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Film makers tackle ISP over pirated movie files

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Film makers tackle ISP over pirated movie files
16:08 CEST+02:00
Four film companies have filed a motion in a Swedish court to force TeliaSonera to release details about the operators of the Swetorrents file sharing website.

But so far, TeliaSonera has vowed to protect the privacy of its customer, with the internet service provider (ISP) saying it had no plans to release any information about the site's operators.

In a suit filed last week in Södertörn District Court south of Stockholm, the four film companies, Svensk Filmindustri (SF), Pan Vision, Filmlance International and Yellow Bird, are seeking to utilize a new Swedish law to make it easier for copyright holders to get information about the operators of websites suspected of facilitating illegal file sharing.

The law, passed on April 1st, gives copyright holders the right to seek a court order compelling ISPs to release information that allows rights holders to identify parties behind IP-addresses which can be traced to suspected acts of copyright violation.

According to Sweden's Anti-Piracy Agency (Antipiratbyrån), which represents the four companies in the suit, Swetorrents has shown little or no respect for the film companies' intellectual property.

“Swetorrents makes copyright protected films available which they don't have the right to disseminate on the internet. In some cases, the films haven't even been released yet,” said Anti-Piracy Agency chair Björn Gregfelt to the TT news agency.

“We're talking about a rather comprehensive operation. It's become a drain on the film companies' revenues.”

Swetorrents is a client of TeliaSonera, which doesn't want to release any information about its customer.

“If there is an order from the court, it's highly probable that we will appeal the decision. We're not just going to hand over the information. It's our duty to protect our customers' privacy,” TeliaSonera spokesperson Patrik Hiselius told TT.

“They should be able to continue communicating, in the same way that it's possible to communicate by sending a letter without having someone read it.”

It remains unclear, however, exactly how the film companies would proceed if information about the operators of the file sharing site were made public.

“It could be that the film companies request that they halt operations, and they may even seek damages,” said Gregfelt.

The case represents the second attempt by a copyright holders' organization to utilize the new anti-file sharing law, commonly referred to as the IPRED law.

In June, the district court in Solna, north of Stockholm, ordered broadband provider Ephone to hand over information to five book publishers about a server from which audio books were made available for download on the internet.

Ephone has since appealed the ruling.

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