This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (July 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. Please remove or replace such wording and instead of making proclamations about a subject's importance, use facts and attribution to demonstrate that importance. (July 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. (July 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Rick Falkvinge
Rick Falkvinge in 2012
Leader of the Pirate Party
In office
1 January 2006 – 1 January 2011
MonarchCarl XVI Gustaf
Prime MinisterFredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byAnna Troberg
Personal details
Dick Greger Augustsson

(1972-01-21) 21 January 1972 (age 52)
Gothenburg, Sweden
Political partyPirate Party
OccupationIT entrepreneur, politician

Rick Falkvinge (born Dick Greger Augustsson on 21 January 1972) is a Swedish information technology entrepreneur and founder of the Swedish Pirate Party.[1] He is currently an activist for the Pirate Party.[2]

Youth and early career

Falkvinge grew up in Ruddalen, Gothenburg, and studied Natural Sciences at Göteborgs Högre Samskola. During his high school years, he was active in Moderat Skolungdom and Moderata Ungdomsförbundet, the youth wings of the Moderaterna party in Sweden. He reportedly had an interest in technology from an early age and is reported to have spent time as a toddler pressing doorbell buttons in electronics stores. [3][4]

He created his first company, Infoteknik (literally Infotechnology), in 1988 at the age of 16.[3]

From 1994 to 1998, he was active as an entrepreneur with five employees[3] in software development in Gothenburg, Kalmar and Strömsund.[citation needed] He changed his first name in 2004 from Dick to Rickard, with just Rick for short, and his last name from Augustsson to the current Falkvinge (literally Falconwing). [5]

The Pirate Party

Main article: Pirate Party (Sweden)

In the Fall of 2005, Rick Falkvinge started to consider creating a political party focused on the issues of file sharing, copyright, and patents. The dominating Swedish organization in the copyright debate at this time was the Pirate Bureau, which was not affiliated with any party. On 16 December 2005, Falkvinge registered the domain name (literally The Pirate Party), and on 1 January 2006, the party's website was launched through a message on a Direct Connect hub, signaling the start of the petition to register a new political party in Sweden.[6] According to the party, the site was viewed three million times in the first two days,[6] and in the morning of 2 January, the newspaper Dagens Industri published a notice about the initiative,[7] followed by a longer article in the tabloid Aftonbladet.[8] Falkvinge took out a large bank loan, quit his job at Cypak, and started working in the Pirate Party full-time. [4]

Raid against The Pirate Bay

Main article: The Pirate Bay raid

Following the police raid on The Pirate Bay on 31 May 2006 protests erupted on June 3, and he held his first widely translated speech, "Nothing new under the Sun".[9][10][11]

In the week that followed the raid, Falkvinge was on the TV news daily, and Pirate Party membership tripled from 2,200 to 6,600.[12]

General elections in 2006

Main article: Swedish general election, 2006

In the general elections in 2006, the Pirate Party achieved 0.63%. [13]

He chaired the Pirate Party while living off of donations and charity from supporters for 18 months,[14] until he was elected to the European Parliament. [15]

Success in European Elections

Main article: European Parliament election, 2009 (Sweden)

The Pirate Party achieved 7.13% in the 2009 European Parliament election.[16] Media described the party after the election as ecstatic[17] and the Pirate Party became the most popular party for voters under 30, with 25% of those votes. [18]

Not long after the European Elections, media predicted that the Pirate Party would also be elected to the Swedish Parliament, and it was supported by 3.9% of the voters in the polls.[19] The threshold for entry is 4.0%. This support did not materialize in the 2010 parliamentary elections.


In the launch of the party's election manifesto in 2010, Falkvinge stated that freedom of speech and freedom of the press should take precedence over the current ban on possession of drawings potentially depicting Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM), and that the party intended to repeal current legislation on the topic.[20] This followed a Swedish court case where a manga researcher and translator was indicted for possession of a handful of drawings as part of a very large manga collection. The Swedish Union of Journalists immediately proclaimed their support for this stance.[21] Despite this, the stance created internal controversy in the Pirate Party and Falkvinge initially backed away from his position,[22] before reiterating it in 2012. [23]

Stepping down as party leader

On 1 January 2011, five years after the party's foundation, Falkvinge announced that he was stepping down as party leader,[2] and that deputy party leader Anna Troberg would step into the role. This announcement was made on a live broadcast.[24]

In February 2016, it was announced that Falkvinge had accepted a full-time role as head of privacy for Private Internet Access, a US-based personal VPN service. [25]

