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Swedish streaming site to shut down after raid

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Swedish streaming site to shut down after raid
Swefilmer administrator Ola Johansson has announced that the site will close for good on Friday July 31st. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad / TT
11:38 CEST+02:00
A popular Swedish film-streaming site has announced that it will shut down after police arrested and searched the home of one of the site’s administrators.

In a video clip published on YouTube, Swefilmer administrator Ola Johansson announced that the site would close for good on Friday July 31st.

He added that police had searched his home in early June, seizing his computer and mobile phone and that he had been taken into custody for 90 hours.  

Swefilmer is one of the most popular sites in Sweden to stream films for free without permission from film companies, sparking fierce criticism from the film industry.

In a survey published last year entitled “Swedes and the internet”, 20 percent of Swedes admitted to downloading files illegally. The figure was significantly higher among younger Swedes.

Sweden has seen a major crackdown on illegal streaming sites in recent years, including the website The Pirate Bay, which allows users to skirt fees and share music, film and other files offered on the site.

The site’s founders were sent to prison in 2009 for promoting copyright infringement with the website. The group was also ordered to pay a total of 46 million kronor ($6.9 million) in damages for copyright infringement to the music and movie industry.

More recently in April this year, a Danish law firm representing “major Hollywood companies” said it planned to trace people in Sweden using illegal streaming websites by linking IP addresses (unique data linked to computer and tablet devices) with home addresses. 

The firm said its focus would be on those logging on to the sites Dream Film and Popcorn Time, as well as Swefilmer.

Those found using the sites were set to face fines of around 2,000 SEK ($231).

In Sweden, fines for this kind of internet crime are not common, but in December 2014 a man who watched more than 60 movies via the BitTorrent site was ordered to pay a large sum by the Swedish Supreme Court.

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