Johan Linander, a member of the Swedish parliament for the Center Party writes that a new law, based on EU directives, has been proposed by the Ministry of Justice. This law makes it possible for “copyright holders” to demand customer info tied to IP addresses that allegedly infringe copyright.
We all know that “copyright holders” means “MPAA, RIAA and other anti-piracy groups”, that will claim their representing the copyright owners. So, in effect, if this bill is passed, Swedish legislation has given room for a situation where special interest groups can demand personal information from companies to conduct their own private investigations. So the new law will give the anti-piracy lobby more power, at least in Sweden. On the other hand, not far from Sweden, the Dutch anti-p2p organization BREIN recently lost a case where they demanded personal info about filesharing ip’s.
This new law would be in line with how Sweden has worked before. Last year, the police made a bust on a large Swedish ISP called Bahnhof, after an investigation from the Bureau of Anti-Piracy (a Swedish copyright owner interest group). The interest group filed a report almost immediately after the bust, indicating they had exclusive information from the prosecutor. The ISP then released all their logs, which indicated that it was the interest group that had hired a mole to use their computers to commit copyright crimes. Of course, this didn’t lead anywhere. And the Pirate Bay bust on May 31 should be proof that it did not discourage Swedish police and prosecutors to walk errands for copyright “representatives”.
But what frightens me is the prospect that this kind of behavior is getting legally sanctioned.
I made a translation of Linander’s blog entry and provide some further arguments on Piracy Unlimited.