Swedish appellate court allows web blocking
Copyright , Internet / March 2017
EU
Netherlands
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet   The Swedish Court Of Appeal has overturned the ruling in the District Court Of Stockholm in 2015 which had dismissed an application that would have forced internet service providers to block The Pirate Bay and other platforms linked to music and other piracy – a move opposed Swedish ISP Bredbandsbolaget   The Patent And Market Court Of Appeal has now ruled in favour of music and movie companies, ordering Bredbandsbolaget to implement web-blocking of both The Pirate Bay and another piracy site called Swefilmer. The court confirmed that their judgement was in part influenced by the web-block injunctions that have been ordered elsewhere in the European Union. Torrentfreak reports that judge Christine Lager said in a statement: “In today’s judgment, the Patent And Market Court held that right holders such as film and music companies can obtain a court order in Sweden against an ISP, which forces the ISP to take measures to prevent copyright infringement committed by others on the internet. The decision is based in EU law and Swedish Law should be interpreted in the light of EU law. Similar injunctions have already been announced, such as in Denmark, Finland, France and the UK, but the verdict today is…

Foos fight insurance underwriters and broker for cancellation pay out
Contract , Live Events / July 2016
Sweden
UK
USA

CONTRACT Live events sector   Billboard reports that the Foo Fighters have accused Lloyd’s of London and insurance brokers Robertson Taylor of ‘despicable’ behaviour in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, alleging they have “failed to pay amounts that even they appear to recognize are due and owing” on insurance claims the band made on several shows cancelled during its 2015 world tour. The cancellations resulted firstly after Grohl broke his leg on June 12th, 2015, during a show in Sweden (a show that Grohl finished before going to hospital). The injury resulted in the cancellation of seven shows, three of which are at the core of the band’s complaint — two shows at London’s Wembley Stadium and one at Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield Stadium. After his leg was treated, Grohl went on to perform 53 shows from the “throne” he designed (or crutches). The complaint says: “After paying certain amounts owed under the Cancellation Policy for four of the cancelled performances, [the insurers] began searching for ways to limit their payment obligations on the other three performances, including the two Wembley Stadium shows, which represented the largest potential gross income” for the band’s tour. The complaint continues,(insurance broker) “Robertson Taylor failed to…

Jay Z seeks rebate over TIDAL sale
Contract , Internet / May 2016
Sweden
USA

COMMERCIAL / CONTRACT Internet, streaming   Jay Z, who purchased  TIDAL from Nordic parent company Aspiro for 464m Swedish Krona ($57m) in March last year, is taking action against the vendors for over estimating the number of subscribers at the time of sale. Whist TIDAL said “We are excited that one year after TIDAL launched, we have surpassed 3 million subscribers globally” they added “It became clear after taking control of TIDAL and conducting our own audit that the total number of subscribers was actually well below the 540,000 reported to us by the prior owners.” According to Swedish news service BreakIt – quoting an article in Norwegian title Dagens Næringsliv (“Today’s Business”) – Aspiro’s former major shareholders, including Schibsted and Verdane, have been contacted by TIDAL. TIDAL now says “As a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale. While we cannot share further comment during active legal proceedings, we’re proud of our success and remain focused on delivering the best experience for artists and fans.“ It is thought Jay Z and his finance vehicle, Project Panther Bidco will try and to claim back a sum in the ‘region of 100 million Krona’.   Schibsted…

Johan Johansson uses ‘making available’ right – to exit Spotify
Copyright , Internet / October 2015
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music     Swedish punk artist Johan Johansson has brought a successful civil action against his record label  MNW (formerly Musiknätet Waxholm) for making his music available on Spotify without his permission. The label owns rights to tracks recorded with Johansson’s former bands KSMB and John Lenin, who existed in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Johansson argued that MNW is not in possession of the digital distribution rights to his music, and that his bands’ contract with MNW only covered specific types of usage and not the right to make his recordings available on streaming services like Spotify – and it appears the Solna District Court has sided with Johansson, ordering the removal of his content. Under European law, both copyright owners and recording artists were provided with a new copyright provision called ‘making available’, which was put in place to ensure rights owners could control the distribution of its content online. The Swedish Musicians’ Union backed Johansson’s case. In May in Finland the sons of Finnish guitarist Albert Järvinen, best known for being in rock group Hurriganes, had argued in the Helsinki Market Court that Universal didn’t have the right to sell two Hurriganes albums featuring their late father digitally,…

The Pirate Bay Four acquitted in Belgium
Copyright , Criminal Law , Internet / August 2015
Belgium
Sweden

COPYRIGHT/CRIMINAL Internet, technology   Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström, the four original key Pirate Bay founders, have been acquitted by a Belgian court on charges of criminal copyright infringement and abusing electronic communications. All four defendants have denied having anything to do with the site since was seemingly sold to a Seychelles-based company called Reservella in 2006, and this proved a major hurdle for Belgian prosecutors as the crimes were allegedly committed between September 2011 and November 2013. A judge at the Mechelse Court ruled that it could not be proven that the four were involved in the site during the period in question. Indeed, for at least a year of that period, Svartholm was in jail in Sweden while connecting Lundström to the site a decade after his last involvement (which was purely financial) has always been somewhat difficult. In the end, even the site’s anti-piracy adversaries in the case agreed with the decision: “Technically speaking, we agree with the court,” said Olivier Maeterlinck, director of the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA). https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founders-acquitted-in-criminal-copyright-case-150710/ and http://www.techworm.net/2015/07/the-pirate-bay-founders-and-financier-cleared-in-criminal-copyright-case.html

