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TeliaSonera appeals anti-piracy ruling

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07:53 CEST+02:00
Swedish telecom firm TeliaSonera has announced its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) an anti-piracy law ruling ordering the firm to hand over the names and addresses of people behind a file sharing website.

"What we have done today is to announce to the public that we will appeal," Patrik Hiselius, the senior adviser of public affairs of the Swedish-Finnish firm told AFP, adding the company had until June 7th to submit its appeal.

The Appeals Court (Hovrätten) on Monday upheld a lower court's ruling forcing TeliaSonera to hand over to Svensk Filmindustri, a Swedish film production and

distribution company, among others, the names and addresses of people behind

the swetorrents.org website.

The appeals court said its ruling against TeliaSonera was based on Sweden's

controversial Ipred law, which came into effect on April 1st last year and gives copyright holders the right to require service providers to reveal details of users who share files, paving the way for legal action.

TeliaSonera said it was taking the case to the supreme court in the name of

customer privacy.

"For us it is very important to have the highest court look into the principle of balancing the new (Ipred) legislation vis-a-vis our basic industry provisions regarding confidentiality of communication," Hiselius said.

"The legislation protecting confidentiality of communication and thus the privacy of our customers has been around for years and years and is fundamental within our industry," he added.

Until the law was introduced, Sweden - home to one of the world's most popular file sharing sites, The Pirate Bay - had widely been considered a haven for illegal file sharing.

While Swedish Internet use significantly dropped in the days after the introduction of the law - attributed to a decline in illegal downloading - the fall was only temporary, according to internet exchange point operator Netnod.

According to a Sifo survey published by broadcaster Viasat on April 1st the number of illegal file sharers is in fact increasing, with 16 percent of Swedes responding that they engaged in the practice.

While Netnod figures for April 2010 show that the short dip was part of a longer term steady upward trend, Ipred has been lauded by the music, film and video games industries.

Ipred has been lauded by the music, film and video games industries but staunchly criticised by Sweden's Pirate Party and civil liberties groups, which want to legalise

Internet file sharing and beef up web privacy.

The new file sharing law is based on the European Union's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED).

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