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US praised Swedes' work in file sharing fight

TT/David Landes · 8 Dec 2010, 07:40

Published: 08 Dec 2010 07:40 GMT+01:00

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A report from the US embassy in Stockholm explains how US diplomats presented six points to Swedish authorities about file sharing and copyright infringement, Sveriges Television (SVT) reports.

One year later, the United States felt that Sweden had addressed five of the six points, including measures that would allow police and prosecutors dealing with copyright infringement to gain access to IP-numbers, as well as public awareness campaigns in Swedish schools about copyright laws and contacts with internet service providers.

In its cables, the American embassy reported that file sharing is a sensitive issue in Sweden, but that there had been good cooperation behind the scenes.

But according to Swedish justice minister Beatrice Ask, Sweden hasn’t simply followed US demands on the issue.

“We didn’t carry out changes after pressure from some other country. We address issues based on our own grounds,” Ask told SVT.

She added that the measures implemented by Sweden reflect those which have been discussed internationally.

“It’s quite possible that you check off what you think different countries have done,” said Ask.

The leaked US diplomatic cable also hints at a conflict between the justice and enterprise ministries about how to deal with the question of file sharing.

Story continues below…

The document also reveals that the US embassy was against placing Sweden on a ‘black list’ of countries that sanction internet piracy maintained by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), arguing that doing so would only boost support for the pro-file sharing Pirate Party.

Following the SVT report, Pirate Party deputy party leader Anna Troberg issued a statement criticizing the Swedish government’s “weakness” in the face of “American special interests”.

“It’s naturally fun to see that the Pirate Party’s hard work didn’t escape the eye of the United States, but it would have been even nicer if the Swedish government had chosen to play with an open hand,” she said.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:15 December 8, 2010 by Twiceshy
so as well all guessed a year ago when the US says "jump" sweden says "YES and HOW HIGH".

how does sweden like being a puppet of the good old USA?
10:08 December 8, 2010 by bob3000
@Twiceshy (from your comment, I'll assume you are non-Swedish living & outside Sweden or another of these anti-Sweden Trolls)

Go and read the actual material about this on wikileaks.

Just because a internal report from an american in a local office to an american in Washington, says they are highly influential abroad, does not truly make it factually correct.

This is more embarrassing for the americans, because we publicly see them overstating their diplomatic influence internationally and the often tepid information being dressed up as actual strategic intell.

If you consider that from various statistics, Sweden is the 3rd largest exporter of music internationally - given the comparative populations - this is impressive.

1st - USA - population - 307,006,55

2nd - UK - population - 61,838,154

3rd - Sweden - population - 9,302,123

- perhaps you will realise Sweden has an interest in illegal filesharing. Illegal filesharing directly affects Sweden economically.
10:46 December 8, 2010 by ehune
@bob3000 Have you ever considered that file sharing might have given Swedish music popularity a boost (in the end leading to more sales, especially on an international scale) instead of harming the industry?

File sharing is possibly negative for a small number of American music companies, but for the industry as a whole it gives an increased interest in discovering new artists, leading to higher sales and a new markets opening up. Furthermore, the people who share their music are often the ones buying the most. I would argue that you should give easier access to music for personal and non-profit use instead of trying to keep creative works away from people..
10:54 December 8, 2010 by Prat
Swedish "authorities" can investigate IP addresses for assorted reasons (not only for suspected file sharing). Should we assume Swedish investigations are monitored by or shared with the Yanks? Democratic debate may decrease from fear of being monitored.

People still speak out against torture, government-endorsed killing, and belligerent war; but such atrocities should be wholly condemned as acts of criminals & rogue nations.

Let's Face the Music !
11:01 December 8, 2010 by bob3000

The music industry in Sweden is not only about musicians, we have producers and writers working with many international artists. Sweden is exporting product and services.

You need to stop presenting your personal opinion as fact. In your opinion, filesharing has no financial impact.

I'd say you need to come out of the forest and try your theories out in the real world.

"I would argue that you should give easier access to music for personal and non-profit use instead of trying to keep creative works away from people.."

- there is free access...it's called a public library. Dolt

I will ask you directly: Do you produce anything creative, which you offer in a digital format and sell?

Do you make any of your livelihood from a creative service?

I do - I am not one of the few large american companies - I have suffered from illegal filesharing and copyright abuse.

Just remember music is not the only creative material pirated and abused. Everything from website templates to documents forms to artwork.
11:59 December 8, 2010 by Beavis

"The music industry in Sweden is not only about musicians, we have producers and writers working with many international artists. Sweden is exporting product and services"

What you meant to say is that the music industry is not about the music and the artists, its about corporate swine lining their pockets?

The abuse the record companies have done to music since the 1960s is deplorable and illegal coping over the years weather it be on tape,betamax,dvd,mp3 etc has had an insignificant effect , if not boosted record sales.

A typical stupid example is radio..Before radio stations could play music without paying the record companies, so they could have a huge playlist and play new artists at no risk to their revenue. This also made the music more popular and increased sales. There was a huge increase in record sales from brought about by pirate radio in the 1970s.

