Two Arrested Over File Sharing
The first two arrests have been made under the new law cracking down on online piracy. The arrests were made in Skövde in southern Sweden on Thursday, just a day after the law came into effect.
The two men , aged 26 and 27 ,were arrested on suspicion of breaching copyright law by downloading a number of films before they had reached the cinema here, and making them available to file sharers on the internet. According to prosecutors, the arrests were part of a co-ordinated effort between police forces across six countries, including the UK and Belgium. Several computers were seized at the time. Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad told DN newspaper that he believed the pair were part of an international network of file sharers
Based on the European Union’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, the law allows copyright holders to obtain a court order to force Internet Service Providers to provide the IP addresses identifying which computers have been sharing copyrighted material.
Henrik Ponten, a lawyer for the Anti-Piracy Agency said ” The suspects are at the inner core of organized pirates within the so-called Scene, which systematically steals films and distributes them on the internet, the Swedes have been at the head of the ring and the most important cells of the group’s infrastructure have been located in Sweden,” he said.
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.
Internet traffic dropped dramatically in Sweden during the week as the new law went into force. On Friday, statistics from the Netnod Internet Exchange, an organization measuring Internet traffic, suggest that daily online activity dropped more than 40 percent after the law took effect on Wednesday. In Sweden , the government statistics agency - Statistics Sweden - says that 8 percent of the population use peer -to-peer sharing.
Others criticised the new law as ”overzealous” and said it wouldn’t stop file-sharing. Christian Engström, the Vice-Chairman of the Swedish Pirate Party, said that experience in other countries shows that file-sharing on the internet drops immediately after a new law comes into effect but then starts to climb again and he expects many to change their security settings so that they can share annonymously.