Saturday, March 15, 2008

IP Number Access for Sweden

The Swedish Culture and the Justice Ministers made a joint announcemnt yesterday that they would be soon introducing legislation into the national parliament that would allow copyright holders (i.e. publishers and artists) to obtain the IP numbers throught the courts for those which either download or distibute copyrighted material,which the do not have the rights to, over peer to peer networks on the internet.
The coalition parties in the government have agreed in prinicple to the legislation proposal, following debate over whether or not it should be possible for the authorities to close down internet accounts (and therefore access) of those that continue to distribute and download after having recieved a warning. It was decided that closure of accounts would not be the goal and legal proceedings with fines and jail time would be.
When asked about the details of the plan the Justice Minister Beatrice Ask replied:

"Vi har inte gått in på detaljer än, men det går att få fram att en IP-adress använts för fildelning. Hur det tekniska ska gå till är inte helt utarbetat. Men självklart har inte rättsväsendet tid att hålla på med vilka småärenden som helst."

(We have not gone into details yet, but it is possible to obtain the IP-address that is used in file sharing. How the technology shall be organised is not completely worked out. But obviously the legal department does not have the time to go through every small detail.)

The reaction in the blogosphere concerning the announcment has been for the most part silent. At this stage there are no details for the plan and with well over a million Swedes currently sharing material over P2P networks (out of total population of 9 million) the proposal itself seems somewhat top heavy.
The spokesperson for the anti-pirates Henrik Pontén said he welcomed the decision because he beleives it will provide the creators with a degree of protection ("kreatörerna får ett visst skydd"). However, how an artist would go about obtaining the hundreds of thousands of IP numbers used in distributing a popular download like the recent most downloaded DVDrip on BitTorrent "The Mist" remains to be seen.

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