Just as we initiate this civil celebration of our 1709 copyright law, a turbulent 18th-century spirit has taken hold of the rest of Europe. In Swedish seas, swashbuckling pirates have beseiged the lawyers who prosecuted the Pirate Bay site (as the Guardian reports here). The French meanwhile have returned to the Age of Revolution, thronging in the streets in protest at the HADOPI law that seeks to oppress illegal file-sharers (here). Can Sarko's Marie Antoinette hold on to her royalties? Followers of The Apprentice, however, will know that the English prefer to leave such decisions to Sir Alan Sugar to judge in the boardroom - where victory was last week handed to the Pirate Parrot. At last it is clear why pirates have always favoured these repetitious birds.