US praised Swedes’ work in file sharing fight

The United States and Sweden have worked closely with one another to combat illegal file sharing, documents released by WikiLeaks reveal.

US praised Swedes' work in file sharing fight

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.

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.

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