Sweden: Internet use down after file-sharing law

Apr 03, 2009 By LOUISE NORDSTROM , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Internet traffic dropped sharply in Sweden this week after a new law cracking down on online copyright violation went into force, experts said Friday.

Based on the European Union's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, the new law makes it easier to prosecute file-sharers because it requires Internet Service Providers to disclose the Internet Protocol-addresses of suspected violators to copyright owners.

Statistics from the Netnod Internet Exchange, an organization measuring , suggest that daily online activity dropped more than 40 percent after the law took effect on Wednesday.

Henrik Ponten of the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau welcomed the plunge in Internet traffic as a sign that file-swappers are reducing their activity for fear of getting caught. "There's no other explanation for it," he said.

Some criticized the new law as overzealous and said it puts as risk Sweden's position as a leader in online technologies.

"Half the Internet is gone. If this pattern keeps up, it means the extensive broadband network we've built will lose its significance," said Jon Karlung, chief executive of Banhof, a Swedish ISP.

Sweden has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in Europe but has also made a name for itself as a hub of illegal .

Twelve hours after the law came into force, five Swedish audio book publishers representing 15 authors filed a request to find out details of a server suspected of containing more than 2,000 illegally downloaded works.

In a separate case, four Swedes linked to one of the world's most popular file-sharing sites - The Pirate Bay - are on trial on copyright charges. A verdict is expected this month.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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User comments : 7

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not rated yet Apr 03, 2009
Just goes to show what a heavy-handed government will subject it's citizens to.
Kinda like the 1930s in Germany...
1 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2009
Not heavy-handed at all. No reason why the Internet should remain completely anonymous anymore than cars on a public street. Especially when these select people are taking up exorbitantly more limited resources doing something illegal.

Now, broadband rates will likely improve and make it easier for legitimate uses to get to market.
not rated yet Apr 03, 2009
Computer scientist John Gilmore once said "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."

Nothing could be more true. Data can be instantly encrypted for secrecy, servers can be relocated in hours,to any country where laws are more hospitable. In short,the internet brings the kind of law avoidance to the masses,that multinational corporations have enjoyed for decades.
not rated yet Apr 04, 2009
did sales of DVD blanks in Sweden go up?
not rated yet Apr 04, 2009
I think theres a graph showing the rise in piracy to the rise of shitty movies. If piracy were eliminated, i wouldnt spend money on 90% of movies released now. Blaming poor sales on piracy is ridiculous.
not rated yet Apr 07, 2009
If the movies are such crap, why are people stealing them? Irrational arguments made by thieves.
not rated yet Apr 10, 2009
It's not an irrational argument, at all! People watch crappy movies online, because they are free and offer a fun way to waste time. If they have to pay for them, they'll spend the time in other way that is free. I would NEVER go to a cinema to watch 80% of the movies I find time to watch on the pc. No matter if the industry likes it or not. And the worst thing for the "industry" is that internet offers the possibility to write DISASTROUS review for every shitty movie you give money to watch and so to make sure NO ONE will ever watch it. Which I find quite cool, actually. Because when you "steal", you read the comments saying it's crab, but you say to yourself, "oh well, I have 2 hours to waste, what do I have to lose". But it's not the same if you have to pay for it (to clarify, here a ticket for a movie is 3 euros, which is approximately 1% of the average net monthly salary-do you SERIOUSLY think, someone will give so much money to watch crap?!)

As for the music, I won't even comment it-the only cds I've ever bought are of a group I'm fan of. If the music isn't available in youtube or in other ways, I'll simply listen to the radio of my phone. I have absolutely no problem with that. From the 20 stations I have, there's always at least one playing a song I like.

As for Swedden, I'm very sorry to hear that law passed. It was voted down today in France. The promised to revote it, but I sincerely hope it won't pass ever-nor in France, nor anywhere else. Because in the case, the industry is simply wrong. They're trying to bring the old statusquo back, when the time has changed. They have to find a way to profit from the new situation, not to try to destroy it. But I'm quite confident they'll learn the lesson one way or another.

And it really makes the broadband connection useless-why would I pay to use broadband, when I won't download anything big with it? Because I certainly won't pay to watch movies on my pc-the experience has nothing to do with a cinema, so I won't pay for it no matter what. Then let's just destroy the whole infrastructure and use dial ups.

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