Two Swedish File-Sharers Arrested

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Just two days after Sweden's new anti-piracy law came into force, two men have been arrested for sharing copyrighted files and administering a rip-box. The arrests were part of an international operation headed by Europol, and the suspects are alleged to be part of an international network.

Yesterday we reported that, after the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) came into force earlier this week, Swedish Internet traffic dropped by 30%. Now, just a day later, the first file-sharing related arrests have been announced. While the investigation was probably finished before IPRED, it might affect the penalties, if the two are found guilty.

Two men, both aged 29, are alleged to have shared copyright infringing files. The police seized their computers and other equipment in the city of Skövde, according to an Aftonbladet report.

Fredrik Ingblad, the prosecutor assigned to the case said in a response to the arrests, “The two people in Sweden are suspected of having been part of an international network that have made a large amount of movies available.” When the prosecutor refers to an ‘international network’ he means the Scene. So far he has provided no information on how many files were shared.

In addition to sharing copyrighted works, the two are also suspected of operating a so called ‘rip box’, a high powered computer where movies can be quickly decoded and ripped into the appropriate format.

The prosecutor further said that the case was part of an international police operation against illegal file-sharing, codenamed Operation Carbonite. The operation is headed by Europol and law enforcement agencies from the USA, UK, The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden are involved.

The two were questioned at a local police station, but at this point it is not known how they responded to the accusations. They will be questioned further, and if IFPI operating manager Lars Gustafsson is to be believed, this is only one of many file-sharing related cases this year.

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