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Sweden takes big stick to file-sharers

200 named in clampdown

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Sweden's anti-piracy group Antipiratbyrån (APB) has reported 200 people to the police for breaking copyright laws by exchanging music, games and films online, according to Sweden's The Local.

APB has issued over 400,000 warning letters to suspected file-sharers. However, the agency itself is under fire too. Over 1,000 people have reported ABP to the Swedish authorities for breaking personal data laws by collecting IP addresses.

Because it needs approval from the Swedish Data Inspection Board, APB has decided to temporarily halt using its own data collection software and report suspects directly to the police, claiming it has "other methods than storing IP addresses for tracing people".

The Swedish parliament has just passed a law - effective as of 1 July - banning all file-sharing. The record industry claims that because of file-sharing, the sale of CDs and music in Sweden has slumped for the third year running. Last year sales declined by a massive 17 per cent.

Fortunately for file swappers, there are now some alternatives. Scandinavians can at last start legally downloading music from Apple's iTunes. Sweden was among the last European countries to get the service, apparently because it still (along with Switzerland, Norway and Denmark) runs its own currency. ®

Related stories

Scandinavia gets tough on file sharing
Lycos Germany bins IP address data
Dutch anti-piracy unit targets ISPs

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