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'File sharing law goes too far': Swedish EU election candidates

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10:50 CEST+02:00
A clear majority of the Swedish candidates seeking election to the EU parliament are against the IPRED copyright law, arguing that EU countries have gone too far in the hunt for file-sharers.

Only 11 of the 39 candidates expressed support for the controversial copyright law in a major new survey conducted by newspaper Sydsvenskan.

The law is based on the European Union's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) and was passed by a large majority in the Swedish parliament on February 25th, courting criticism from opponents who argue that it constitutes a threat to democracy and personal integrity.

Opposition to the Swedish government bill came primarily from members of parliament for the Centre and Green parties. The new survey indicates that opposition to the IPRED law exists among EU parliamentary candidates representing all parties.

25 candidates answered in the affirmative to the statement: With the IPRED law the EU has gone too far in its hunt for file sharers.

Among the 25 were the Pirate Party's Christian Engström as well as representatives from eight other political parties, including two members of the Moderate party.

"There is a need for more younger politicians in the European parliament who understand modern technology. Today the average age is 55, which I think affects a large number of decisions by which politicians try to regulate the internet," said Christoffer Järkeborn of the Moderate party to Sydsvenskan.

The Green party's leading candidate Carl Schlyter argued that European politicians have been far too inclined to allow themselves to be pressured by the USA.

"The EU laws are founded on a lobbying campaign from Hollywood with blind faith in the total surveillance of the internet - which is neither possible nor desirable."

Many of the IPRED law's critics argue that it is old-fashioned and call for file sharing technology to be allowed to develop in tandem with copyright protection.

The IPRED law gained the support of 11 of the 39 candidates. Among whom were Liberal party veteran Marit Paulsen, party colleague Cecilia Wikström, Göran Färm and Carina Olsson of the Social Democrats, Christian Democrats Ella Bohlin and Sofia Modigh, and five Moderate candidates including Gunnar Hökmark and Christofer Fjellner.

Those defending the law argue that it is necessary to protect the rights of filmmakers, authors, and artists by allowing them to earn a living from their creations.

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