There were headlines around the world at the beginning of June after Swedish police raided the Pirate Bay, one of the world’s biggest sites that lets users find online films and music.
Apparent hacker protests brought down the government’s own website for a few hours, there were accusations that the raids were bungled and crippled many legitimate websites, and calls from several political parties and their youth organizations to legalise downloading in this country again.
Now the government has presented its response, launching a study into how the legal downloading of films and music can be expanded. Many critics have attributed the rapid growth of illegal file-sharing to the failure of industry to provide legal, easy, and affordable alternatives.
Justice Minister Thomas Bodström, who has been accused of giving in to the White House on the Pirate Bay issue, now says the market is not working. He tells Swedish Radio News that as an IT leader, Sweden has to have the best market for legal downloading in the world…a system that can be a model for the rest of the world.
Bodström wants to keep the ban on downloading copyrighted material without payment, but the study is take a look at the entire Swedish regulatory system and suggest changes. The conclusions are expected next year, long after this September’s elections.
Dismissing the necessity of the Swedish government’s action, in an interview with Swedish Radio News a Swedish spokeswoman for the industry organization IFPI commented:
”We’re working on the problem.”