File sharing drops in Sweden after govt crackdown

October 12, 2009
A picture taken in March 2009 in Paris shows the screen of a computer showing a web site of downloading contents. More than 40 percent of Swedes engage in illegal file sharing, but recording industry officials have noted a sharp drop since a government crackdown earlier this year, they said Monday.

More than 40 percent of Swedes engage in illegal file sharing, but recording industry officials have noted a sharp drop since a government crackdown earlier this year, they said Monday.

"Six out of 10 (users of file sharing sites) have stopped completely, or at least significantly lowered their use of illegal file sharing after the new legislation," Ludvig Werner, chairman of IFPI Sweden, told AFP.

A new Swedish law in effect since April 1 gives copyright holders the right to force Internet service providers to reveal details of users sharing files, opening the way for legal action that could see downloaders pay damages and fines.

The Swedish section of IFPI, an association that represents the recording industry worldwide, in June studied the music consumption habits of 1,006 Swedes aged 15 to 74.

Contrary to previous surveys that contacted respondents by fixed lines -- which would exclude many young people who are frequent Internet users -- the file sharing study contacted Swedes over the Internet.

The survey indicated a sharp decrease in downloading since the new law came into effect, but showed that about 2.8 million Swedes aged 15 to 74 still shared files online.

"I think it's high (the figure), but I'm not surprised," Werner said.

Werner stressed the law had had an impact, but legislation alone was not enough to curb illegal .

"We also need to prove that markets can produce good legal alternatives for the consumers," he said.

(c) 2009 AFP

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not rated yet Oct 12, 2009
Don't kid yourselves. The scare will pass and the waters of the Internet will find another way to flow to their destination. You can't stop a force of nature by making it illegal.
not rated yet Oct 12, 2009
Chances are the scare HAS passed. More - about 6 out of 10 - now use more secure methods of file sharing.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 13, 2009
It's a sad reflection on human nature that so many people feel it is ok to steal the creativity of others instead of paying for it.

Of course theft of other peoples creativity is nothing new. It was complained about by Albrecht Durer as long ago as 1511.

"Woe to you!" master artist Albrecht Durer declared on the title page of his series of woodblock prints, Life of the Virgin, in 1511. "You thieves and imitators of other people's labor and talents. Beware of laying your audacious hand on this artwork."

It's odd that people feel the need to say that the Internet has opened the doors to those who would steal others works and that you can't stop a "force of nature". As if leaving the door ajar is an excuse for theft, it is still unethical, immoral, and fortunately, illegal. If you left your door unlocked and someone came and stole you possessions you would still feel mightily aggrieved.

Generally speaking those who would steal others creativity have no creative spark themselves.
not rated yet Oct 13, 2009
Legislation is still not putting money into the pockets of the creators, it is merely enriching the outdated and unnecessary infrastructure that is the music industry. For this reason, I will not buy any music that does not originate directly from the artist.
not rated yet Oct 13, 2009
It's a sad reflection on human nature that so many people are so stupid as to equate copying bits with stealing.

Another sad reflection on human nature is how we've managed to cheapen art and creativity by allowing it to become a cash cow (not just for the "industry" - which BTW should be ashamed to even call itself something so blatantly anti-artistic - but also for the artists themselves). Now you've got every no-talent lazy shmuck with a CD writer out there secreting horrible songs hoping to "make it big" and become like those artists who own ten houses and have a personal helicopter. Why ANY artist in history would deserve to be so obscenely rich for what they do, more than a cancer-curing doctor or physics professor would, is beyond me. Just one more of those capitalist mysteries, I guess.
not rated yet Oct 13, 2009
Very good point. A CD or DVD is already a copy. It's like equating making a photocopy of a postcard of the Mona Lisa with stealing the actual Mona Lisa.

There is nothing wrong with becoming obscenely rich with your talents. It's also not capitalism to form a cartel and extort money out of the record-buying public, or to abuse government channels to regulate the music industry and then crack down on the market when market conditions change. That's a mixed-economy mystery, not a capitalist mystery.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 14, 2009
If I create an artwork, and I do for a living, I sell copies of it for people's personal enjoyment. My creativity allows me to earn a living. This is a good system.

If someone copies my work from someone who has paid for it, and does not pay me for it, they are stealing from me. Copyright law gives me the right to control who gets the products of my creativity. This is a good system.

If someone makes my work freely available they are stealing my right to be the only person who has the right to profit from my creativity. The law treats this as copyright infringement. This is a good system.

If someone creates bad art and cannot sell it they still have the same rights over it as someone who creates good art. This is a good system.

The purpose of copyright and related rights is twofold: to encourage a dynamic creative culture, while returning value to creators so that they can lead a dignified economic existence, and to provide widespread, affordable access to content for the public.

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