EU gives all clear for PRS-GEMA-STIM hub
EU
Germany
Sweden
UK

COMPETITION Music publishing   The European Commission has given the all clear for European collecting societies PRS, STIM and GEMA – which represent publishers and songwriters in, respectively, the UK, Sweden and Germany – to form a central hub to license and process royalties from multi-territory digital services. PRS For Music CEO Robert Ashcroft: “This is a very significant day for online music licensing as our new joint venture is uniquely positioned to deal with the rapidly transforming online music market. What this clearance means is that we are now able to work even more effectively on behalf of songwriters, composers and their music publishers, while at the same time helping to develop the Digital Single Market across Europe” whilst STIM CEO Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen said: “Today’s competition clearance announcement is testament to the incredible work that has gone into the design of this new offering, which will provide a seamless service for both music rights holders and pan-European digital service providers. It’s the result of years of productive collaboration between STIM, GEMA and PRS For Music to deliver a solution that will help the digital market grow”.

Pirate Bay domains to be seized
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Online, recorded music, music publishing     The Stockholm District Court has ordered that two key domains used by the always controversial Pirate Bay – including the service’s flagship thepiratebay.se domain – should be handed over to the Swedish authorities. However the court rejected arguments from prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad that the owner of the domains. Punkt SE, should be held liable for the alleged misuse of domains in its control.   Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij is to appeal the ruling. Neij was previously found guilty by Swedish courts of criminal copyright infringement and banned from having any involvement in the future running of The Pirate Bay and this appears to be an attempt to escape an further repercussions. In all events the appeal will delay any handover.   http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founder-appeals-domain-seizure-decision-150525/

Hoist The Colours High: The Pirate Bay is Coming Back
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / February 2015
EU
Sweden
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, sound recordings   Here’s a guest piece by Thomas Dubuisson (@tdubuisson) for the 1709 Copyright Blog on a subject that refuses to fade away: the fate of The Pirate Bay. Thomas writes: “This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow”(Jack Sparrow, Pirates Of The Caribbean) For many years, internet service providers (ISPs) have tried, and sometimes succeeded, to block access to The Pirate Bay (TPB), known as the world’s largest illegal file-sharing site, in several countries around the world. However, this time, it’s “in real life” and not, as expected, on the internet, that thepiratebay.se domain was shut down. Launched in September 2003, The Pirate Bay website has since been involved in a number of lawsuits, mainly accused of copyright infringement and of authorizing the infringement of its users. Eleven years later, on December 9, 2014, Swedish police carried out a raid at the Nacka Station data centre, in Stockholm, seizing a huge treasure: servers, computers, and other equipment. As a result, the site has been taken offline and dragged down several other popular BitTorrent services (i.e. open Internet application for content distribution) with it, such as EZTV, Zoink,…

New collection society alliance to be investigated by EU
Competition , Music Publishing / February 2015
EU
Germany
Sweden
UK

COMPETITION Music publishing   The European Commission has announced that it has opened an “in-depth investigation” into the planned joint venture between three of Europe’s biggest song-right collecting societies, Germany’s GEMA, Sweden’s STIM and the UK’s PRS For Music. The three societies announced their alliance last June, expanding on an existing partnership between PRS and STIM built around the International Copyright Enterprise (ICE). The rights organisations, which each represent a large collective of songwriters and publishers, said in a statement: “The hub aims to create easier access for digital music services to clear music rights, and faster and more precise payments of royalties to rights holders. PRS for Music, STIM, and GEMA had planned to begin launching services from the hub in early 2015, subject to competition clearance. Notwithstanding this delay, the partners remain committed to bringing their new service offerings to the market as soon as possible, once the approval of the European Commission has been obtained.” Adding “The collective rights management organisations behind the venture are confident that their vision for a new licensing and processing hub will benefit the market and look forward to providing the European Commission with further analysis and market data” and “The hub is set…

Swedish raid knocks The Pirate Bay offline
Copyright , Internet / January 2015
EU
Sweden
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet     Swedish police have seized servers, computers and other equipment used by The Pirate Bay, effectively (for the time being) taking the controversial file-sharing platform offline. The takedown directly affected the service’s thepiratebay.se domain, and had a knock on effect on other domains and proxies cused to access the site. CMU Daily reported that the service’s homepage” did reappear at a new domain registered in Costa Rica, though at the time of writing [09.12.14] that version of the site isn’t actually working – the homepage and community feed appear, but any attempt to access links to content via the site result in an internal server error.” Other file-sharing sites such as EZTV, Zoink, and Torrage were also offline, as was Pirate Bay’s forum Suprbay.org. The National Coordinator of IP Crime at Stockholm County Police Paul Pinter told Reuters: “We had a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm because of a copyright infringement, and yes it was Pirate Bay”. Interestingly, one of the orginal founders Peter Sunde, who is no longer involved with TPB, posted a blog admitting that he was happy that the website was offline saying “News just reached me that The Pirate Bay has been raided, again. That happened over 8 years…

