Sweden Considering Law To Allow Police To Go After File Sharers

from the moving-in-the-wrong-direction dept

One of the most enjoyable parts of attending MidemNet was talking with various people in the industry who have learned how to embrace new business models and adapt to the changing market place. I ended up hanging out a lot with Martin Thornkvist, of the Swedish record label Songs I Wish I Had Written (some of that time spent wandering slightly lost through French villages post-midnight, after we discovered that there was no transportation back to the town where both of us were staying, but only a train that would drop us a few towns over, where the promised taxi cabs were found to not exist). We talked a lot about what’s going on in Sweden, where there seems to be an unfortunate dichotomy. There are those who have learned to embrace the new market place and look for the opportunities, such as Martin’s label, and a variety of other labels there. And, of course, there are folks like The Pirate Bay and the political Pirate Party, which actually has received some level of recognition in Sweden.

But there is also the other side. And they still appear to be in power. Apparently, Sweden’s Justice Minister is reviewing a report that will recommend giving police the ability to go after file sharers. This still makes little sense to me. Copyright should be, for the most part, a civil issue. It usually makes little to no sense to ever get police or law enforcement involved — especially when we’re seeing plenty of folks in the recording industry — such as Martin and other Swedish indie labels — not only learn to live with things like file sharing, but to embrace it and actively encourage it. Of course, I have to admit that, while highly amusing, the Swedish Pirate Party’s response to such a plan is a bit over the top:

“These laws are written by digital illiterates who behave like blindfolded, drunken elephants trumpeting about in an egg packaging facility. They have no idea how much damage they’re causing, because they lack today’s literacy: an understanding of how the Internet is reshaping the power structures at their core.”

Of course, when you combine plans to have law enforcement go after file sharers with recently approved legislation to effectively tap all forms of communication in the country, things get pretty worrisome pretty fast.

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Comments on “Sweden Considering Law To Allow Police To Go After File Sharers”

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mike42 (profile) says:

Putting pieces into place

Wow, your last statement really sent my mind reeling… All the money and effort that the entertainment industry is spending “fighting piracy” could easily put mechanisms in place to allow a government to track and filter information at will. The entertainment industry could be buying their own golden muzzle. All it would take is an administration base enough to ignore the basic precepts of a free society. (cough…cough…Bush…cough…cough)

Casey says:

“Look, we all hate bush, but he’s gone. Bush is not our society’s excuse for anything anymore. As noted, Obama’s speech wasn’t exactly rosy about fixing what has been done.”

Oh, it will take several years for them to stop blaming all of their problems in life on Bush.

Actually, this seems to stem from more of a “large government Big Brother” stance which falls more in the liberal court than anything. It is very scary tough. Government backing of the crazy idea’s in the entertainment industry. I was just reading an article of workplace radio’s needing a public broadcasting license in the UK to avoid fines. What a world…

Chris H. (profile) says:

Liberal governments

@ Casey

Let’s put this myth to bed. Liberal governments, while they back social programs and health care, tend *not* to be bigger than conservative governments, mainly because conservative governments spend so much on the military. But I hear the myth over and over that big governments are a liberal thing. Go check government spending as a % of GDP and this will be clear.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Liberal governments

the myth of conservatives being small government died with the election of Ronald Reagan (the biggest big-government president we ever had, until George Bush). The rest of conservativism (as originally posed by Buckley–Goldwater) has been slowly killed by the Limbaughs and Hannities of the world just trying to sell books. As of today, the term consevatism is just another marketing term and as such, doesnt actually mean anything defineable anymore.

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