Sweden to Introduce Controversial Anti-Piracy Law

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Sweden, home of The Pirate Bay and the most active pro-piracy lobbyists and politicians, is drafting a new law that would make it easier to go after individuals who share copyrighted files on filesharing networks such as BitTorrent. The new law, likely to be opposed by a large number of Swedes, will go into effect April 2009.

The law will make it easier for copyright holders to get a court order in order to force ISPs to release the customer info linked to a suspect IP-address. The Local reports that, although the law is based on a EU directive, the current draft goes further than that.

In order to obtain the personal details, copyright holders will have to prove that there is “probable cause” that a person, or rather an IP-address, has actually shared copyrighted material with others. With the current state of evidence gathering, where mistakes and false accusations are fairly common, this may not be that easy to achieve.

The many unsecured Wireless routers complicate the evidence gathering even further, and BitTorrent trackers have also implemented countermeasures of their own. Earlier this week we reported that the Pirate Bay tracker software automatically inserts several “random IP addresses” that are not actually downloading data. This is done on purpose, to pollute the evidence gathering of anti-piracy outfits.

The new law is also heavily opposed by Swedish Pirate Party Chairman Rick Falkvinge who told TorrentFreak: “These laws are written by digital illiterates who behave like blindfolded, drunken elephants trumpeting about in an egg packaging facility. They have no idea how much damage they’re causing, because they lack today’s literacy: an understanding of how the Internet is reshaping the power structures at their core.”

“We have good hope of putting an end to these ridiculous developments. Either the existing politicians start to understand what they’re actually doing at work all day, or they will escalate the conflict to the point where we’re replacing them in office. Either way, copyright will be scaled back,” Falkvinge added.

It is to be expected that opposition against the new anti-piracy law will be great, similar to the public outrage when Sweden introduced a wiretapping law earlier this year, and after the raid on The Pirate Bay in 2006. It wouldn’t surprise us if The Pirate Bay fights this battle at the front, clashing with local politicians and media once again.

‘Pirates’ demonstrating in Stockholm following the raid on The Pirate Bay raid in 2006

pirate bay demonstration


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