TPB’s Fredrik Neij finally detained
Copyright , Internet / December 2014
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet   The Times reports that one of the world’s ‘most wanted hackers’ has been arrested. And who is it? Well none other than Fredrik Neij, one of the four men who created The Pirate Bay. Neij was arrested crossing from Laos into Thailand, seemingly by Thai immigration officials responding to an Interpol arrest warrant. Local reports say that whilst living in Laos with his wife, he also had a home on Phuket and had financial assets of £95,000 as a cash balance. He was the last remaining convicted Pirate Bay man at large. He and his co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde were found guilty of multiuple contributory copyright infringement in the Swedish courts in 2009. After a lengthy appeals process (with Svartholm not even showing up for appeal hearing) all but Carl Lundström – the fourth member – went on the run –  Lundström having negotiated down his sentence to house arrest. Svartholm Warg made it to Cambodia, but was recently extradited to Denmark on serious hacking charges (against the Police) and sentenced to three years and a half in prison.  In June Peter Sunde was arrested in southern Sweden. Sunde had been living in Berlin, Germany, seemingly without a…

New research suggests better legal services and reform are needed to fight piracy
Copyright / July 2014
Sweden

COPYRIGHT All areas   A group at Lund University in Sweden have produced new research based on a survey  that had responses from around 4,000 individuals and which  suggest that the number of active file-sharers has dropped in the past two years. Those who share files daily or almost daily has decreased from 32.8 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2014. According to the head of the research group, this is why the numbers are dropping with the report saying “If you listen to what young people themselves are saying, it is new and better legal services that have caused the decrease in file-sharing, rather than respect for the law. There has been a trend where alternative legal solutions such as Spotify and Netflix are changing consumption patterns among young people.” Interestingly the report shows that same four-year period, the percentage of young people who said they believe that people should not share files because it is illegal dropped from 24 percent to 16.9 percent. So, even while young people are sharing files less often, their acceptance of the standards presented by the law appears to be dropping too “In other words, we need not only more good-quality services,…

Money, money, money – Abba admit to fashion choices for tax
Artists , Taxation / March 2014
Sweden
UK

TAXATION Artists   Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus has admitted that the glittering hot pants, sequined jump suits and platform shoes the band wore were as much to save tax as they were to stand out from the crowd. Writing in a new book, Abba The Official Photo Book, Ulvaeus said “In my honest opinion we looked like nuts in those days. Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were” but explains that the Swedish Tax Code allowed costumes to be deducted against tax – provided they were so outrageous that they could not be worn on the street – worn as ‘daily wear’. The UK tax code has similar provisions: The case of Mallalieu v Drummond [1983] 57 TC 330 established that no deduction is available from trading profits for the costs of clothing which forms part of an ‘everyday’ wardrobe. This remains so even where the taxpayer can show that they only wear such clothing in the course of their profession. It is irrelevant that the person chooses not to wear the clothing in question on non-business occasions, the only question is whether the clothing might suitably be worn as part of a hypothetical person’s ‘everyday’ wardrobe. The…

Pirate Bay domain sets sail again, and again, and again, and again!
Copyright , Internet / January 2014
Iceland
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet   Those pesky Peruvian authorities have now interfered with the Pirate Bay’s Peruvian URL- thepiratebay.pe – meaning yet another move for the embattled Bucaneers. Peru’s snappily named National Institute For The Defense Of Competition And The Protection Of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) ordered the country’s biggest ISP, Red Cientifica Peruana, to suspend the domain or face a fine of up to 666,000 soles (£145,000). The Bay then briefly went to a new home, this time in Guyana, thepiratebay.gy, the fourth time the Pirates had to up anchor and sail to new waters in a week. In recent history the Pirates were in Sint Maarten – but BRIEN forced the registry to seize the .sx domain names as Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Pirate Bay then moved to the Acension Islands to a new .ac domain, perhaps foolishly, as the Isle is under direct control of the UK as a British overseas territory, and it was only a matter of days before that domain was seized as well. After the original Swedish .se domain was seized, and having tried Iceland and Greenland, Guyana, Peru, Sint Maarten and the Acension Isles, it now…

Belfast court passes suspended prison sentences on file-sharers
Copyright / January 2014
Sweden
UK

COPYRIGHT Motion pictures, software   Two men have received suspended sentences in the Belfast Crown Court for their involvement in running the file-sharing operation Araditracker, which was mainly known for providing unlicensed access to movies and software. Hugh Reid and Marcus Lewis, a father and son-in-law now based in Belfast and Suffolk respectively, took “donations” for about a year from people who used Araditracker to access free music, movie and software files. In late 2007 the film industry’s Federation Against Copyright Theft took action, forcing Araditracker offline, though Reid and Lewis quickly set up an alternative service. Reid’s Belfast home was raided in August 2008, and Lewis’s home, then in North Wales, was similarly raised three months later. Prosecutors said that they secured a range of evidence to prove the two men’s involvement in the file-sharing operation, which Reid seemingly first set up when his radiator business hit the hard times in 2006. The two men pleaded guilty to the infringement crimes, which Judge Philpot tdescribed as “nothing less than theft”, adding to the two men “you must have known from an early stage that this was criminal behaviour” adding: “There are people who work here locally making films, both…

