The practice is now commonplace across Europe, with many of the main torrent and streaming portals blocked by local ISPs.
In Sweden, ‘pirate’ site blocking became a reality in February 2017 when ISP Bredbandsbolaget (Broadband Company) was ordered to block The Pirate Bay and streaming portal Swefilmer.
That process took a long time to come to fruition. The original lawsuit, filed in 2014 by Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film, and the Swedish Film Industry, initially went in the ISP’s favor.
A subsequent appeal, however, saw the rightsholders emerge victorious, with Bredbandsbolaget ordered to implement “technical measures” to prevent its customers from accessing the ‘pirate’ sites through a number of domain names and URLs.
For more than a year, other ISPs in Sweden have been able to provide subscribers with access to The Pirate Bay, since the earlier case was targeted at just one ISP. Now, however, local ISP Telia finds itself in a similar position following an order handed down Monday by the Patent and Market Court.
Following an application by a huge coalition of content companies and groups including the Swedish Film Industry, Nordisk Film, Disney, Paramount, Columbia, Disney, and Twentieth Century Fox, Telia must now block subscriber access to several ‘pirate’ sites.
As is often the case, torrent favorite The Pirate Bay heads the list, with streaming platforms Fmovies, Dreamfilm and NyaFilmer following closely behind.
Cited by IDG, Per Strömbäck of the Film and TV Industry Cooperation Committee said that a favorable decision was anticipated.
“The decision was expected and complies with the current legal situation. Now it’s high time that Telia takes the same responsibility in Sweden as it already does in Denmark and Norway,” Strömbäck said.
While the move to site blocking in Sweden hasn’t always plain sailing, last year’s decision in the Bredbandsbolaget case laid down some valuable pointers.
The Court found that under EU law it is possible for copyright holders to obtain an injunction against ISPs whose services are used to commit copyright infringement, noting that the Swedish Copyright Act should be interpreted “in the light of EU law.”
Before deciding on an injunction, the Court also sought to ensure that any blocking would be proportional. Since sites like The Pirate Bay and similar platforms primarily offer illegally-distributed copyright-protected content, a blocking order is now considered an appropriate response.
The decision handed down Monday is an interim measure valid from October 30. From that date, Telia must prevent its subscribers from accessing the sites listed in the complaint and keep those measures in place until the case is finalized. In the meantime, Telia says it is considering its position.
“We are surprised by the news and we are going to analyze the decision to decide if we will appeal,” says Telia spokesperson Iréne Krohn.
“We believe that legislators and courts should make the assessment. Service providers cannot and do not want to decide what’s available on the internet.”
In a reaction to the news, Jon Karlung, CEO of freedom-loving ISP Bahnhof, criticized the court and its decision.
“It is a specialized court without credibility that represents a special interest,” he said.
“[Blocking] does not work technically and, in principle, you can not build a filter for everything you dislike on the internet. You are destroying the core of the internet, to communicate freely.”
The injunction handed down against Bredbandsbolaget last year was the first of its kind in Sweden. It had a time limit of three years and a penalty of around US$56,000 for any breaches. The details on the Telia case will be revealed in due course.
from TorrentFreak https://ift.tt/2RSWozR