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File-swapping Icelanders slapped on wrists

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Nine Icelanders were convicted this week for sharing movies on the popular DC++ file sharing network. Eight of the defendants were sentenced to two years' probation while the principal defendant, Bjarki Magnússon, was given a 30-day suspended sentence at a hearing before Reykjavík District Court. The nine face legal bills estimated at ISK 2.6 million (£19,800/€25,800/$39,000), Iceland Review reports (in English).

Magnússon was singled out for greater punishment because he established a portal to DC++ on the website dci.is. The full judgment (in Icelandic) can be found here.

"Since the judgment has ruled in favor of the Icelandic copyright holders, nobody can share now without risking arrest," Gretar, a local Reg reader, told us.

Snaebjörn Steingrímsson, chairman of SMÁÍS, Iceland's association of film right holders, expressed disappointment at the leniency of the sentences. SMÁÍS filed complaints that prompted police raids against 12 suspects in September 2004. This led to the confiscation of computer equipment and CDs. One suspect was reportedly caught red handed with approximately 2.5TB of allegedly illicit material.

According to SMÁÍS, the raid was directly responsible for a 40 per cent drop in Iceland's net traffic volumes.

Reykjanes District Court is currently hearing a case against Svavar Lúthersson, a representative of the file-sharing website torrent.is, Iceland Review reports. ®

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