Pirate Bay founder denied final appeal
Copyright , Internet / December 2013
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet   Sweden’s Supreme Court has refused to hear the final appeal by Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm over his hacking conviction. Svartholm, also jailed for a year for his part in establishing the copyright infringing Pirate Bay, was found guilty of various unrelated hacking charges in June and although an appeals court reduced his sentence for the hacking crimes last month (by deeming that some of the charges against him couldn’t actually be proven), he was still left with another year of custody. The Bay man had hoped to appeal the charges that still stood, but Sweden’s Supreme Court don’t believe there is justification for a further hearing. Separately Svartholm is also trying to fight off attempts to extradite him to Denmark to face other hacking charges that could result in a much longer jail sentence. Last year Sweden’s Supreme Court also refused to hear the final appeal from Svartholm’s fellow Pirate Bay founders over their copyright convictions, though Svartholm himself had lost the right to even approach the highest branch of the country’s judiciary regards that case, having failed to show up for his first appeal hearing after going AWOL.

PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA to collaborate on new venture
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2013
Germany
Sweden
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   PRS for Music (UK), STIM (Sweden) and GEMA (Germany) have announced a major collaboration that the three music collection societies say will simplify both national and pan-European music rights licensing and processing. As part of the initiative, GEMA will become a shareholder and customer in International Copyright Enterprise AB (ICE), the company founded by PRS for Music and STIM in 2007.  ICE will extend its current copyright repertoire management services to include the processing of transactional licences to Digital Music Services, both for its shareholder societies and for other society customers. In due course ICE will also create a state of the art audio visual database for film and television music processing. PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA will in parallel establish a licensing hub that will combine the national repertoires of all three collecting societies as well as providing licensing services to other holders of multi-territorial European online rights, both publishers and societies. The combined repertoire available to license through the new hub will be amongst the largest of its kind in Europe, providing access to millions of works for download, subscription and streaming services. Slated for delivery in 2014, the proposed joint venture will use the copyright and…

Gottfrid Svartholm jailed on hacking charges
Criminal Law , Internet / July 2013
Sweden

CRIMINAL LAW Internet   Gottfrid Svartholm , The Pirate Bay co-founder charged in Sweden earlier this year over various alleged hacking offences was last week sentenced to two years in jail. Svartholm fled to Cambodia when originally sentenced on copyright infringement charges alongside the  three other co-founders,  for their role in creating and running the controversial file-sharing website.  Last year he was extradited back to his home country after various hacking allegations were made against him. He was jailed, seemingly serving his Pirate Bay sentence while awaiting a court session to hear the hacking charges which centred on alleged attacks on the servers of the Nordea banking group and services firm Logica, during which the personal data of about some thousand Swedish citizens was taken and subsequently published online.  CMU Daily reported that Svartholm and his co-defendant Mathias Gustafsson claimed that while their computers had been used in the hack attacks, the hacking had been done by other parties. But experts testifying for the prosecution claimed data found on the PCs in question suggested the defendants had done the hacking, and neither men could, or were willing to, name who the alleged third party hackers might have been. Svartholm was…

The Hives must re-pay The Cardigans £1.8 million in Swedish studio muddle
Artists , Contract / May 2013
Sweden

CONTRACT Artists   The Hives have been ordered to pay fellow Swedish band The Cardigans 18.5 million kroner (about £1.8 million), after a legal battle resulting from dubious financial management practices at the Malmö-based Tambourine Studios. According to local media reports, the Lund District Court heard that it was standard practice at Tambourine Studios to move money between the accounts of artists it represented to provide cheap cash flow. This was how 18.5 million kroner belonging to The Cardigans ended up in The Hives’ account. The Hives argued that they were never told by Tambourine that some of the money transferred into their band account was, in essence, a loan from other artists, in particular The Cardigans, and in a blog post ahead of the court hearing the band stated “there are no loan agreements, no signed documents, no agreements on interest rates”. The judge hearing the case agreed that the transfers made by Tambourine “shouldn’t be viewed as a loan”, given the lack of any formal agreements to that effect, but nevertheless the money that belonged to The Cardigans should be returned to them. The case is reportedly one of a number involving Tambourine Studios (“the greatest music studio…

Pirate bay founder charged over hacking
Criminal Law , Internet / May 2013
Sweden

CRIMINAL Internet   One of The Pirate Bay founders, Gottfrid Svartholmn Warg has been charged with aggravated fraud, attempted aggravated fraud, and being an accomplice to attempted aggravated fraud, over allegations he was involved in the hacking of computer systems of various Swedish state agencies, as well as making an illegal online money transfer. Svartholm, was extradited from Cambodia last year and incarcerated on return to his home country. He had previously failed to attend appeal hearings in relation to his Pirate Bay conviction, so that his one year prison sentence stemming from that charge stood.   http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tech/news/a473820/pirate-bay-founder-gottfrid-svartholm-warg-charged-with-hacking-fraud.html

Pirate Bay human rights appeal fails
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels, music publishing   Two of the founders of the Pirate Bay have failed in what I presume is their final appeal against their convictions for copyright infringement in the Swedish criminal courts, with the European Court of Human Rights finding that Sweden had rightly convicted the pair. Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde were sentenced to one year imprisonment by the Stockholm District Court in April 2009 for crimes against the Copyright Act. Together with two other defendants they were also found liable for damages of approximately K30 million (US$4.3 million). Their prison sentences were reduced in November 2010 by the Svea Court of Appeal, but the joint damages were increased by that court to K46 million (US6.8 million). The Swedish Supreme Court denied them an appeal hearing in February 2012. Neij and Sunde complained that their convictions infringed their freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention in Human Rights and that as their website facilitated the exchange of information, they could not be held liable for their user’s infringing acts. The ECHR had to balance Article 10 – the freedom of expression (even if such included material that infringed copyright) with the legitimate…

