3/15/2008

Sweden plans to force Internet companies to release data on online pirates

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Swedish courts will soon be able to force the country’s Internet providers to produce information on suspected file-sharers in a move to crackdown on piracy, the culture and justice ministers said Friday.

File-sharing can be traced by tracking the IP addresses of the computers that download or distribute a file.

“We need to … stand up for musicians, authors, filmmakers and all other copyright owners so that they have the right to their own material,” Justice Minister Beatrice Ask and Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth wrote in a joint opinion piece published in the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

The ministers said they will move ahead with the proposal this spring.

“Courts … shall be able to demand an Internet provider to give the copyright owner information about who had a certain IP address when it was used for infringement on the Internet,” they said.

Sweden has long been criticized as a safe haven for online piracy because the popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is based there.

Woman to Record Industry: Stop Spying

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A woman who claims the recording industry’s anti-music piracy campaign threatens and intimidates innocent people has filed a new complaint accusing record companies of racketeering, fraud and illegal spying.

Tanya Andersen originally sued the Recording Industry Association of America after RIAA representatives threatened to interrogate her young daughter if she didn’t pay thousands of dollars for music she downloaded from somebody else.

Her amended complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland seeks national class-action status for other people allegedly victimized by the industry’s anti-piracy campaign and the company it hired, MediaSentry.

The new lawsuit claims accuses the industry and MediaSentry of spying “by unlicensed, unregistered and uncertified private investigators” who “have illegally entered the hard drives of tens of thousands of private American citizens” in violation of laws “in virtually every state in the country.”

The information was used to file “sham” lawsuits intended only as intimidation to further the anti-piracy campaign, the lawsuit said.

Lory Lybeck, the attorney for the Beaverton woman, said the lawsuit is partly aimed at forcing the industry to reveal how extensive the spying had become.

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