Anti-piracy law leads to massive traffic drop in Sweden

By on April 3, 2009, 12:40 PM
Internet usage in Sweden has dropped more than 30 percent since Wednesday, after law designed to make it easier for copyright holders to go after illicit file-sharers came into effect. The new Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) law, based on a European Union directive, requires that ISPs turn over the IP addresses of file sharers to authorities in cases of suspected copyright infringement.

Many believe that after the initial scare effect traffic will pick up in a week or two especially as more file sharers start using encryption to cover their tracks. Meanwhile, the first major bust helped by the new law has already been reported, with two men taken into police custody for allegedly operating an international ring of illegal file swapping. Regardless of the drop in traffic and police raids, in the last 24 hours almost 400,000 Swedes connected to the Pirate Bay tracker with no decline according to TorrentFreak.

User Comments: 2

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Sunny87 said:
I can't see ISP's putting up with a loss of revenue for much longer just because of a few kids downloading torrents of a few songs, ISP's don't care about anyone elses money just there own, plus who's to say I can't walking into a free wifi zone and use that to download a album? no one and no one is going to find me for it, this is a stupid law and won't last long as ISP's will learn very soon.
TJGeezer said:
Maintaining records... reporting user details... I see two problems here. One is the cost of the mandated tech services. ISPs should insist on being paid for such services, as at least one small ISP has done in the U.S. (In an email published in Wired, the ISP owner acted as if a lawyer's nastygram were an order for services and asked for more details so he could quote a price, and as far as I know, the lawyer dropped that ISP from the sucker list.) If ISPs started loudly demanding compensation for their tech services, I could see the whole initiative falling apart. The other problem I see is that the ISP is now put squarely in the middle between money-seeking copyright owners (NOT the artists etc. but business units like Disney etc. that own rights) and consumers who have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Putting ISPs in the middle of such a people-vs.-corporations scuffle is no service to anybody. Of course it depends on whether Swedish law honors people's privacy. I'd expect it to, Sweden being a civilized European country, but IANAL.
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