Swedish Film Institute Learning That An IP Address Is Not A Person
from the lessons-learned dept
Earlier this month, an anti-piracy tracking company traced the origin of some Swedish films found on The Pirate Bay... all the way back to the Swedish Film Institute. After some embarrassment and further investigation, the Institute is now insisting that it can't find any evidence that someone there leaked the films... and they're complaining that the anti-piracy firm DoubleTrace "aren’t... forthcoming with their evidence." Shocking, I'm sure. But the larger point is that the Swedish Film Institute is pointing out that the IP address alone does not identify the user. This is, of course, entirely true. It's what tons of people have been pointing out for years, and what the film industry (and the recording industry) has often mocked as being a silly excuse. So I'm in agreement with TorrentFreak when it says:
The important thing here is that when it comes to the allegations against SFI, and the refusal of the anti-piracy company to make their ‘evidence’ available, SFI should be given the benefit of the doubt.
But, unlike the hundreds of thousands of other ISP account holders around the world who receive letters claiming that they illegally uploaded a movie or song and therefore should pay compensation or, increasingly, be disconnected from the Internet, they are treated more respectfully, quite simply because of who they are.
An IP address is not a person, and unless anti-piracy companies want to let their ‘evidence’ be seen and tested in public, perhaps it’s better if they keep their allegations to themselves.