2007-02-15

IIPA: Sweden an infamous pirate haven

Sweden is a free haven for piracy, hosting more Direct Connect hubs than any other country in the world. It is also the home of the Pirate Bay and this illegal distribution continues to increase because of bad legislation. This is claimed by the copyright organisation IIPA in a special report on Sweden.

The copyright interest group International Intellectual Property Alliance, IIPA, points at Sweden as being one of 60 countries where "copyright legislation creates obstacles for the founding of new companies with large needs for copyright, such as software companies". This is reported by the Business Software Alliance, BSA, one of the organisations behind the report.

The annual report has been presented to the United States Trade Representative.

The reasons that Sweden is on the list is, according to the organisation, that there is a lot of internet piracy going on in Sweden, and that we are claimed to have difficulties dealing with the criminal activity in an effective manner.

The IIPA can not yet see an end to the widespread piracy in Sweden. According to the organisation, 490 000 movies were downloaded during the third quarter last year, an increase from 468 000 movies the year before, the report says, not specifying any source.

The situation is further complicated, according to the organisation, by the fact that Swedes are tolerant towards piracy, something that according to the report is evident in media and in public opinion. The politicians are not thought of as having understood the extent of the file sharing problem. The organisation however claims to be looking forward to cooperating with the new government in finding new ways in the struggle against piracy.

In the report it is claimed that Sweden is the home of 40 per cent of the top sites that are specialized pirate servers with large storage capabilities and large bandwidth, that are present in Europe. It is also claimed that Sweden is home to the largest number of Direct Connect users and hubs. The report points out that Sweden is the home of the Pirate Bay.

Also the political debate following the raid against the Pirate Bay is highlighted in the report. The copyright industry is said to be deeply concerned that the Social Democratic party and the Moderate party during the fall have made positive remarks on the idea of a fee on broadband as an alternative to keeping piracy illegal.

Sweden is also criticized because it is not possible to get user information from ISP:s, something that turns copyright legislation into a lame duck, and it is also remarked that Sweden has not yet implemented the EU directive that gives possibilities to pirate hunters to demand information on file sharers without police or attorneys.

It does not, however, know what we all know - that APB, the Anti-Piracy Bureau in fact has the right to collect personal information about individuals that they suspect of being involved in piracy, in other words to perform police work. Nor does it mention that Sweden is about to pass a law that gives private interest groups such as members of the copyright mafia the rights to demand private information about individuals from ISPs if the organisation suspects them of being involved in piracy. This is something I have reported on time and time again, and something that will be the target of a rally this saturday.

The report expresses disappointment that many ISP:s have stopped forwarding reminders to users after copyright groups have discovered that there is piracy going on. This is something that IIPA sees as a consequence of the public debate on file sharing that has been going on in Sweden.

The Pirate Party is also pointed out as a sign that Sweden is one of the most pro pirate countries and the IIPA themselves claim that the party's result in the general elections last years was far lower than expected.

Note the tone. Sweden is an infamous haven for pirates. It's lame duck legislation makes it hard for software companies to start. The public, the politicians and media are all against the copyright mafia.

Sweden can't deal with criminal activity.

Sweden has the nerve to be toleratant towards piracy. The Swedish public are insolent enough to think that it is a waste of resources to hunt down close to one fourth of the population.

Swedish media has the audacity to mirror this public opinion. And Swedish politicians are stupid enough to act on the same public opinion. Nevermind that in a representative democracy such as Sweden politicians are suppose to work in the interest of the public.

The politics of Sweden is so perverted that politicians and public figures have the very nerve to actually discuss different alternatives.

Sweden is so corrupt that it doesn't even let private organisations perform police work.

How fortunate then that we have brave groups like the IIPA, that can point our errors out to us. Groups like the IIPA that does not complain about an open debate. Groups like the IIPA who would never give a figure without citing any sources. Groups like the IIPA who would never ever forget to mention that a country DO give them the possibilities that they claim they are denied.

For what is it that the IIPA says? It complaints about the Swedish open minds on political ideas, on new business models, on the right to express one's opinions, on the protection against private policing and mob rule, on our willingness to discuss various alternative solutions to problems. On the very basics of democracy.

"Democracy and piracy can not co-exist. Therefor, let us together cut down on democracy. That is the price we must pay to be able to keep to our own out-dated business methods."

This is what the IIPA wants to tell us in this report. This is the slogan of the copyright mafia. And, in an instant, it becomes rather obvious that the main problem is not that democracy and piracy have problems to co-exist. The problem is the co-existance of democracy and copyright as we know it today.

Check the report out!

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