Dec 062009
 
 December 6, 2009  Posted by  Featured News, Non-U.S., Online

Did Swedish anti-piracy law backfire or did it just do no good in the long-term, or what?

Following a severe drop in the aftermath of Ipred, Sweden’s new anti-piracy law implemented in April, illegal file sharing is once again on the rise, reaching record high levels.

Many experts believed that the Ipred law wouldn’t have any effect on file-sharing. But the results were dramatic, with a 40 percent drop in Internet traffic the night before the law went into effect on April 1, according to statistics from Netnod, a Swedish organization that coordinates national Internet service providers (ISPs).

At the time, Netnod figures were generally considered to be the best measure of illegal file sharing.

The entertainment industry was satisfied and hoped for a boost in record sales. And according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), music sales increased by 18 percent over the first nine months of 2009.

But after the feverish downloading at the end of March and the abrupt decline in April, file sharing has steadily recovered. Several weeks ago, Internet traffic passed the previous all-time high, reported in March.

But the numbers are not so straightforward. Netnod statistics are an extremely rough measure of file sharing and there are several other factors that could have contributed to the increase in Internet traffic. Some of it can also be attributed to entirely legal businesses.

Spotify and the various television channels ‘Play’ sites haven’t yet released their statistics. There is guaranteed to be certain increase in file sharing, but it isn’t possible to tell exactly how much,” said researcher Kristoffer Schollin, who studies file-sharing and gave expert testimony during the Pirate Bay trial in March.

At the same time, Internet security company McAfee estimates that the number of file-sharing sites has exploded by 300 percent since the spring. The decisive factor was the Pirate Bay trial in March, when many believed that the Pirate Bay site would be shut down, according to McAfee.

Read more in The Local (Se).

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