Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sweden: First File-Sharing Prosecution

While the fallout over the raid on ISP Bahnhof by the Swedish anti-piracy organisation AntipiratbyrÄ lingers on, the first Swede is to be prosecuted for file-sharing. Apparently he made one movie available for uploading , and now faces a possible two years imprisonment. The prosecutor sees this as a vital test-case and notes that future prosecutions would be unlikely if the man would only receive a fine. This would partly be because the police cannot demand information about the computers of people engaged in file-sharing if there is only a financial penalty set for this act. The prosecutor notes:
As these cases do not involve criminals, but instead quite ordinary people who share their files, any prison sentence would certainly be suspended."
All this comes in the slipstream of the Bahnhof-AntipiratbyrÄ affair and on the eve of new copyright legislation that would outlaw downloading. While the Justice Minister has stated that people would not be prosecuted for (small) downloading under the new copyright provisions, like in Germany, the timing of this prosecution is certainly interesting. Is this an ex ante test of the coming legislation?
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Related: Swedish Anti-Piracy Organisation Planted Evidence?
Swedish ISP Raid Fallout: Anti-Piracy Site Hacked, Email Online, Mole Discovered
Movie in question: Hip Hop Hora (IMDB)

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