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15-year-old Swede faces filesharing charges
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15-year-old Swede faces filesharing charges

Published: 24 Aug 2011 15:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Aug 2011 15:35 GMT+02:00

A 15-year-old Swedish boy who distributed 24 films, including Rush Hour, The Social Network, and True Grit, on internet filesharing sites, is one of the youngest Swedes ever to be charged with violating Swedish copyright laws.

According to the indictment, which was filed last week, the 15-year-old “intentionally or with gross negligence” made the previously uploaded films available to filesharing sites such as tankafetast.com and tankaner.com.

While the teen has admitted to making the films available to the sites in February 2011, he denies having committed any crimes.

“He claims he didn't know his actions were criminal,” prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad told The Local.

The boy's age makes him almost too young to face criminal charges in Sweden and means he is one of the youngest Swedes ever to face charges of violating the country's copyright laws.

However, Ingblad emphasised the boy's age played no role in his decision to bring charges.

“If a crime is reported and we think we can show that one took place, we pursue the case regardless of age,” he said.

According to trade publication Computer Sweden, the boy was reported to the police by his school after the IT department discovered in March that his computer, which had been provided by the school, was infected with a computer virus.

When the boy was confronted about the matter, officials from the school found downloaded films on the machine, which was later confiscated by police.

The Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau (Antipiratbyrå), which represents the film companies that hold the rights to the movies shared by the 15-year-old, is serving as the plaintiff in the case.

According to Ingblad, the case should serve as a warning to other potential filesharers.

“The case is important because it will show people that if you share copyrighted material without permission, there is a risk you may get caught,” he said.

“When you are trying to create a (digital distribution system) that is legal, it's important to show what isn't legal.”

Ingblad is confident the boy will be convicted, in which case he will likely face fines or a time spend in community service for young offenders.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:44 August 24, 2011 by JulieLou40
Christ almighty, why can't they go after the real criminals like rapists & murderers with the same vengeance that they go after people who share files and/or don't pay their tax?! It's mental...
18:50 August 24, 2011 by Great Scott
Because the filthy rich fat pigs dont make any money from rape or murder.
19:50 August 24, 2011 by Imperor
Nice school! "Here's a lesson for ya bastard: Indebted for life for a pathetic uncrime!" How many million will they try to get? 150M/movie isn't unheard of you know!

And the whole

"If a crime is reported and we think we can show that one took place, we pursue the case regardless of age," is total BS! ANY other crime (save stuff like murder, rape, etc) would have been dropped immediately and turned over to social services unless the big money were behind it like in this case! But as everybody must understand, this is much worse...
21:49 August 24, 2011 by jacquelinee
Maybe he will be put in the same cell as the woman who saved the hedgehog.

For sure he won't be in with any actual,real criminals because they are classified as "sick" and get a bit of councilling and are "rehabilitated" and let go.

And for sure he won't be in with any abusive care givers because they get one or two extra fully paid vacations and then put back with the same people . Won't be in with anyone who throws little girls off a train for having no ticket (even though they sold them a ticket themselves) to wander alone all night. And we all KNOW it won't be in a cell with anyone who misdiagnosed cancer or lopped off some healthy breasts, because those reports never make it past "file 13" (a.k.a. the trash can)
21:54 August 24, 2011 by DAVID T
Hope he gets sent to prison for a couple of years and a massive fine
03:46 August 25, 2011 by Da Goat
He just has to say I know nothing!

the evidence was planted, as the computer has been out of my care for some time!

those virus are nasty things eh?
09:37 August 25, 2011 by Abe L
The kid has a pretty good case simply claiming that at that age he didn't know it was illegal. File sharing is so publicly acceptable that nobody considers it a crime and it probably came as perfectly normal for the kid. As it does to virtually everyone in Sweden and many parts of Europe.

The movie industry sure is doing well for their selves, after suing retired people, blind people, dead people, now teenagers?
09:56 August 25, 2011 by eppie
Western countries' legal systems should stop working for big corporations.

The Music and movie business should understand times have changed.

I mean it is sad for them now they have less money to by drugs and booze but I have never gotten my money back after buying a crap CD or after seeing a crap movie in the cinema.
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