Awards and recognition

In 2012, TIME Magazine listed Falkvinge as one of the world's most influential people,[26] and The Guardian listed Falkvinge as one of the world's Top 20 Internet Freedom Fighters.[27]

In 2011, The magazine Foreign Policy named Falkvinge as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.[28]

Falkvinge was awarded the Swedish Guldmusen award as IT person of the year 2010.[29]

He has been listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Sweden by Fokus magazine.[30]

Personal life

Falkvinge lives in Sollentuna, a suburb north of Stockholm.[31]


  1. ^ "Rickard (Rick) Falkvinge". Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 January 2011. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Falkvinge, Rick (January 2011). "After five years, I'm stepping down as party leader". Falkvinge on Infopolicy. Retrieved Jan 1, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Lönegård, Claes (June 5, 2009). "Hjärnan bakom piraterna". Fokus (in Swedish). Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Rydell, Anders; Sundberg, Sam (February 2009). Piraterna: De svenska fildelarna som plundrade Hollywood (in Swedish). ISBN 978-91-7037-320-6. Archived from the original on 2009-01-19.
  5. ^ Lagerblad, Anna (April 27, 2010). "Rekordmånga vill byta namn, Trender i tiden". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Pirate Party History" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on October 11, 2009. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  7. ^ Mattias, Henningsson (January 2, 2006). "Piratparti siktar på riksdagen". Dagens Industri (in Swedish). Retrieved May 12, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Carron, Mia; Olsson, Caroline (January 2, 2006). "Pirater bildar parti". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  9. ^ Rydell, Anders; Sundberg, Sam (2009). Piraterna - historien on The Pirate Bay, Piratpartiet och Piratbyrån (Pocket) (in Swedish). Ordfront Pocket. p. 125.
  10. ^ Bartels, Henning (2009). Die Piratenpartei (in German). Contumax-Verlag. pp. 32–36. ISBN 978-3-86199-001-7.
  11. ^ Falkvinge, Rick. "Det finns inget nytt under solen" (in Swedish). Pirate Party forums. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  12. ^ Rydell, Anders; Sundberg, Sam (2009). Piraterna - historien on The Pirate Bay, Piratpartiet och Piratbyrån (Pocket) (in Swedish). Ordfront Pocket. pp. 147–148.
  13. ^ Rydell, Anders; Sundberg, Sam (2009). Piraterna - historien on The Pirate Bay, Piratpartiet och Piratbyrån (Pocket) (in Swedish). Ordfront Pocket. pp. 143–153.
  14. ^ Sjölund, Jill. "Lever på att tigga". Aftonbladet (in Swedish).
  15. ^ Kerpner, Joachim (26 June 2009). "Nu anställer han sig själv". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  16. ^ Rydell, Anders; Sundberg, Sam (2009). Piraterna - historien on The Pirate Bay, Piratpartiet och Piratbyrån (Pocket) (in Swedish). Ordfront Pocket. p. 246.
  17. ^ Kerpner, Joachim (8 June 2009). "Pirat-party". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  18. ^ "Ett svenskare Europaval". Statistiska Centralbyrån (in Swedish). 22 June 2010. Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  19. ^ Mellin, Lena (23 June 2009). "Piraterna på väg att segla in i riksdagen". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  20. ^ Johansson, Birgitta (August 5, 2010). "Piratpartiet vill tillåta innehav av barnporr". Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  21. ^ Lindblom Hulthén, Agnetha (August 6, 2010). "Barnporrlagen är censur". Journalisten (in Swedish). Archived from the original on December 11, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  22. ^ Johansson, Birgitta (August 6, 2010). "Falkvinge: "Konstaterat att vi hade fel"". Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  23. ^ Falkvinge, Rickard. "Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade". Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  24. ^ "Pirate Party 5-year anniversary broadcast" (in Swedish). Bambuser. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  25. ^ "Private Internet Access and Digital Rights Activism Post". Private Internet Access. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  26. ^ "Rick Falkvinge: 2012 "TIME 100" Nominees". TIME Magazine. 29 March 2012. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved 1 Jan 2013.
  27. ^ "The Guardian's Open 20". The Guardian. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 1 Jan 2013.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  29. ^ Hofslagare, Erik (25 Feb 2010). "Här är årets pristagare". Computer Sweden (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  30. ^ "Sveriges mäktigaste makthavare 2009". SVT Rapport (in Swedish). 5 Nov 2009. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  31. ^ Johansson, Anders (23 April 2010). "Hallå eller? med Rick Falkvinge". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 May 2011.