Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, ipred, sweden


Swedish Court Backs ISP In Not Handing Over Data On Accused 'Pirate'

from the nice-to-see-some-sanity dept

Earlier this year, Sweden put its anti-piracy IPRED law into effect, and earlier this summer we noted that the ISP ePhone was refusing to give up a user's IP address, and appealing a court ruling ordering it to do so. The details of the specific case suggested a unique circumstance, involving a server that supposedly contained infringing material -- but which was never made public. It was always behind a password and thus, Ephone argued, there was no infringement. While the lower court disagreed, the appeals court has overturned the lower ruling, saying that probable cause for infringement had not been shown. Given some of the recent rulings in the Swedish court system on copyright issues, it's nice to see a court not just accept the entertainment industry's claims on some of these things...

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  • icon
    Tor (profile), 16 Oct 2009 @ 7:00am

    Analysis of and thoughts about the decision

    Here's a copy of my comment in the earlier thread motivated by this new ruling:
    "Today Ephone won the appeal since the court didn't feel that it had been proven that anyone else than the Anti-piracy agency had accessed. In short, there can be no "making public" without the public having access.

    The decision was not unanimous (3 against 2). One of the judges who supported the overturning of the previous decision was Kristina Boutz who has as of late been accused of bias in the Pirate Bay trial (although I think those allegations have been dismissed by a court now)."

    It's also interesting to note that the two judges who opposed this decision used the same argument as the lower court: since the anti-piracy agency showed with their screenshots that there were many files (seemingly pirated judging by their names) on the server there are, because of this, probably also many users who have access to the server. Making the files available to these users counts as making available copyrighted works to the public.

    How anyone could think that many files implies many users is beyond me. So although the decision turned out right this time there was considerable disagreement and some really twisted arguments involved.

    ePhone had invested a lot of time and energy in their defense which was extremely well-written. Now the audio book companies will need to pay ePhone €20 000 to cover their legal expenses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tor (profile), 17 Oct 2009 @ 9:25am

    Update: appeal to supreme court

    Now the audio book companies have appealed to the supreme court, which is normally hesitant to try cases revolving primarily around evaluation of evidence. Whether the appeal will be accepted or not is still an open question.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon (profile), 17 Oct 2009 @ 9:55am

    Its also worth mentioning that the antipiracy people *hacked* into the computer to get at the files which were sitting being a username/password login.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tor (profile), 19 Oct 2009 @ 12:22am


      I don't think that has been established, although it depends on what you mean by "hacked". I find it more likely that they gained access by exerting some kind of pressure on someone who had access to the server (or by paying him off). However, either way it's criminal to use login credentials that you are not supposed to have access to (just like you cannot enter someone else's house if you find the hiding place of the key).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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