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Sollentuna man fined for file sharing

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17:54 CET+01:00
A 27 year old man was fined 17,600 kronor on Wednesday by Sollentuna district court for having made the film "The third wave" available on the internet.

The case in Sollentuna was almost identical to that held in Västmanland district court two weeks ago. In both cases the games and film industry body, Antipiratbyrån (APB), informed the police that the individuals had made a film accessible using the file sharing programme Direct Connect++.

Both courts also upheld the argument that file sharing of this sort can be considered "public display" and therefore breaks copyright laws.

The difference between the cases was that the 27 year old in Sollentuna admitted to the crime and that his hard drive was confiscated.

The fact that both trials ended in fines could mean that it will be harder in future for the police to investigate this kind of crime. For the police to be able to demand personal details from internet service providers and to carry out house raids, the crime needs to be one which results in at least a conditional jail sentence.

But Daniel Westman, a researcher in legal informatics at Stockholm University, maintains that it is too early to draw any conclusions.

No judgement has yet written into law and the Västerås verdict is subject to appeal.

"It's partly a new issue, how you judge the value of punishing this kind of crime when it isn't commercial but still involves wide distribution," he said.

"If the verdict stands at a higher level, you won't be able to investigate cases where it's just single copyrighted works. But that says nothing about cases with many more files - and they are the most common, after all," said Westman.

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