• Sweden edition
 
Swedish parliament passes copyright bill

Swedish parliament passes copyright bill

Published: 25 Feb 2009 16:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Feb 2009 16:18 GMT+01:00

The vote came following a spirited debate between Sweden’s Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, and detractors of the file sharing bill, which is based on the European Union's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED).

The government contends that the law is necessary to protect the rights of filmmakers, authors, and artists by allowing them to earn a living from their creations.

But opponents from the Left and Green Parties claim the measure is a threat to democracy and personal integrity because it gives companies and copyright holders too much power to investigate and demand compensation from individuals for alleged copyright infringement.

“To stop file sharing a police state is required where all internet traffic is under surveillance. Is it worth it?” asked the Green Party’s Lage Rahm, according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper

“We think copyright is important, but the problem is that it’s not right to criminalize people for what they do for private use.”

Rahm also voiced his concern that the new law could give rise to “blackmail situations” in which individuals feel forced to pay fines despite not breaking the law just to avoid having to be taken to court.

Ask, however, dismissed the Green Party critics, accusing them of rhetorical posturing.

“It’s easy to say that you are in favour of copyright protection, but then not following up with any proposals whatsoever,” she said, adding that the law addresses both file sharing and piracy.

“Those who create films and music within the law will have a better chance to take action against copyright violations,” she said

The Social Democrats supported the bill, but voiced a number of concerns about potential privacy violations.

The party suggested adding a provision for a privacy ombudsman to protect people who feel they’ve been unduly investigated, but the amendment was rejected by the government.

The Social Democrats also fear that the fast pace of development of file sharing technology will render the law obsolete by the time it comes into force on April 1st.

As an alternative, the party would like to see the launching of a copyright commission charged with conducting a wider examination of the file sharing phenomenon.

“The upcoming generation has another view of copyright protection. The legislation must be viewed as legitimate,” said Social Democratic Riksdag member Eva-Lena Jansson.

While the Left Party is opposed to the measure, the party’s Kent Persson acknowledged the government had sufficient support in the Riksdag to pass the measure.

Assuming the bill would pass, therefore, the Left Party, which believes file sharing for private use should remain legal, reluctantly supported the Social Democrats’ suggestion for a copyright commission.

In her defence of the bill, the justice minister stressed that the file sharing measure upheld the rule of law by requiring that a court decide on which information could be released for file sharing investigations.

In addition, the measure requires evidence that a particular IP-address was being used for file sharing before an investigation takes place.

The court would also make a determination regarding the relative severity of the offence.

“That means that information will primarily be released when it’s a matter of making material accessible on the internet, not when someone downloads an individual work, that is to say, copying,” said Ask.

“It’s not about 14-year-olds who want to listen to their favourite star from Idol, but rather those who make the material accessible. Anyone who has read the bill knows that.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

National
Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

Elections 2014
'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

UPDATED: Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven says he is positive that his party can co-operate with the former governing Alliance on some issues. READ  

Lifestyle
Introducing...Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking comes to live at the Astrid Lindgren theme park. Photo: TT

Introducing...Astrid Lindgren

The creator of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, is the most translated author from Sweden, and has filled children's imaginations since the 1940s. The Local finds out why her work has become a timeless classic. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

857
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:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se
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.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN