Spain Mulls ISP Tax As Swedes Continue Defying Piracy Clampdown


imageEntertainment companies in Spain have a novel idea for recouping revenue lost to piracy: get ISPs to impose a surcharge on customers’ accounts. The Coalition of Creators, an umbrella group supported by the General Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE), argues it’s ISPs’ “civic duty” to help cover its members’ losses.

But, as reports, after months of talks between ISPs, copyright holders and the Spanish government, no agreement has been reached. The SGAE is also calling for repeat copyright infringers to be disconnected, a controversial proposal currently being debated in the French National Assembly.

While Spain mulls a clampdown, some Swedes remain intransigent. Three Swedish ISPs have declared they will delete customers’ user data to prevent their conviction under the newly introduced legislation. The IPRED law gives police and copyright holders the right to request personal information on suspected copyright abusers with a court’s agreement — but ISPs are keen to protect customers’ identity. Niclas Palmstierna, CEO of Sweden’s largest ISP Tele2, says: “It’s a strong wish from our customers, so we decided not to store information on customers’ IP numbers anymore.” The All Tele and Bahnhof ISPs are taking similar steps. Peter Danowsky, the lawyer who represented the IFPI in the Pirate Bay case, says: “It’s astonishing that someone who claims to be a serious communication operator wants to assist in crime.”

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Pirate Party, a vocal cheerleader for illegal downloading, may be on course to join the establishment. A poll for the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Thursday found that the party could win a European Parliament seat in June thanks to surge in popularity after the conviction for assisting copyright infringement of fellow Swedes The Pirate Bay.

The poll of 1,500 people found 5.1 percent would vote Pirate — meaning the party has a real chance of meeting the minimum four percent national vote share required, though the pollsters admitted an error margin of 1.8 percent. From AP, via

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