• Sweden edition
Government presents controversial file sharing bill

Government presents controversial file sharing bill

Published: 05 Dec 2008 09:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Dec 2008 09:34 GMT+01:00

The bill, based on the European Union's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), would give copyright holders the right to seek a court order requiring internet service providers to divulge the names of individuals linked to IP-addresses through which the illegal downloading occurs.

“If those who create computer games, films, or music lack the ability to be paid for their products, they won’t be able to hire the people they need so their companies can grow. The bill strengthens the prerequisites for the creative sector to grow,” said Justice Minister Beatrice Ask in a statement.

The government has been working hard in recent weeks to overcome concerns from within its ranks that the controversial measure would give the entertainment industry too much power over individuals.

On Wednesday, Moderate Party Riksdag members spent much of the day debating the measure internally in an effort to agree on changes that would assuage critics’ fears.

A compromise was eventually reached late in the day which would increase the burden of proof copyright holders must present in court before being given access to the names of individuals suspected of illegal file sharing.

Another alteration to the original bill dropped a clause which would have made the law retroactive, giving copyright holders the ability to go after cases of illegal downloading which took place before the law had come into force.

The final version of the bill, however, stipulates that the law will only apply to file sharing cases which occur after it comes into force on April 1st, 2009.

The new law would give courts a pivotal role in determining how much success the entertainment industry might have in stopping those suspected of illegal file sharing.

The bill calls for courts to decide whether copyright holders have presented sufficient evidence of harm to justify the release of personal information about individual internet subscribers.

“This means that it will be necessary to show it is a question of infringement of a certain magnitude in order for a copyright holder to receive the [personal] information,” according to a government statement.

In further explaining the measure, however, the government hinted that, in some cases, it expected courts to rule in favour of individual privacy rights if the case was involved the downloading of “a few works”.

When asked to elaborate on what constituted “few” works, however, Ask deferred to the courts.

“That’s a judgment which the court can make about what is required, the legislation can’t go into all the details,” she told the TT news agency.

While the government was able to coalesce around the proposal, the Moderate Party’s youth wing remains opposed to the new measure, saying it symbolizes a generation clash.

“It’s a really disappointing decision. They are criminalizing and hunting down a whole generation of young people,” said Niklas Wykman, head of the Moderate Party Youth Association (MUF), to the TT news agency.

“Politicians from the older generation have never gone this far before.”

While Hans Skarplöth, head of media distributor Viasat, welcomed the proposed measure, he also recognized its shortcomings.

“What’s important now is that we focus on delivering really good legal media services,” he said.

“But it’s naïve to think that the law in and of itself is going to solve the problem.”

The proposal must still be approved by a vote in the Riksdag before becoming law, and the government is counting on all of its parliamentary representatives voting in favour of the controversial measure.

However, if the opposition political parties come out against the measure, then it would only take the defection of a handful of Riksdag members from the governing Alliance to put the new file sharing law in jeopardy.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

The County Administrative Board of Skåne has decided to confiscate the 35 cats of an 81-year-old man who was forbidden from having more than nine of the furry felines. READ  

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew
Photo: TT

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew

With Sunday's thunderstorm reported as the worst of the year so far, Sweden is bracing for round two on Monday as meteorologists predict more of the same. READ  

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven't been so high since 1989. READ  

Floods replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Floods replace Swedish heatwave

The Swedish summer was washed away on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm, including torrents of water flooding down stairways at metro stations. READ  

People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Top ten Swedish taboos
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »


24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
What's On in Sweden
People-watching July 23
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: