Feeds

Pirate Party helped cut P2P in Sweden?

Are copyright scares helping the enforcement agenda?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Figures from Sweden suggest six out of ten P2P users have stopped or significantly reduced their unlicensed file sharing, AFP reports.

The study was conducted by recording industry trade group IFPI in June, and claims to be more accurate than earlier studies since it contacted internet users by mobile and email, rather than fixed lines - thereby capturing younger users.

Ironically, publicity from the Pirate Party may have helped the behaviour change. To understand why, we need to distinguish between real and perceived risk.

A new copyright law came into effect in Sweden on April 1, obliging ISPs to disclose details of suspected infringers to copyright holders. But rights holders must still fund private legal actions as before - which remains an expensive business. Yet the issue gained enormous publicity, helped by fringe group The Pirate Party, which reaped huge political capital (and a European Parliamentary seat) from the legislation. So while the risk of prosecution increased just a little, the perceived risk of being collared rose dramatically. The real risk of being prosecuted remained lower than the chances of being struck by lightning.

As copyright fear gripped the nation in the days following April 1, internet traffic halved. The Pirate Party had done the record companies' work for them, for free.

In July, IFPI said licensed digital music sales had risen 57 per cent in Sweden, and physical (mostly CD) sales were up by 14 per cent in the first half of 2009.

What we don't know is how many determined infringers are using other tools. And there's no shortage, with 2.8 million Swedes over 15 years old infringing online (out of a population of 8.8 million). As we report today here, they may be going elsewhere. Traffic to locker services such as Rapidshare and Megaupload has increased, and using them requires no additional software other than a web browser.

It's a dent, but the change in behaviour is sure to strengthen the BPI's case for tougher sanctions against online infringers. Temporary suspensions are expected in the Queen's Speech next month. The Pirate Party UK can then play its part in scaring people away from the net, too. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.