Our Minister of Justice: A little piracy is OK

The No. 1 debate in Sweden for the past few weeks has been about software/music/movie piracy through file sharing technology. The discussions have been both interesting and amusing to follow.

It all started with a very well performed PR stunt by the industry-funded organization AntipiratbyrĂ„n, APB. They started a massive media campaign, implying that they wouldn’t sleep until piracy disappeared. The message was one of fear, built from three components:

1) File sharing (uploading) of copyrighted material is illegal and considered an act of piracy
2) Some Swedish piracy verdicts has contained orders to pay damages amounting to several million kronor
3) APB will start serving the police with prepared cases, evidence et cetera that they have collected. No one is safe!

What most people are missing is that no verdicts exist against people that are using (illegal) file sharing for non-commercial and personal reasons. And what APB has really missed out on are the doubtful methods they are using, pretending to be the police. Suddenly APB are turning into the bad guys in this. Swedish blogger Nicklas Lundblad has written many insightful texts covering the subject.

Not even the Swedish Minister of Justice Thomas Bodström could stay silent any longer. This morning one can read he thinks that “The police should not hunt teenagers that are downloading” (Swedish) in Sweden’s largest newspaper DN. This should be seen in the light of a new law from July 1st, that definitely makes file sharing (of copyrighted material) illegal.

I’m really curious to see how all this turns out.

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