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Student not guilty of copyright theft over links to MP3s

But linking to pirated files could still count as aiding and abetting, says court

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Seventeen-year-old student Tommy Olsson was yesterday acquitted by the Swedish court on charges that he promoted music piracy by linking to an allegedly illegal MP3 archive from his Web site (see Student sued for site's links to MP3 files). Olssen was taking to court by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's Swedish wing. The IFPI was seeking a legal precedent to allow it to pursue other sites that link to illegal MP3 files but do not post them. On the IFPI charge of music piracy, Olsson was pronounced not guilty. Interestingly, however, the court ruled that Olsson could be guilty of violating contributory copyright infringement laws -- essentially he was arguably aiding and abetting the alleged pirates -- but since the student hadn't been charged with such a violation, it was beyond the power of the court to judge him. That statement does now give the IFPI the opportunity to pursue not only Olsson on such contributory infringement charges but anyone else who links to an allegedly illegal MP3 archive. ®

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