The Pirate Bay heads for the clouds
Copyright , Internet / November 2012
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet   The Pirate Bay has shifted its entire operations so that it is now  “hosted in the cloud”, which basically means its data and code is shared on servers across the world which seemingly makes it impossible for the authorities in any one jurisdiction to seize the controversial file-sharing site’s servers and take it offline, as happened in 2006 when Swedish authorities seized machines, although the site was down for only 24 hours before being hosted elsewhere. http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-moves-to-the-cloud-becomes-raid-proof-121017/

Pirate Bay founders lose final appeal
Copyright , Internet / March 2012
EU
Sweden
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet The defendants in the Pirate Bay trial, who were appealing their custodial sentences to Sweden’s Supreme Court, have now exhausted their options in Sweden after the Court refused to hear the final appeal. Two of the founders and the funder of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström, were found guilty of copyright infringement for their former roles at the Pirate Bay in 2009. A third founder, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, had already been refused future appeals for failing to attend his first appeal hearing on the ground of somewhat unspecified illness. Whilst their custodial sentences had been reduced on appeal that seems to be as far as the Swedish courts will go. Lundstrom’s legal team said “This ruling is absurd. I am disappointed that the court is so uninterested to dissect and look through all the legal comings and goings in one of the world’s most watched court cases of all time”. News then emerged that the current operators of The Pirate Bay, presumably in response to MegaUpload’s recent enforced demise, and possibly fearing the US authorities might use Supreme Court ruling to justify taking action against its .org domain, which is administered by the…

Entertainment lawyers lunch, Ek talks big on streaming, Branca adds to the fun, student gets the cheers!
Copyright , Internet / March 2012
EU
Sweden
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, Technology Is streaming really the future of the music industry? Will it be the saviour of record labels? I doubt it very much myself, but is a dang good approach if you are Daniel Ek, boss of Spotify. Now less than seven months after launching his digital music service in the US, Ek found himself rubbing elbows with the “upper echelon” of record industry executives who have descended on Los Angeles for this Sunday’s Grammy Awards and the 28-year-old Swedish entrepreneur addressed a ballroom full of entertainment attorneys  telling them all about the brave new world of digital music and boldly predicting  that revenue from streaming services such as Spotify will in two years return as much revenue to the industry as iTunes does today. Since launching its service in 2008, the Stockholm-based company says it has has remunerated more than $200 million, roughly 70% of its revenue, to labels and publishers. It has also grown into a valuable company with a tie in to Facebook (and making Ek a darn sight more money than the music industry – and artistes!) “The value of music is not $15 billion,” an estimate of annual music sales, Ek told his audience at the Grammy…

Pirate Bay four resentenced on appeal – fines up, but custody down
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / December 2010
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels Three of the four defendants in the Pirate Bay trial have had their custodial sentences reduced; Fredrik Neij will now serve ten months, Peter Sunde eight months and Carl Lundstrom four months (all reduced from original sentences of twelve months). Gottfrid Svartholm who claimed he was too ill at the time of hearing will have his sentence reviewed at a later date. The fines payable have been have been raised from 30 million kronor to 46 million Kroner (US $6.4m). The Pirate Bay website is still functioning. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11847200

Pirate Bay founder banned from running service
Copyright , Internet / September 2010
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has been banned from ‘operating’ The Pirate Bay by a Swedish court. Last year he and three others were sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of £2.4 million after being found guilty of various copyright crimes in relation to their involvement with the rogue BitTorrent site. Though none of the men have served any jail time or paid any of the damages as yet. An appeal hearing is due to take place in September. The new separate ruling ordering Sunde not to work on The Pirate Bay follows a similar court decision relating to Svartholm and Neij made in May, which banned them from working on the file-sharing service also. All three men face fines of just under £45,000 if they fail to comply. Sunde has appealed the decision. http://www.thelocal.se/28002/20100726/ http://musically.com/blog/2010/07/29/sunde-banned-from-running-the-pirate-bay-while-finnish-isps-get-set-for-warning-letters-to-filesharers/

Pirate Bay judges cleared of bias, website forced offline in Germany
Copyright , Internet / June 2010
Denmark
Germany
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet A number of Swedish judges who were members of copyright interest groups have been cleared of bias charges and approved to preside over the appeal of convictions for operators of file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay. Complaints were lodged by the defendants in the criminal trials of the Pirate Bay organisers after it emerged that Judges Ulrika Ihrfelt and Kristina Boutz were members of local Swedish pro-copyright organizations, but Sweden’s Supreme Court has found no conflict of interest and cleared them to hear the trial. The operators of The Pirate Bay were found guilty of copyright infringement in April 2009, and sentenced to a year in prison and combined fines of $3.9 million. The appeal of their convictions is now expected to be heard some time in late 2010. In related news, a German court has granted a preliminary injunction against the current Germany-based Web hosts of file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay, TorrentFreak has reported.  The Motion Picture Association petitioned a court in Hamburg for an injunction against CB3ROB Ltd, operators of the CyberBunker Web hosting service. The court said that CyberBunker must specifically remove links to torrents purporting to facilitate downloads of “The Bounty Hunter,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Our…

