Swedish File-Sharers Mull VPN (Virtual Pirate Network)
If Sweden’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive was crafted to scare the hell out of the country’s Internet population, it seems to have had the desired affect. Swedish Internet traffic dropped by a third on Wednesday after the law, which allows copyright holders to force ISPs to divulge the IP addresses of computers sharing copyrighted material, was implemented and five audio book publishers rushed immediately to use it.
“The majority of all internet traffic is file sharing, which is why nothing other than the new IPRED law can explain this major drop in traffic,” Anti-piracy Agency lawyer Henrik Pontén told Metro. “This sends a very strong signal that the legislation works.” Christian Engstrom, vice chairman of the Pirate Party, a group seeking copyright law reform, agreed, but said the decline is likely to be only temporary. Once the public realizes that the odds of being busted for file-sharing are low, Internet traffic will return to normal levels again. “Today, there is a very drastic reduction in internet traffic,” Engstrom told The BBC. “But experience from other countries suggests that while file-sharing drops on the day a law is passed, it starts climbing again. One of the reasons is that it takes people a few weeks to figure out how to change their security settings so that can share files anonymously. We estimate there are two million file-sharing [computers] in Sweden, so even if they prosecuted a 1,000 people to make an example of them, for an individual user it is still a very small risk.”
[Image credit: Chart courtesy Royal Pingdom]