Illegal File Sharing

Ephone Appeals Ipred Decision

Internet provider Ephone will appeal last month’s court decision that compels them to provide customer details belonging to an IP-address suspected of illegal file sharing. The case, brought by five audio book companies, was the first to be tried under Sweden’s controversial Ipred law, which took effect on April 1 this year.

Based on the EU’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, the Ipred law empowers owners of copyrighted material to take internet providers to court in order to reveal the internet users engaged in illegal file sharing.

Ephone condemned the ruling from the start, and later invited the public to respond with their opinions of the decision. According their website, only 178 of 20,000 disagreed with the prospect of an appeal. The rest approved of appealing the Solna court’s decision.

The director of record company interest group IFPI, Lars Gustafsson, thinks Ephone’s public survey is a publicity stunt, reports Swedish news agency TT. “The law hasn’t mattered much for Ephone,” he said, “they have driven this process in the media instead.”

But in an interview with Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Ephone CEO Bo Wigstrand said appealing the case is a question of personal integrity. “Should you and I be able to surf freely on the web and feel secure in the knowledge that no one else can see what I read and watch? If the court verdict becomes final, private companies will be able to go and snoop in people’s computers by contacting the court.”