in the subways. Did the advertising get approved without even a cursory examination by the bosses (or any other responsible person within the company)? And nobody discovered the mistake until a few days before the convention opened?

          • by St.Creed (853824)

            So their name was used on advertising, but they still had to pay for a booth and now they can't even attend? Wow. Time for a lawsuit to have their name removed, and for attendees to complain about false advertising.

            Okay, the Swedes aren't very litigious (being Vikings they tend to settle disputes with their axe :) ) but still.. this sucks.

            • by metacell (523607)

              I assume the Pirate Party got their fee back - I'm sure they'd have pointed it out if they didn't. They just lost some work and planning.

              Still, I think the attention they got in the press is more than worth it. This makes the Pirate Party look like a more serious contender, and the anti-pirates look like jerks.

    • Re:Obviously. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by esocid (946821) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:09PM (#37977842) Journal
      They were popular enough to win 2 seats in Sweden's parliament. The SSU (Swedish Social Democratic Youth League) are still allowed to attend the event, and they support the decriminalization of non-commercial file sharing, so I don't buy the political exclusion claim. Most likely it was pressure from the big Corp. attendees.
      • Re:Obviously. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:25PM (#37978060)

        No, the Pirate Party did not win any seats in the Swedish parliament. They have two seats in the European parliament, however.

        • Re:Obviously. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mmcuh (1088773) on Monday November 07, 2011 @06:56PM (#37979742)
          They have one seat in the European parliament. They would have one more in the expanded parliament under the Lisbon treaty, but even though the it has been ratified for years and all the bits of the treaty related to the commission and the council are in place, the bits that govern the only institution in the EU that is actually elected apparently aren't that important.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        The SSU (Swedish Social Democratic Youth League) are still allowed to attend the event, and they support the decriminalization of non-commercial file sharing, so I don't buy the political exclusion claim.

        This is the reason it's a story IMO. If they don't want political organizations there, that's fine. Allowing some political groups and not others is not so kosher. Of course it's a private event so they decide, but it makes it newsworthy.

    • Re:Obviously. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rwa2 (4391) * on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:13PM (#37977900) Homepage Journal

      The point is: why would they even try to invite them? It isn't like three months ago the public opinion of something named "PIRATE PARTY" would be any diferent.

      The point is, even if they were banned, why would they not show up and occupy a booth anyway? I see much opportunity for hilarity here :-D

      • by metacell (523607)

        The Pirate Party did show up outside the convention and handed out t-shirts. They also paid the entry fee for the 20 first people who went in with their t-shirt on.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      The point is: why would they even try to invite them? It isn't like three months ago the public opinion of something named "PIRATE PARTY" would be any diferent.

      The scuttlebutt is that they thought the Ninja Party would be there, too, but declined. All fell apart after that.

    • by Ofloo (1378781)
      Free advertising :p
  • Refund? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:06PM (#37977786)
    Will they get their money back? Because pursuing them so doggedly then banning them could probably also "be perceived as criminal".
    • Re:Refund? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rone (46994) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:35PM (#37978210)
      Will they get their money back?

      Even with a refund of the booth fee, the Pirate Party could still be out a significant chunk of change.

      Exhibition-grade booth displays and paraphernalia cost thousands of dollars (even tens of thousands for large booths), and if the Pirate Party invested money on materials specifically for this show, they may have just flushed a significant portion of their yearly budget.

      The paranoid might even think that this invite-then-ban manuever was done deliberately.
      • Re:Refund? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) on Monday November 07, 2011 @05:51PM (#37979086) Homepage Journal

        Yes, the Pirate party will not have to pay to attend since they got banned even though they was on the billboards in the subway on the events ads.

        No, they had not had any big expenses from this.

        Pirate Party youth section was there and gave away their t-shirts outside the doors, The ban meant alot of goodwill for the Pirate party and some good press.

        So all in all this made the pirate party the talk of the event and got some good press.
        Kinda strange that getting banned gave the pirate party more positive attention then attending the event would have.

      • Exhibition-grade booth displays and paraphernalia cost thousands of dollars (even tens of thousands for large booths), and if the Pirate Party invested money on materials specifically for this show, they may have just flushed a significant portion of their yearly budget.

        If this assumption is true (that they spent a significant portion of their annual budget), then one of both of two things is true: 1) they're idiots for overspending, and 2) they're idiots for not have a reasonable operating budget.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        Exhibition-grade booth displays and paraphernalia cost thousands of dollars

        Are booth babes really that expensive? :)

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:07PM (#37977812)

    Seriously, what trade show thought they would get away with a move that would piss off 90% of their exhibitors?