Digital Economy Bill: Lib Dems scupper Clause 17, but come up with a new idea
Copyright , Internet / April 2010
Canada
Spain
Sweden
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet In the UK controversial Clause 17 of the Digital Economy Bill which was designed to allow ministers, rather than Parliament, the right to introduce new copyright rules has been dropped following a last minute move by the Liberal Democrats to amend the proposed legislation in the House of Lords. Liberal Democrat Lords Razzall and Clement-Jones proposed an amendment which could see UK Internet Service Providers forced to block web sites with a high proportion of copyright-infringing content with the key passage in the amendment saying: “The High Court shall have power to grant an injunction against an [internet] service provider, requiring it to prevent access to online locations specified in the order of the Court.” A further statement in the amendment says that this would apply when a substantial proportion of the content accessible at or via each specified online location infringes copyright. The amendment (120A) was then re-amended to include provisions to make anyone applying for an injunction responsible for both parties costs should the application fail, an obligation on content owners to warn ISPs and any alleged infringing site of the action, an appeals procedure and a need to provide evidence to the court of allegedly infringed…

Ahoy there Pirates – more stories from the Bay
Copyright , Internet / September 2009
Ireland
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet Well well well, not just one Pirate Bay story but four. What’s in the news – well, first and foremost The Pirate Bay website did momentarily go off line on the 25th August, no doubt to gasps of relief from the music and film industries, but perhaps unsurprisingly (and as promised by the owners) the BitTorrent site was back online this morning. The removal of the service was the result of a decision of the Swedish district court which ordered Black Internet to stop servicing The Pirate Bay – the court order was complied with in the face of a 500,000 Kroner fine – but the victory was short lived and within twenty four hours it seems to be “service as normal” although not through Blacks. Secondly, the hunt for money goes on. As readers are probably aware, the four Pirate Bay founders, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, Fredrik Neij, Gottfried Svartholm Warg, and Carl Lundstrom, lost a major Swedish court case in April (reported on this blog) when they were found guilty of copyright violations and were fined and face jail sentences. In a second story from Sweden it appears that Sweden’s government run debt-collection agency, commonly referred to…

Taiwan brings in ‘three strikes’ law as the French version is finally approved
Copyright , Internet / June 2009
France
Sweden
Taiwan

COPYRIGHT Internet Taiwan’s legislature has passed an amendment to the island’s Copyright Act aimed at discouraging digital copyright infringement over peer-to-peer networks and increasing the responsibility of Internet Service Providers. The country has adopted the much debated ‘three strikes’ system where web users who continue to access unlicensed sources of content after receiving two warnings could lose their internet connections – or at least have them restricted. Whilst a number of countries have looked at this system, so far only France and New Zealand have implemented ‘three strikes’ as law. In France the much criticised proposals have now worked their way through the French parliament although in New Zealand the Government is still trying to work out how to implement their new and again much criticised law . The Taiwanese government has introduced the system in order to achieve it’s twin aims of cracking down on internet piracy – without flooding the courts with lawsuits from foreign content owners against the providers of file-sharing services or individual file-sharers. The courts in Taiwan are known to be overburdened. It seems the new law means that repeat offenders will have their internet access “restricted” rather than automatically cut off. That could mean…

Italy to take on the Pirates
Copyright , Internet / June 2009
Italy
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet Italian antipiracy campaigners have welcomed the recent Stockholm District Court convictions of the four founders of The Pirate Bay Web site, saying it should clear the way for a similar case under the Italian justice system. The Swedish court sentenced the Pirate Bay four, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, Fredrick Neij, Carl Lundstrom and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg  to one year in prison and a US$3.6 million fine for assisting copyright infringement. The verdict is subject to appeal. But now  Enzo Mazza, president of the Italian Music Industry Federation (FIMI) has said “An acquittal in Sweden could have created difficulties for the Italian prosecution. The guilty verdict will strengthen the hand of the prosecutor in Italy” and it seems that Giancarlo Mancusi, a public prosecutor in the northern town of Bergamo, is investigating The Pirate Bay’s founders for alleged violations of Italy’s copyright law, the first justice authority to take action against the Swedish Web site outside its home territory. Mancusi obtained a court order in August 2008 blocking access from Italian ISPs to all Pirate Bay addresses, but the ban was lifted on appeal two months later and is now due to be considered in September by the Court of Cassation. The FIMI president…

New Swedish anti-piracy laws triggers a thirty three percent drop in internet use and legal downloads might have doubled
Copyright , Internet / May 2009
France
Norway
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet It’s been good and bad news for record labels, film companies, music publishers and other content owners in April as legislators in two European countries finally began to tackle the problem of internet piracy and peer-2-peer file swapping. First up French lawmakers moved a step closer to passing a “three strikes” law under which people who repeatedly pirate music, movies or TV shows could have their Internet connections cut off for up to year. On the 2nd April  the National Assembly voted in favor of key elements of the law on April 2nd but whilst The Senate have passed the President Sarkozy supported Creation and Internet law, the French initiative stalled at the last hurdle when the National Assembly then failed to pass the legislation on the 9th April. Despite this setback it is expected the bill to pass possibly as early as April 29th and possibly in an amended form: When passed, France would be the first in the world to cut off Internet access to people accused of copyright violations although consumer groups and human rights activists oppose the move: some consumer groups had warned that the wrong people might be punished – should hackers hijack…

