Police Swoop On 6,000 Song File-Sharer

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Inspired by their flagship site The Pirate Bay, file-sharers across Sweden continue to share files using the BitTorrent protocol largely unhindered and unconcerned by possible legal action. Those that choose to use certain other methods are not quite so safe, as police arrest yet another man for sharing large quantities of files.

Swedish police have been making relatively small but regular arrests of individuals they can prove are sharing large numbers of tracks all at once. On Friday they targeted yet another.

According to P4 Jämtland who quoted the Prosecuters Office in Stockholm, yesterday police carried out an operation in central Sweden against what they described as a suspected “pirate network”.

Acting on a tipoff from music industry outfit IFPI, police carried out the raid in the Östersund region where they arrested a man who they suspect shared around 6,000 music tracks online.

“We have received a notification from the music industry’s association and the data provided pointed us to an address outside Östersund,” said prosecutor Henrik Rasmussen.

“There, we made a seizure of computer media,” he noted, while suggesting that the arrested individual confessed to his activities.

Rasmussen said the offense could result in a prison sentence but going on earlier cases a suspended sentence or fines might be handed down.

In recent years few other countries have generated more news than Sweden when it comes to file-sharing. Through the activities of Piratbyran and The Pirate Bay, this Scandinavian country of less than 10 million people has consistently punched above its weight.

Despite the increased attention of copyright enforcers and the pain they have caused The Pirate Bay, Sweden’s file-sharers have largely carried on regardless, even in the face of tighter legislation designed to curb their activities.

The numbers of citizens using BitTorrent has continued to increase and to date the introduction of IPRED has only affected them marginally, but those who choose to use shared-folder type file-sharing methods aren’t so lucky.

Like many more before him, the individual arrested in Östersund was using Direct Connect to share files. While Direct Connect hubs are more difficult to access than your average torrent site, once in users tend to share their entire collections, in this case music. The index of all this material is shared between the users of the hub to show what is available and files can be accessed whenever the person sharing them is online.

It is pretty easy to prove large scale infringement against Direct Connect users. Proving the same against BitTorrent users is not, and this is why BitTorrent users are escaping police attention.


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