The new Swedish anti-piracy law stirs things for file sharers

By EDRi · December 16, 2009

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Deutsch: [Das neue schwedische Anti-Piraterie-Gesetz stiftet Unruhe unter Filesharern|]

As already foreseen this summer, the Swedish recording industry is using the
new anti-piracy IPRED law to chase filesharers.

On 7 December 2009, the Swedish branch of the International Federation of
the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) filed a suit with the district court in
Stockholm against Direct Connect (DC) file sharing network, trying to force
the site to reveal the identity of a user suspected of illegal file sharing.

IPFI has investigated a number of file sharing cases until now but this is
the first case they have decided to go to court with. “We want to take one
at a time. It’s a new law and we have to learn how to do this, what the
courts want in terms of evidence to be sure that they’re not compromising
anyone’s privacy,” stated Ludvig Werner, head of IFPI in Sweden.

IFPI has decided to take DC to court although the network is no longer the
strongest on the market. “BitTorrent technology is superior for moving large
files, but DC is more of a social network. You connect to a hub and are
there throughout the day, chatting and exchanging files with one another,
sort of like a youth recreation centre on the internet, even if it’s not
only young people who are there.”

The dramatic 40% drop in the Internet traffic even the night before the law
entered into force on 1 April 2009 (according to the statistics of an ISP
coordination organisation) seemed to contradict the experts who had believed
IPRED would not have such a big effect on file sharing in Sweden.

Yet, after the serious decline in April, file sharing has gradually
recovered and in November the Internet traffic surpassed the previous
all-time high, reported in March. Certainly, there are other factors besides
file sharing that might have contributed to the increase of the traffic.

“There is guaranteed to be certain increase in file sharing, but it isn’t
possible to tell exactly how much. (…) Then you have the illegal video
streaming sites, which aren’t file sharing in the traditional sense, but
which play the same role for users. Watching a movie via a streaming video
directly in your web browser is becoming more and more popular” said
researcher Kristoffer Schollin. In his opinion, in time, these video
steaming sites might gain field in front of file sharing. Anyway, it appears
that file-sharing is still increasing.

Music industry to test Sweden’s anti-piracy law (7.12.2009)

File sharing in Sweden nears record high (6.12.2009)

EDRi-gram: Swedish court: IP addresses are personal data (1.07.2009)