Policing rights for entertainment industry Finland

By EDRi · April 20, 2005

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)