Swedish anti-piracy law hits wall

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Swedish anti-piracy law hits wall

ISP withholds subscriber details.

The anti-piracy law Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), which triggered a massive dip in Sweden's internet traffic when it came into effect last April, has failed to force an ISP to cough up alleged pirate details to rights holders.

Unable to settle a dispute between Swedish e-book publishers and the ISP EPhone, the Supreme Court Thursday handed the first case tried under the law to the EU Court of Justice, according to Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter.

The Swedish Publishers Association launched the suit immediately after the IPRED law came into effect on behalf of five audiobook publishers of Sweden's most popular authors, including The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo trilogy's Stieg Larsson estate, and the author of the Inspector Wallander series, Henning Mankell.

The association demanded the ISP hand over subscriber details behind IP addresses it believed had either uploaded or downloaded rights protected material.

The case had been heard in two lower courts previously, with the initial ruling in favour of the publishers.

The association alleged a single server had illegally downloaded over 2,000 books. The Supreme Court was presented evidence that showed the files were exposed to a closed group rather than being available to the general public.

Prior to the Supreme Court hearing, Ephone had invoked EU's controversial Data Retention Directive - yet to be implemented in Sweden - claiming that it was only permitted to hand such details to authorities.

In May, the music industry's IFPI launched a similar case against another ISP that refused to hand over subscriber details.

Sweden's Appeals Court ruled the same month that the data retention directive did not prevent Sweden's incumbent carrier Telia Sonera from executing its duties under IPRED.

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