Sweden's Bad File Sharing Law Goes Into Effect

from the that's-a-lot-of-criminals dept

We mentioned a couple months ago how Sweden was putting into effect a law that banned downloading of copyrighted material — and despite the fact that it would criminalize a large portion of the population, it’s now in effect. Of course, like speeding, it’s unlikely many people are paying attention to it. Unfortunately, unlike speeding, the punishment is likely to be much more draconian for those who are caught.

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Comments on “Sweden's Bad File Sharing Law Goes Into Effect”

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irritated coward says:

Comments from a swede

Some comments from a swede that does download copyrighted material illegally (and who will still continue doing so) as there is a lot of misinformation floating around (most of it FUD from the antipiracy organizations and newspapers falling for the claims)
IANAL, so take what I say with some grains of salt.. but you really should have done that with the newspapers’ reporting too..!

First off, this is very like what’s on the lawbooks in several other countries (it’s an implementation of the EUCD) – it’s already illegal to obtain illegal copies
IMO, the prohibition of circumventing digital copy protections ? la the DMCA is rather the really offending bit of the new law.

Secondly, the police has said that it will not go after the common people – the work is just too much for just some rather light fine. And it will indeed be just a light fine instead of the maximum penalty of two years’ time in prison as most cases does not receive the maximum penalty in the law books here. A rather toothless law, in other words, that won’t get used more than in a very few cases.

Also, there are very strict laws on data protection that also apply to IP addresses(due to that IPs can be tracked to the persons using them). This prohibits ISPs from storing unnecessary information and also prevents the antipiracy organizations from collecting databases of offenders’ IP numbers. Of course there are ways around this – IANAL again but a “fire-and-forget” script sending IP ownership inquiries would probably work.. but then they run the risk of commiting barratry if they don’t have solid evidence.

I’m personally much more worried about the upcoming patent legislation that undoubtedly will get allow some pretty awful things like pure software patents to be accepted as valid. (why haven’t we seen anything about it on techdirt? that’s a much more far-reaching event in the IT world!)

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