June 9, 2005
../ Swedes Crack Down On Illegal File-Sharing
The Swedish Parliament has passed a new law making any type of file-sharing
or digital downloading or copyrighted material illegal. Songs, movies, books and any other copyrighted works are prohibited from being shared
online via the popular Peer-To-Peer (P2P) services such as Kazaa and Limewire.
The new legislation, which goes into effect on July 1, 2005, expands upon an earlier
Swedish law by making both downloading and uploading content illegal. Previously, only
uploading, or making the content available for others to download, was cited.
Sweden's anti-piracy group, Antipiratbyran, has stated that it will be very diligent
in pursuing violators. Antipiratbyran has a tough-guy reputation in Sweden especially since they have
collected user's IP addresses - without having to go to a court to obtain the identity
of the user. Antipiratbyran's renegade technology allows it to pinpoint an offender's IP address and then collect it in a database. However,
a recent uproar about privacy concerns has curtailed Antipiratbyran's pitbull tactics
and now they are reporting the offender's directly to the police.
In the past, Sweden has been criticized as being too lenient against rampant file-sharing
that has consumed the country and provided a safe haven for P2P companies.
The Future: Of course,
the Swedish Parliament couldn't pass a new law without adding a slew of fresh taxes including one that adds a levy on recordable media. This would be a
great idea if the collected money went into a pool that would be shared by the year's top-selling artists in Sweden, but it will probably go to
providing the citizens with more useless government jobs.
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