Signs have emerged that the Swedish government’s efforts to crack down on internet piracy are working. Under the ruling, copyright holders were granted the power to force ISPs to provide the names and addresses of consumers who transmit illegal material. Unsurprisingly, the measure found little support from the nation’s broadband providers and even less from consumers.
In the wake of the law being passed, we reported how traffic had slumped in the days directly afterwards. However, the company which monitors usage was unable to clarify how much was still going to illegal file sharing sites.
Yet now some concrete evidence has been uncovered that the policy seems to have engendered a real change. According to a local newspaper, legal downloads on Swedish sit Prodicon are booming, with sales of music up by 100 per cent.
If at all possible, we would have liked to have avoid the need for such draconian measures in the UK. But given the apparent success of the Swedish model, it’s difficult to deny that the threat of criminal penalties might be the most effective way of tackling the problem.