    • A tradeshow that wanted to appeal to 99% of the exhibitors customers? Or wait, make that 100%.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Publishers, not developers.

    • In general, marketing and sales people have a tenuous grasp on reality.
    • I'd say that depends if the Marketing/Sales-Team or the Development-Team is running the booth.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:10PM (#37977850) Homepage
    "hey guys! EA has a new game about pirates coming out, lets invite some pirate enthusiasts!!"
  • they decided to book and pay for a booth

    I don't see the article mentioning a refund, I'm hoping this wasn't just a huge ploy from the start to take their money.
    Booths at these kinds of things usually aren't cheap...

    • by wjousts (1529427)
      Don't attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. I'd wager some lower down sales guy pitched the booth to Pirate Bay and then later on somebody higher up notice and shit a brick when they realized who they'd just sold a booth to. I expect the original sales guy is updating his resume now.
      • by ArhcAngel (247594)
        Yes, he is planning to run for a congressional seat in Illinois and after a few terms run for POTUS.

        FYI - I know this is in Europe
  • by sabt-pestnu (967671) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:23PM (#37978040)

    > they decided to book and pay for a booth. ... 'I thought it was a bit strange, but in the afternoon, the pieces fell into place

    This is an example of either poor clipping, or intentionally inflammatory clipping. From having RTFA, the pirate party had called to get answers on a couple of practical issues, and the person they talked to sounded vague and extremely stressed out. THAT is what Troberg, as quoted in the actual article, thought strange.

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Monday November 07, 2011 @06:27PM (#37979476)

    I'm sure the organizers never wanted the pirate party there at all. But inviting them was a brilliant business move. For a whole host of reasons, from inflaming other exhibitors, getting those other exhibitors to spend more, encouraging another segment to exhibit, and impressing sponsors in the first place. Then, finally, supporting those that wanted the pirate party gone.

    I'll bet it was the best period of business activity for the organizers. Welcome to playing one side against the other, and getting news-level advertising fory our show in the process.

    Why is any of this surprising to anyone? It's just a gossip-tree and a rumour-mill at the business level.

    Ooh, guess who's coming to dinner. Oh, sorry, they cancelled at the last minute.

    • You can make just about anything obvious if you decide to cherry-pick out the inconvenient possibilities. Consider this similar line of reasoning:

      "What a stupid move by the organisers! Inviting the pirate party was always going to piss the exhibitors off. It would just attract the file-sharing crowd and make the event hostile towards big game studios. Basically, by inviting the pirate party, they would have jeopardised the exhibitors' contributing to this and all subsequent events, and irreparably damaged a

      • considering someone else's intentional choices as undesirable or stupid on their part is almost always incorrect.

        • For an individual making some kind of personal choice, maybe. For a group/committee/government, or anyone trying to organise an event, not even close. I have both organised events and been part of committees in the past (often at the same time), and making stupid decisions, or failing to correctly predict something important, is not just difficult to avoid, it's part and parcel to the job.

          I think what most likely happened was that whatever committee is responsible decided to send out invitations to various

  • by mmcuh (1088773) on Monday November 07, 2011 @06:49PM (#37979684)
    The manager's name is Björn Wengse, not Bear Wengse. Björn is a common name that also happens to be the Swedish word for "bear".
    • As a Norwegian, I kind of assumed this. "Bear" does not sound very Nordic, but "Bjørn" is a common name both in Sweden and Norway :)
      Another (less common) name in Norway is "Roar". Go figure.
  • More like Gaming "Unfair", amirite folks?

  • SYKE! HAHA!

    Brings a new meaning to "con".

  • "Bear Wengse" should be "Björn Wengse". Poor journalism.
  • Has Anonymous gone out of fashion? I would have expected a mention of the fact that the web pages of the exhibition and the exhibition hall (Kistamässan) were DDoSed with a message from AnonOps Sweden stating (in Swenglish): Your decision to politically censor the pirate party, excluding them from gamex has not gone unnoticed by anonymous. That you would at the same time favor other parties does not improve the situation to your benefit. [blogspot.com]
  • I can't stop reading her name as Trollberg, the iceberg who sank the Titanic.

    Problem?

  • *A* party, so the party *has*.

    Good night.

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