A pro-file sharing campaigner on a demonstration in Stockholm

New anti-file sharing law proposed

Sweden’s Justice Ministry has proposed legislation that would allow copyright holders to find out the identity of those illegally sharing their music and movies over the Internet.

If approved, the legislation will bring Swedish intellectual property laws into line with a 2004 European Union directive.

Under the new regulations, courts would be obliged to hand over the names of Internet subscribers, deemed to have violated intellectual property rights to copyright holders who apply for the information.

”It will become easier to intervene against illegal file-sharing, which in turn will stimulate the development of legal alternatives for distribution of film and music over the Internet.”

Sweden only made downloading movie and music files illegal in 2005, after being singled out for criticism by Hollywood.

An appeals court last month, upheld the country’s first conviction for sharing music files over the Internet without paying, backing a 2006 decision by a lower court to fine a 45-year-old Swede US$3,000 for violations involving four music files.

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