Swedish File Sharing Law Decreases Internet Use

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News Posted: Fri, Apr 3 2009 9:25 AM

Well, what have we here? Just days after officials in Sweden passed a new law that sought to crack down on online piracy and copyright infringement, Internet traffic in the nation has suddenly fallen off a cliff. Now, some may argue that Torrent hosting site The Pirate Bay is actually located in Sweden, though purists will undoubtedly argue that it is actually located just offshore on a tiny island called Sealand. Getting regulators and lawmakers to believe and acknowledge that, however, has proven extraordinarily difficult. For those unaware, the new law makes it simpler to "prosecute file-sharers because it requires Internet Service Providers to disclose the IP-addresses of suspected violators to copyright owners."

At any rate, we're told that statistics from the Netnod Internet Exchange, an organization measuring Internet traffic, have shown that "daily online activity dropped more than 40 percent after the law took effect on Wednesday." Not surprisingly, many in Sweden suggested that this was a positive reaction to the new law, essentially scaring off legions of file sharers and immediately cleansing them of their pirating ways.

It should be noted, however, that TorrentFreak has followed up these allegations with quite an alarming statistic of its own. During the same time period which saw a 40% decrease in traffic, around 384,000 Swedes (or 5% of the total population) were connected in some way to The Pirate Bay, which does not represent a significant decline. If we're reading this correctly, it seems that lawmakers have yet again scared off and potentially harmed the wrong (and innocent) crowd -- great job, everyone!

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In this country, we are noted for our intelligent legislators, who love to follow directives from both the European Commission and, not least, such popularly elected bodies as the RIAA and the MPAA, who naturally exercise unlimited jurisdiction here. Way to go, Sveriges (?) Riksdag !...


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wil2200 replied on Sun, Apr 5 2009 3:38 AM

To me, this is just another method of control by governments. Information and knowledge is power. In order to maintain that power, it is better to feed people false information and break apart ties, hence lead the people to "pick sides". However, the internet has bridged that gap, in that it can allow people to organize, share and make better, more informed decisions. Therefore, those in power will like to see this all disappear, or control it enough to continue what their style of rule.

I am making this comment because it seems to be the guise in which governments can, let's say legitimize their control over the internet. So you will see more of the copyright and the all famous bullshit "protect the children" line of reasoning being used. Keep watching.

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ice91785 replied on Sun, Apr 5 2009 10:40 AM

I think if we all watch the southpark episode about music pirating....that's all anyone needs to know really.

(The jist of it is that because consumers steal music various artists can no longer buy Lamborghinis but instead have to settle for high-end Porches, etc.)

Not that I am pro-stealing or anything...

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Apr 5 2009 5:55 PM

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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digitaldd replied on Mon, Apr 6 2009 11:21 AM

I believe I read in a few places that PirateBay wants to create an encrypted bittorent network for its members. That could make this all moot.

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Riks replied on Mon, Apr 6 2009 1:27 PM

I thoght TPB tried to buy their own island, then sealand, but couldn't =\


and yeah, i heard about that encrypted bittorent network, it better happen =P

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