Swedish net traffic halves after new law

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Swedish net traffic halves after new law

Internet traffic in Sweden has plummeted after a tough new anti-piracy law was enacted in the country earlier this week, potentially casting interesting new light on the extent to which illegal file-sharing occurs.

The new law makes copyright holders such as record and entertainment companies to go through the courts to determine the identities of those suspected of piracy, via their IP addresses.

The anonymity illegal file sharers have had hitherto made the practice widespread, although figures vary as to exactly how commonplace it is in various countries.

However, traffic to Netnod Internet Exchange AB, a Swedish firm which manages many of the country’s key internet exchanges reported a drop of around half since Wednesday, when the law took effect. Throughput has yet to pick up.

Data transmission rates have slumped from a peak of around 190/200 Gbit/sec to daily highs since Wednesday of about 100 Gbit/sec. At the time of writing, the figure was around 80Gbit/sec.

Along with its Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden has one of the most mature internet industries in the world, with a highly developed fibre-optic network broadband infrastructure. The figures will be a shock to many, pointing as they do to a potentially high prevalence of illegal file sharing.

France yesterday showed its commitment to eradicate illegal file-sharing after passing a “three strikes law” which decrees that persistent offenders can be suspended from using the internet for a period of time.

However, moves to get the law enacted at a European level have met with more opposition.

In his Digital Britain interim report released in January, Lord Carter proposed the creation of a 'Rights Agency' to deal with the problem of people illegally copying and sharing music and films over the internet.

However, controversially, he stated the funding may have to come from ISPs, who in turn could pass the costs on to their customers.

Last summer, six leading UK ISPs agreed to establish a code of practice for dealing with the sharing of copyright material over the internet, to be developed in conjunction with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

Copyright ©v3.co.uk

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