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Music industry to test Sweden's anti-piracy law

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13:12 CET+01:00
The recording industry has decided to take a stab at using Sweden's new anti-piracy laws to reveal the identity of what an industry association is calling a “rather normal” file sharer.

The Swedish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has filed a suit with the district court in Stockholm in an attempt to force an internet provider to divulge customer information about one of its customers suspected of illegal file sharing.

Previously, publishers of audio books and a film company have filed petitions under Sweden's IPRED law, which allows aggrieved copyright holders to pursue those suspected of illegal file sharing with the help of a court order.

IPFI has investigated a number of file sharing cases, but has at this point elected to go to court in only one case.

“We want to take one at a time. It's a new law and we have to learn how to do this, what the courts want in terms of evidence to be sure that they're not compromising anyone's privacy,” the head of IFPI in Sweden, Ludvig Werner, told the TT news agency.

IFPI is ready to file petitions in a number of other cases, but is taking its time in moving ahead with the filings. Werner said he envisions submitting larger filings in the future, perhaps including as many as 100 file sharing suspects at a time.

“That's something we're not unfamiliar with. But we have no plans to do so just yet,” he said.

The focus of the current filing, submitted to the Stockholm District Court on Monday, used the Direct Connect (DC) file sharing network, which has declined considerably following the wide adoption of more modern BitTorrent file sharing technologies.

But IFPI still thinks there is still too much activity on the DC network.

DC is build like a network of hubs, often specialized in different types of films, music, or games. In order to be accepted into a hub, users are most often required to provide material for others to down load.

But the person whose identity IFPI is seeking to reveal isn't a hub owner or someone who is believed to have uploaded large quantities of copyright protected material.

“We've been able to download about 50 songs from him. He has made 10,000 songs available as well as films. DC is still very popular in Sweden and he is a rather normal DC user," IFPI lawyer Magnus Mårtensson told TT.

“BitTorrent technology is superior for moving large files, but DC is more of a social network. You connect to a hub and are there throughout the day, chatting and exchanging files with one another, sort of like a youth recreation centre on the internet, even if it's not only young people who are there.”

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