Swedish Court find Pirate Bay four guilty but now the judge is in the spotlight!
Copyright , Internet / May 2009
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet The Stockholm District Court in Sweden has found the four men behind the infamous Swedish BitTorrent tracking site The Pirate Bay guilty of assisting copyright infringement. Each has been sentenced to one year in jail. Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and millionaire donor Carl Lundström must pay SEK 30 million (£2.41 million) in damages. After the three week trial in Mark the court ruled (17th April) that the four were responsible for “promoting other people’s infringements of copyright laws”. The defendants have said they will appeal to Sweden’s Supreme Court and possibly onwards to the European Courts. The international music industry welcomed the judgment and IFPI Chairman and CEO, John Kennedy, said “The trial of the operators of The Pirate Bay was about defending the rights of creators, confirming the illegality of the service and creating a fair environment for legal music services that respect the rights of the creative community. Today’s verdict is the right outcome on all three counts. The court has also handed down a strong deterrent sentence that reflects the seriousness of the crimes committed.  This is good news for everyone, in Sweden and internationally, who is making a living or a business from…

The Pirate Bay trial – an important victory?
Copyright / May 2009
Sweden

COPYRIGHT ARTICLE   By Tim O’Shea, Solicitor, Michael Simkins LLP   Last week’s conviction of the four men behind rogue BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay has been widely applauded by the music and film industries. The Stockholm District Court convicted the defendants of aiding and abetting breaches of copyright by facilitating the making available of copyrighted material via The Pirate Bay service. The defendants were sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay SEK30million (£2.5million) in compensation to various rightsholder groups. The trial The Pirate Bay site enables internet users to find and exchange files. Its user-friendly interface and search function enables other users to search for specific content or to browse organised lists of music tracks, films, games and other content. It also provides a number of related “trackers” that assist users in connecting to listed content and downloading it. The case was a criminal prosecution. Initially the defendants were charged with direct infringement (in addition to the charges of aiding and abetting for which they were convicted). An early coup for the defendants came when the charges relating to direct infringement were dropped by the prosecution shortly after the trial began. The individuals based their defence on the following…

Irish labels take on Eircom
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / April 2008
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Spain
Sweden
UK

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The Irish recorded music sector’s four major companies – EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music, and Warner Music (together as the Irish Recorded Music Association) have decided to take Irish Internet Service Provider (ISP) Eircom to court in order to force them to implement countermeasures against piracy. Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of the Irish Recorded Music Association and Managing Director of EMI Ireland, blamed the action on a “dramatic and accelerating decline” in the Irish music industry’s income: 30% over the past six years, up to 2007. Kavanagh attributed a “substantial portion” of that decline to the increasing use of broadband, facilitating a sharp increase in the use of download services, like BitTorrent or LimeWire. Sales dropped from €146m ($224m USD, not counting inflation) in 2001 to €102m ($157m USD) in 2007, said Kavanagh. The case represents the first of its kind in Eire with record labels taking the ISP to court instead of individual file swappers and attempts to compel Eircom, under the Irish Copyrights and Related Rights Act of 2000, to implement specific countermeasures to prevent its network from being exploited for piracy. Last October Eircomm said that it was in no position to consider monitoring users and was under no…

Proposals in UK to make CD copying legal as both UK Government and the EC look to make copyright law ‘fit’ for the digital age as Swedish MPs go even further
Copyright / February 2008
EU
Sweden
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas Copying compact discs on to computers or iPods could become legal for the first time in the UK under government proposals in a move that parts of the music industry has warned could “open the floodgates” to further filesharing. Lord Triesman, minister for intellectual property, will begin a consultation process which will end on March 7 2008. The consultation will look at the viability of legalising such recordings as long as they are for personal use. The Association of Independent Music, the industry group, has warned that the exception could open the floodgates to “uncontrolled and unstoppable” private copying and sharing from person to person. Alison Wenham, chairman and chief executive of the AIM, said that the move could set a dangerous precedent. CDs would largely be redundant in five years, she predicted, but the new legislation would still remain and could be misused. But Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the British Phonographic Industry, another industry group, said he was broadly in favour of the changes because it would clarify the law for consumers. However, Mr Taylor said the government should ensure that the move would not “do harm to” the record industry. The consultation will also…

Swedish file sharer’s fine upheld
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / July 2007
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The Court of Appeal in Sweden has upheld a 20,000 kroner fine imposed on a 45-year-old man from Borås by his local District Court for illegally distributing music on the internet. The Court of Appeal upheld the fine imposed on the man for uploading four copyright-infringing tracks using the DirectConnect file-sharing network. The sentence related to only four songs and the fine imposed of SEK 20,000 (US$2,831) means that it cost the perpetrator SEK 5,000 (US$708) per song. In addition, the injured party has the opportunity to seek damages. www.ifpi.org

Norway rules that Apple DRM is illegal
Competition , Record Labels / February 2007
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Netherlands
Norway
Sweden

