First Finnish Claim Against Private File-Swapper

April 2004

Internet, Record Labels, Music Publishing

A Finnish court has ordered a 24-year old man to pay claimants, including Canadian rock star Alanis Morissette, 7,000.00 in damages for spreading unauthorised recordings of her concerts on the Internet. The judge found that between 1999 to 2003, the defendant swapped over 1,900 copies of unauthorised concert recordings (‘bootlegs’) for private use. Legal action in Europe has so far been limited to prosecuting people who have tried to make profit rather than those who swap for personal use and has been brought by record labels for use of sound recordings sold as CDs (rather than bootlegs). The Tampere District Court, some 170 kilometres north of Helsinki, ordered the defendant to pay the damages for copyright infringement to various artists and organisations. The Defendant was also fined the limited amount of 408.00 as a criminal penalty reflecting the fact that he had not engaged in the online bootleg swapping for profit and had not made the illegal recordings himself. On his website, the defendant posted lists of bootleg recordings he wanted and what he had to offer in return, as well as his detailed contact information.

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