File-Sharing Law Cuts Sweden’s Web Traffic By 30 Percent

The fightback starts here: after the introduction of a new anti-piracy law in Sweden on Wednesday, internet traffic across the country dropped dramatically and five audio-book publishers launched a legal challenge to reveal the identity of a suspected repeat piracy offender. The Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) went live yesterday, giving copyright holders greater powers to obtain piracy offenders’ details through the courts — as a result internet traffic was down 30 percent as of 2pm Wednesday according to Computer Sweden , via Cnet.com.

Five publishers – Earbooks, Storyside, Piratforlaget, Bonniers and Norstedts, backed by the Swedish Publishers’ Association – wasted no time in using the new rules and are appealing to a district court in the Stockholm suburb of Solna to reveal to identity the owner of one particular IP address they suspect of illegally downloading 2,000 audio books. The music industry is thought to be prepraring its own first case using the IPRED law.

A similar drop in traffic took place when the servers of BitTorrent-tracker The Pirate Bay were raided three years ago and that site last week took its own measures to combat IPRED by launching the Ipredator private network, designed to protect its users’ IP addresses from would-be prosecutors.

The Bay recently warned authorities that “the network is under our control, not theirs”. Although the amount of pirated downloads may be greater than the number of legal transactions, that boast isn’t completely true and the entertainment industries and the courts seem keen to remind pirates who is in charge according to the law.

(Photo: spcoon, some rights reserved)

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