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File-Sharing Evidence Questioned

Published onsdag 12 oktober 2005 kl 12.00

The first trial against a person accused of file-sharing here has raised a number of questions about the validity of evidence gathered for the police by private interests.

A 28 year old from Västerås, west of Stockholm, is accused of distributing a popular Swedish film over the Internet. But in court Tuesday, he said he had only confessed to downloading music and films, which did not become illegal until later. He says the police never once asked about the film, which he says he never had on his computer.

The evidence against him was gathered by the Anti-Pirate Bureau, a controversial music and film industry lobby group, which says they found the film offered from a specific IP address. Apparently the only police action was to ask an Internet Service Provider who had that address.

The defence spent several hours Tuesday pointing out the uncertainty of using IP addresses, which can be shared among many users or even hijacked. Critics have charged that the screenshots such as those presented by the lobby group can be easily faked.

The court is to issue its verdict on October 25.

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