Swedish press: file sharing still ahead of the law

The law is still way behind filesharing technology, maintain several of Sweden's opinion columnists in the wake of the Pirate Bay verdict yesterday. Many of them see the court's sentencing as surprisingly harsh.

Skånska Dagbladet in Malmö called it “a strange kind of justice” and compared the prison sentence with that of two young offenders who received juvenile detention after they stabbed a homosexual man to death.

A conviction was appropriate, writes Värmlands Folkblad in Karlstad, but claims it is “without real effect”, it does not prevent file sharing and does not bring copyright law up to date with current technologies.

Also in Karlstad, Nya Wermlands-Tidningen calls for a dialogue and a resolution between the relevant copyright organizations and file sharers.

An important message, writes Dagens Nyheter in Stockholm. “It’s not okay to sponge off the work of artists and writers or make it easier for others to do so.” DN sees court decisions related to the EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) to be “far more important”.

“A low point was when a respected defense attorney claimed that the district court’s decision was the result of political pressure,” writes Östran in Kalmar.

The opinion writer for Arbetarbladet in Gävle wants to be renumerated for his writing.

“I’ll send any one who rips off my work to prison, if I can.” But at the same time, the writer feels that “no one under the age of 30 seems to listen” to such statements.

Västerbottens-Kuriren in Umeå finds it difficult to sympathize with the main parties involved in the case. “The basic principles of copyright law and the recognition of the fantastic opportunities offered by information technology (…) deserve a more humane representative.”

“A non-guilty verdict would have been more surprising than one handed down,” writes Göteborgs-Posten: the “surprisingly stiff” sentence is a “powerful warning to those who speak in favour of large-scale file sharing.” Expressen follows the same line of thinking and maintains that it was an “excessively severe sentence,” but that copyright law is intended to enable writers and artists to make a living.

Marx is laughing from heaven, writes Dala-Demokraten in Falun in a Marxist analysis of the situation – the productive forces are on their way to crush the relations of production.

The judgement “is just a footnote in a long process of destruction where there won’t be any winners,” writes Vestmanlands Läns Tidning in Västerås.

A controversial judgement, according to Blekinge Läns Tidning in Karlskrona. While many young people think that file sharing is natural and clearly not theft, its opponents believe the opposite to be true.

The victory for the prosecutors is almost certainty temporary, writes Upsala Nya Tidning. But the newspaper excludes the possibility that the decision is the result of political pressure, but says it is rather due to the law’s existing formulation.

Nerikes Allehanda in Örebro compared the judgement to moments in history when the introduction of audio made the silent film pianists redundant, record companies who prohibited their artists from radio broadcasts, and musicians who appealed to their fans not to record their music.

It’s not possible to prohibit the future, writes Aftonbladet, and challenges the major parties to end their affair with Hollywood.

After the battle between David and Goliath, Sundsvalls Tidning expects a legal deal between Goliath and Goliath – the entertainment industry and Google where copyrighted films and files can be removed at the touch of a button.

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