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Storing IP-addresses of Swedish copyright infringers deemed illegal

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Swedish organization Antipiratbyrån (The Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau) suffered a massive blow today when the Swedish government's Data Inspection Board stated that the Bureau's storage of Internet user's IP addresses is illegal.

Antipiratbyrån is an organization representing the movie and software industry in Sweden, working to protect the intellectual property of its beneficiaries. This spring they started collecting IP-addresses of suspected copyright infringers. They used the collected information to press charges and to contact the suspect's Internet service providers, demanding repercussions.

The Data Inspection Board's press release established that the collection of IP-addresses is in fact a violation of the Swedish Personal Data Law, prohibiting electronic storage of information about individuals without their consent.

- If they don't cease with the activities we might follow up with a penalty order, the supervising director Britt Marie Wester at the Data Inspection Board says to TT.

Both the Swedish organization Piratbyrån - celebrating the verdict as a great victory - and the CEO of Jens of Sweden - a Swedish manufacturer of MP3-players - have stated that they might file a class action suit against the Anti-Piracy Bureau, together with the individuals registered.

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