Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Peer to Peer File Sharing in Sweden

Posts that contain IPRED-lagen per day for the last 30 days.

The topic of the IPRED Law in Sweden has faded in the blog world.

At the moment in Sweden the Justice Minister Beatrice Ask is doing a lot of media appearances trying to explain the incoming IPRED Lag (Property Rights Enforcement Directive) and it does not seem like the honourable minister is doing a very good job. The new law is supposed to make uploading of proprietary materials illegal according to the minister. There is a technical problem with this as most people understand; when one downloads one also uploads in the network scheme of things.

Ask said on the current affair program Agenda (25.30-38:40) recently that the law is designed to act against those which upload "commercial amounts" of copyrighted material. When questioned about what exactly are 'commercial amounts' the minister could not answer and said it is up to the courts to decide. This is despite the initial power to act against file sharers not being given to the judiciary by the IPRED Law but to the publishers of the material being shared illegally. A letter of demand is to be the first stage in any action being taken against file sharers.

According to the web news site di.se the new law does not specify the amount of files being shared as deciding if an offence is being committed. Once again in the article the minister said that it is up to the courts to decide.

I cannot help but think that this is all in preparation for the Pirate Bay trial which has been postponed in the summer and will now take place early next year. The fate of four young men, Fredrik Neij, Per Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström, will be decided in court. I would think that the Pirate Bay trial will be sometime soon after April 1 2009. The day the IPRED Law comes into effect.

Related to the drama in Sweden I read this morning the top ten prophecies of the digital millennium and number 4 is

4. The decline of copyright

Regular readers of this column will know this is a hobbyhorse of mine. Copyright and most intellectual property laws are now an anachronism. Attempts by record companies and film studios and book publishers to stop people copying digital media are doomed to failure.

Technology is forcing big changes to business models.

I wonder how this is all going to play out.......badly I expect.

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