Policing rights for entertainment industry Finland
The Finnish Electronic Frontier Foundation is raising alarm about a proposed last-minute change in the new Finnish copyright law that would grant the entertainment industry the right to obtain identifying information about alleged infringers from service providers. The legislative committee of the Finnish parliament produced a statement on 17 April 2005 in which they agreed to change this wish from the right holders into law. On top of that, the committee also proposes that providers should disconnect customers if "the economic damage caused by the actions of the user becomes notable".
Similar to the voluntary agreement closed by the French providers with the entertainment industry, a copyright holder in Finland should be able to get a court order to force an ISP to disconnect a client and divulge his identity at even the slightest suspicion of copyright violation. According to EFFI such a clause constitutes a brute violation of basic rights.
EFFI feels that such wide-reaching breaches of an individual's rights should be considered by the constitutional committee. "The data should only be divulged during a police investigation in accordance with current legislation and even then it should never be given to involved parties", Kai Puolamäki, board member of EFFI, says. He adds: "Anyone could demand the disclosure of confidential telecommunication logs or even the disconnection of a client, if he were convincing enough. This law would make such an action possible. For example, the Church of Scientology has already demanded that ISPs divulge the identities of the cult's critics under similar legislation already in effect in the United States."
The proposed change in legislation was partially caused by the failed plea from the record companies at the Helsinki District Court last year to disconnect a user of KaZaA. The record industry was unable to show that the benefit from such a decision would be greater than the damage caused to the user.
EFFI press release (18.04.2005)