Sweden's Anti-Piracy Law Boost Market For Encryption Technology

from the keep-whac'ing-that-mole dept

With Sweden’s new antipiracy law in effect, it seems that one industry is getting a nice boost: apparently there’s a lot of new interest in encrypting your internet traffic, and services that provide encrypted VPN services are getting lots of new business. This, once again, points out that near total pointlessness in playing Whac-A-Mole over file sharing. It just become an endless game where each side continues to elevate itself, and it makes it that much more difficult in the end for the entertainment industry to do what it will inevitably be forced to do anyway: start building business models that embrace file sharing. But the further they push users of such services underground, the more and more difficult they’ll find it to embrace these services down the road. Each attempt to knock out these services or their users only comes around to backfire on the industry itself.

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Comments on “Sweden's Anti-Piracy Law Boost Market For Encryption Technology”

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Felix Pleșoianu (user link) says:

WH, you seem to think ISPs don’t need customers. First and foremost, if I want to hide what I do on the Internet, that’s my business. It’s called “privacy of correspondence”. Second, here in Europe we have a little something called “healthy competition”. If a service provider of any kind fails to give us what we need, we go to the one next door. Third, even if along comes a law that forces them to block encrypted traffic, that will just push people in the know to switch to mesh networks. Not to mention the effect such a law would have on e-commerce.

Claes says:

Pirate Party see rise in members; first usage of the law

It’s also interesting to note how the membership statistics of the swedish Pirate Party has developed. During the last four months it has doubled – thereby surpassing that of two of the parties in parliament (member count – not votes). Their political youth organisation is now the second biggest in Sweden in terms of member count. For each time there has been a public debate about laws for broad surveilance, The Pirate Bay trial, or laws affecting file sharing there is a bump in the statistics with many new members joining rapidly.

The Pirate Party is increasingly being seen for what it is – not just a party for copyright/patent reform, but also the only party to defend the right to privacy, the right to fair and balanced trials, the right to anonymity online, and so on. With the possible exception of the two smaller parties on the left (which might very well give up their stance on these issues for something else in return) both the opposition and ruling parties practically agree about the current depressing politics.

The Pirate Party draw people both from the group of young people for which file sharing is an integral part of their lives and the group of liberal (in the true sense of the word) minded people both to the left and right who have a hard time accepting that their government forces ISP:s to deliver a copy of all internet traffic passing Swedish borders to an authority for data mining and analysis of traffic patterns (and also that the police gains access to this technology and infrastructure), and that they plan to use people’s own cellphones to monitor and log their movements and whereabouts (like we were electronically tagged criminals), and to monitor who mails or calls whom.

Btw. the first usage of this anti-piracy was by the Swedish Anti-piracy Agency against a private ftp server hosting lots of audio books. However, various people claim to have information that shows that the ftp server was password protected. That could mean both that the “making copyrighted works available to the public” allegations are wrong and that the Anti-piracy Agency committed data breach which is criminal (even true in case they had gained access to the password if they weren’t supposed to have it). Add to that that the primary “evidence” is provided in the form of screenshots. It will be interesting to see how the court handles this when they decide whether contact info to the person having this IP address should be revealed or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Pirate Party see rise in members; first usage of the law

Actually, the government action is a response to the bribery known as lobbying, but keep telling yourself that politicians are virtuous and just want to help the poor starving artists in their mansions with 9 cars. Or, better yet, the record execs in their multiple mansions with 30 cars.

Claes says:

“perhaps if these young individuals decides to stop ‘infringing’ on copyright works, perhaps they wouldn’t have anything to worry about.”

And if they have open Wi-Fi or if they run a TOR node? And what about parents who cannot control what their kids do all the time – should they go around all day and worry?

And what if you run a popular blog anonymously – how do you protect your privacy when anyone could exploit this law to get your identity.

What about those who are falsely accused but do not have the possibility to defend themselves? Why aren’t people entitled to be treated as not guilty until otherwise proven?

Is it reasonable that a minor offense like file sharing can lead to threats to pay hundreds of thousands SEK within two weeks, search of your home, confiscation of your computer? Is it reasonable that those who are found guilty are named and shamed?

Wouldn’t it be better for the music and film industry if all the VPN fees were spent on culture and artists instead? Live concerts for example.

Claes says:

Experiences from Denmark

I forgot to mention:

In Denmark which has a similar law only four people have been convicted and they all confessed file sharing. If you have an unprotected WLAN (a large proportion of Swedes do) you go free since it’s impossible to prove who has done what. The money the anti-piracy agencies in Denmark collect do not go back to the file shared artists.

So why pass laws which have no effect on file sharing and do not benefit the artists while at the same time eroding basic democratic rights.

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