Fresh clampdown on internet piracy

Fresh clampdown on internet piracy
The Swedish Justice Department has launched a new proposal that would enable copyright holders to find out the identities of people illegally sharing their material on the internet. The proposal was released by the department for formal consultation on Monday.

Should the draft proposal result in new legislation it would allow copyright holders to turn to the courts for assistance in demanding that internet providers reveal the identities of people suspected of sharing files containing copyrighted material.

The aim of the proposal is to facilitate efforts to clamp down on illegal file-sharing. This in turn is expected to stimulate the development of lawful alternatives for the spread of music and movies over the internet, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

Tobias Andersson, press spokesman for lobby organization Piratbyrån, was critical of the move.

“This is completely crazy,” he said, before adding that “it is time to stop pampering the record industry”.

“The danger here is that it will speed up the development of anonymous file-sharing programmes that make it technically more difficult to trace somebody’s internet use. These kinds of services can also be exploited by people involved in criminal activities, such as paedophiles”.

Unsurprisingly Henrik Pontén, from film industry lobby group Antipiratbyrån, was more inclined to accentuate the positives.

“Legislation of this kind has already existed in Denmark and Finland for a long time and has proved to be effective and legally sound,” he said in a statement.