The record companies need to be put on trial for killing music, not the pirates. Just look what they did to Credence and Mr Hendrix. The latter had his asssets frozen and lived as a poor man until he completed 3 albums for the monsters.
11:59 December 8, 2010 by Lcrack
You Sweeds should send Assange to the US of A so that we can charge and execute him for terrorism before he ecsapes back to Australia.

You need the USA, help us protect her!
11:59 December 8, 2010 by eppie

Internet changed things. It made it easier to share music (even though it was of course alwasy possible). The point is that the big industries need to take their loss and try other ways to make money. That also counts for you personally. instead of doing something creatibe in the hope to make money, why don't you go and do something usefull with your time.

The time should stop where people doing useless things as making music or playing football would make them the richest people in the world. So governments should stop helping this industry.....because there are victims here...but you probably find you income more important than freedom of speech, and privacy.

That is your good right, and I don't say you are not entitled to an income, but things have gone to far the last 40 years......now it is time that we start behaving like we should again. You can make music because you like it.....and if people pay to see you performing, good for you......but the rest of the music industry can be missed.
12:11 December 8, 2010 by Garry Jones
Isn't it true that people that download are more likely to go to the cinema movies and buy music online?

Look at the cinema audience figures...

19 Jan 2010. UK audiences bucked the recession and went to the cinema more times in 2009 than any year since 2002. More than 173 million tickets were sold at the British box office last year, the second highest total since 1971.


It does not explain the claims that everyone is downloading. Maybe more people have discovered the world films via illegal downloads and want to see them in the cinema for the full experience.

However the pirate bay is just one of many well known ways to file share. Dedicated iRC channels (where it all started) are still going strong. And there are a host of torrent sites supplying links to the same torrents as pirate bay. These torrents can be found by a search in Google so Google and Pirate Bay are actually supplying an IDENTICAL service to people that want to download. So in actual fact if Pirate Bay owners are sent to prison then the Google owners must also risk the same fate...

I happened to mention that I had a copy of a cd with some official statistics on it via the discussions forums here a few weeks ago. Somebody asked me where I had bought it. I thought it was public domain, I then asked my friend who had given it to me, turns out he had downloaded the torrent from a link he found on Pirate Bay. I deleted it from my pc when I knew that. However, when I replied to the person in the discussions forums that this had happened and mentioned Pirate Bay my post was deleted by the local staff. So it does seem to be that many websites are running scared. Chat to a friend on facebook and send a link to pirat bays start page, the chat will not be posted to your friend. Chose to send a message instead via facebook, again, it will not go through.

When audio cassettes came out the music industry was worried. When video recorders first came out the TV industry was worried. In the UK we still have a law that you can record any TV program for your own use with a video recorder but you may only store it for 28 days.

What I feel will happen is that the movie and other entertaiment industries will move with the times and allow downloading that you pay cheaply for. Computer programs that cost the earth today will be available for $10 but you will download from a website with banners on and 5-10% of the program space on your screen will be sold to advertisers. Its the only way forward.
12:27 December 8, 2010 by IranianBoy

and a better topic could have been "US INSTRUCTED Swedes on file sharing fight"
13:18 December 8, 2010 by Alf Garnett
Once again we've been shafted.
16:54 December 8, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
one DL does NOT equal a lost sale .

this is not and never has been the case and it would be great if the stupid americans would understand this.


that is what is happening in the TPG spectrial and its disgusting how sweden has become americas puppet :(

c'mon sweden, grow a back bone like the vikings used to have and tell the americans to suck it!

same goes with this whole wikileaks fiasco.
19:34 December 8, 2010 by swedeb

I'm confused about your comment on "HOW ON EARTH DOES A FILE SHARING PERSON GET A HIGHER JAIL SENTENCE THAN A RAPIST???" have something to do with Sweden being an American puppet. Everyone knows Sweden's punishments are weak. In the US, average sentencing for a rapist is 10 years in jail. I do agree though with what you said, how can the rapist/murderer get less time than piratebay.. I guess the answer is money...
20:31 December 8, 2010 by booka
US unzips the pants and sweden takes it in the mouth?
09:46 December 9, 2010 by bob3000

I meant exactly what I said - often you need professionals to help record the music, write the songs. I replied directly to @ehune.

You can do everything in a home studio with varying results, but making music generally benefits from having access to a decent studio, with good acoustics and good equipment, possibly even with people who know how to set the equipment up and operate it.

I do not see what your observation about record companies behaviour puts forward towards the excuse that pirating artists recordings is actually okay.


But you really are saying that by being a Graphic Designer, a creative that there is no value in any thing creative or in any way entertainment based. So you do not listen to professionally made music, watch films, read magazines, read books or use the internet?

I'm sure you are scrupulous in using only Creative Commons Resources. Hypocrite.
09:48 December 9, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
@swedeb #13

oops, sort of put my sentences in the wrong order, ah well, i think the point was put across in the end :)

and yup, the answer is money but also corruption and its a shame to see sweden playing these games.
11:35 December 9, 2010 by Enzooo
makes me want to watch "the Godfather"

who's really pulling the strings of the puppet eh?! :)
11:25 January 2, 2011 by philster61
Bend over Sweden. Here comes another.........
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