Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Continuing Saga of P2P and Sweden

The fog has not lifted on the situation concerning peer to peer (P2P) file sharing and Swedish law. Today the main stories in the news are:

1. The European Court of Justice ruled in regard to disclosure of ISP numbers:

"Community law does not require the Member States, in order to ensure the effective protection of copyright, to lay down an obligation to disclose personal data in the context of civil proceedings" Full Ruling (3 pages PDF) here.

So basically nothing changes there.

2. The public prosecutor found no copyrighted material on the Pirate Bay servers that were seized by Police and Anti-Pirate Beuaure officials in May 2006. Therefore in the case that is being prepared at the moment, with summons for 5 Pirate Bay identities expected to be issued, there will be a call to forbid the linking to copyrighted material. In Australia this has already been tried in the High Court as "secondary copyright infringement" with a successful conviction. More on that HERE. Since there is no way of paying royalties for a link to copyrighted material, the issue of linking as "secondary copyright infringement" seems tenuous. This was found to be so in Oklahama in July 2007 in Capitol Record v. Debbie Foster, where the RIAA sued an Oklahoma woman over copyright infringement. The case was dissmissed with prejudice:

"The Copyright Act does not expressly render anyone liable for infringement committed by another. Rather, the doctrine of secondary liability emerged from common law principles," wrote Judge Lee. "Under those common law principles, one infringes a copyright contributorily by intentionally inducing or encouraging a direct infringement."

3. Finally the Pirate Bay is expanding and plans to launch a P2P video network similar to YouTube in the near future. They are also hiring two new people to work at the organisation.

Interesting times......

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