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Sweden: Anti-Piracy Law Cuts Internet Traffic

(Apr. 13, 2009) Sweden's new anti-piracy law came into force on April 1, 2009, and traffic on the Internet in the country decreased by almost 50 percent. Under the new legislation, those who hold copyrights may obtain a court order to locate information on Internet users who illegally share files. The users are found through their IP addresses. (Daniel Goldberg, Swedish Internet Traffic Plummets in Face of New Piracy Laws, NETWORKWORLD, Apr. 3, 2009, available at
.) However, copyright holders will have to establish that there is probable cause to believe that copyrighted material was improperly shared by someone at a particular IP-address in order to obtain the court order. (Sweden to Introduce Controversial Anti-Piracy Law, TORRENTFREAK, Oct. 23, 2008, available at

The tougher stance on copyright protection has been opposed by some in Sweden's Internet-user community. Opponents include Swedish Pirate Party Chairman Rick Falkvinge, who stated that the laws on the subject “are written by digital illiterates who behave like blindfolded, drunken elephants trumpeting about in an egg packaging facility.” (Id.)

Sweden has a highly developed Internet system, including the world's highest proportion of fiber-optic broadband connections. Prior to the effective date of the new law, traffic had been increasing. Now that the law is in force, the director of a Swedish Internet service provider said that “traffic is now about the same as in some countries in southern Europe. … With these levels, we wouldn't need a better infrastructure than what they have in Italy, for example.” (NETWORKWORLD, supra.)