Swedish File Sharing Law Decreases Internet Use

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!