Sweden: A Safe Haven for Pirates

Sweden is considered to be a safe haven for Pirates, and received a special mention in the piracy report that was published this week by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA).

sweden flagThe IIPA report highlights the political debate following the raid on Sweden’s popular BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay.The copyright industry is said to be deeply concerned that the Social Democratic party and the Moderate party during the fall have made positive remarks on the idea of a fee on broadband as an alternative to keeping piracy illegal.

The raid on the Pirate Bay, and the rise of the Pirate Party clearly left their mark on Sweden’s political climate. The extremely fast resurrection of the Pirate Bay was a slap in the face of the IIPA, MPAA, and other anti-piracy organizations. In the report we read:

Sweden also is the host country to ThePirateBay.org, the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker and one of Sweden’s largest web sites. Operators of the site proudly flaunt their role in facilitating infringements, often taking pot shots at rights holders from whom they receive notices of infringing activity. ThePirateBay was raided in mid-2006 by the Swedish police, and although the site is back up and running, it is expected that its prosecution will take place in the middle of 2007

The IIPA can not yet see an end to the widespread piracy in Sweden. According to the organization, 490 000 movies were downloaded during the third quarter last year, an increase from 468 000 movies the year before, the report says, not specifying any source.

The situation is further complicated, according to the organization, by the fact that Swedes are tolerant towards piracy, something that according to the report is evident in media and in public opinion. The politicians are not thought of as having understood the extent of the file sharing problem. The organization however claims to be looking forward to cooperating with the new government in finding new ways in the struggle against piracy.

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