A new initiative against illegal file sharing launched in Sweden

Rights holders to film and TV series have engaged a Swedish debt collection firm to screen for illegal file sharing in Sweden and to send demand letters to numerous infringers.

my ip address
Image credit: Flickr: Creative Commons, Collin Anderson

The new initiative is called Spridningskollen, which roughly translates to “dissemination control” and seems, at least initially, to be focused on illegal file sharing of film and TV series. They are currently monitoring around 150 titles, which are all listed on their webpage.

Spridningskollen screens for illegal file sharing of the relevant titles using a computer program that collects IP numbers. They request the identity of the owner of the IP address through obtaining a court order against the internet services providers on the basis of the IPRED (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, 2004/48/EU), as implemented under Swedish law.

The first letters were sent out in September 2016 and it seems that the settlement amount is initially set at SEK 2000 (=EUR 210).

Spridningskollen only has information on the registered holder of the relevant IP address. Considering that the same network can be used by numerous people, Spridningskollen might face difficulties in showing who in fact conducted the illegal file sharing, if the registered holder refuses to pay and the matter goes to court. Similar problems might arise if the file sharing was made through an unprotected wireless network, which in theory could have been accessed by anyone. In such cases, Spridningskollen has expressed that they hope to be able to hold the registered owner of the IP address responsible for the infringement based on negligence. See further discussion here.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out – both in the Swedish courts and its potential impact on file sharing in Sweden.

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