COMPETITION Labels, technology As France, Germany and Finland join the growing list of countries looking at iTune’s DRM and lack inter-operability which include Sweden and Denmark, the Norwegian Ombudsman rules the software illegal and the Dutch Consumer Protection Agency joins the protest against Apple in the Netherlands.   http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/24/apple_drm_illegal_in_norway/ http://www.canada.com/topics/technology/news/gizmos/story.html?id=bdd7e7d2-1639-46a5-bb71-f9830c61b608&k=878

IFPI responds to European piracy rulings
Copyright , Record Labels / December 2006
Finland
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Record labels Despite the bad news in Spain and China, The International Federation of The Phonographic Industry has welcomed a ruling in Finland that will see a man who sold pirated karaoke records over the internet face a suspended custodial sentence and significant fine. The Swedish man who sold the pirated material has been given a 30 day suspended prison sentence by the Finnish courts for copyright offences. He will also have to pay 70,000 euros in compensation, damages and expenses to the rights holders. Although based in Sweden, the man sold the pirated material via a website and magazine adverts in Finland, and was caught via an operation led by Finnish authorities with the support of the Swedish police. www.ifpi.org

Sweden updates copyright laws to prohibit illegal downloading
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / July 2005
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, software, Internet Sweden has made it illegal to download copyright material from the Internet and approved measures to discourage people from burning copies of CDs and DVDs. The law, which takes effect July 1, also bans technology and software used to circumvent protections on copyright material, including music, movies and games mirroring similar legislation in the USA. Previously whilst it was prohibited in Sweden to make copyright material available for others to download, downloading itself was legal. The new law also makes it illegal to copy an entire book, including text books, on a copying machine. Sweden does not forbid making a copy of a CD or DVD for personal use but there is a 24% tax on recordable CD and DVD-discs. See: http://www.qlinks.net/quicklinks/copyrigh.htm andhttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/06/swedish_file_sharers/

Anti-piracy group broke Swedish data laws
Copyright , Record Labels / July 2005
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Record Labels Sweden’s anti-piracy group, Antipiratbyrån (APB), broke the personal data act in its hunt for illegal file-sharers, the country’s Data Inspection Board has ruled. At the beginning of March, a large number of Swedish citizens reported the film and games industry-backed non-governmental organisation for its method of tracking the downloading of copyright-protected files. APB used new software to record the IP-addresses of file sharers, as well as the alias, the file name and the server through which the connection was made. The Data Inspection Board ruled that if an IP address can be linked to an individual it is classed as personal information and therefore falls under the Personal Data Act and is protected. As a private company the APB has no right to use the information and indeed could be classed as a criminal offence (although it could be held to be a minor infringement). APB have now stopped collecting the data, passing on details of suspected file swappers to the police although APB are entitled to apply for an exemption from the Personal Data Act. See: http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=1581&date=20050610

Sweden looks to protect both IP and consumer rights
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers Sweden’s justice minister, has called for record companies to stop issuing copy-protected CDs, arguing that consumers should be able to make copies of CDs they bought for personal use. This comes at a time when the Swedish government is looking to push through tougher laws to clamp down on file-sharing. Thomas Bodström argues that IP needs to be protected, but not at the expense of restricting consumers’ rights. He has threatened that the government could consider making it illegal if labels continue to put anti-copying software on discs. See: FiveEight Magazine – http://www.fiveeight.net

Swedish music sales plummet
Copyright , Record Labels / April 2005
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Recording Industry The sale of CDs and music in Sweden has slumped for the third year running. Last year sales declined by a massive 17%. Many industry insiders believe illegal downloads across peer-to-peer (P2P) networks over the internet are responsible. although this contrasts with certain territories and the position that world wide sales have actually begun to pick-up. Mårten Aglander, head of the Swedish division of Universal believes Americans have dealt more decisively with illegal downloading and that the US has the “lawful alternative [Apple’s iTunes] which is working well.” iTunes, which is available in the UK and other parts of Europe, is yet to open in Sweden. But the prevailing view is that it would help the industry if and when it does. Per Sundin, head of Sony BMG in Sweden says the sale of music over the internet in Sweden is improving but there remains much to be done. A new Swedish law which expressly forbids file-sharing of copyright material over the Net is expected to be in place by the summer. An article in Sweden’s The Local pointed out that there already seems to be a declining interest in the music business on the part the Swedish media….

Criminal Proceedings Against Lindqvist ECJ C101/01
Artists , Data Protection , Internet , Privacy / November 2003
Sweden

DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY Internet, Artists This case arose out of a simple set of facts. A religious instructor for the Swedish Church, Bodil Lindqvist, posted up webpages on her home computer which were aimed to help parishioners prepare for their confirmation. The administrator of the Swedish Church’s website provided a link from their website to the defendant’s webpages at her request. The webpages contained information about colleagues of the defendant with first names and in some instances full names, address and telephone numbers. The defendant also remarked that one colleague was on half time work because of medical reasons – she had injured her foot. The web pages were mildly humerous but the defendant had not asked for permission from any of the parties featured. She also had failed to notify the Datainspektionen, the relevant Swedish supervisory authority, of her activities. The Defendant was charged with (i) processing personal data by automatic means with notification to the relevant authority (ii) processing sensitive personal data without authorisation and (iii) transferring the data to a third party [via the internet].The Gota Hovratt (Court of Appeal, Gota) referred the case to the European Court of Justice for clarification of EC Directive 95/46/EC….