First music file sharer prosecuted in Sweden

The first person to be prosecuted in Sweden for illegally sharing music files appeared in court this week in what is being seen as a test case for Swedish copyright law.

The 44 year old man is said by the music industry body Ipfi, which brought the prosectution against him, to have made 13,000 mp3 files available illegally using the Direct Connect programme.

But the prosecutor is focusing on just four songs: ‘It must have been love’ by Roxette, ‘There must be an angel’ by Eurythmics, ‘Sarah’ by Mauro Scocco and ‘Vara vänner’ by Jakob Hellman.

“I never downloaded as much as is claimed,” said the 44 year old man to local paper Borås Tidning.

“Many of the songs were from CDs I bought in record shops.”

As well as being the first such case to grace the Swedish courts, it could also be the last.

If the man is found not guilty, or is only given a fine, then internet service providers will not be obliged to reveal suspects IP addresses in future. Only when the crime under investigation carries a custodial sentence are ISPs required to hand over data to the police.

The man claims that he intended to upload just a few individual songs to be shared, but instead uploaded his whole file of songs. Nevertheless, he believes the case against him is unfair.

“It’s wrong to find someone guilty for something that millions of people do,” he told Borås Tidning.

Th verdict is expected on October 18th.