IFPI welcomes Swedish report calling on ISPs to tackle copyright infringement
London, 5th September 2007
The international recording industry has welcomed a Swedish government-commissioned report issued this week recommending that internet service providers (ISPs) take more responsibility for removing copyright infringing content from their networks.
The report, by Swedish Justice Department investigator Cecilia Renfors, proposes a change in Swedish law so that ISPs would be obliged to take action to terminate the contracts of certain users who repeatedly use their connection to infringe copyright. This obligation could be enforced in court by right holders.
“It is proposed that the law be amended so that Internet Service Providers can be ordered, under penalty of a fine, to take action such as terminating the contract of a subscriber to prevent continued infringement using the Internet Service Provider’s services” according to the report. (source: Swedish Ministry of Justice press release).
The report entitled ‘Music and Film on the Internet - Threat or Opportunity?’ was produced in response to a request from Sweden’s Justice Minister, who is keen to improve the country’s intellectual property laws and promote the development of consumer-friendly legal services for access to music and film online.
Sweden has a severe problem with mass online copyright infringement, led by services such as The Pirate Bay. The Renfors report says mass piracy is reducing the incentive for investors to back legitimate online music and film sites and is holding back the development of a thriving online music sector. It calls for a new task force comprising government, copyright holders and internet providers to discuss legal reforms and make it easier for consumers to buy music and films legally online.
John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of IFPI, said: “This is a clear call for ISPs to take more responsibility in curbing copyright infringement on their networks, and it comes from a country that is on the very front line in the fight to protect music and films from internet piracy. We wholeheartedly endorse the recommendation and hope it will be taken very seriously in Sweden and further afield.”
Ludvig Werner, chairman of IFPI Sweden and a leading independent record producer, said: “We welcome this report and would be very happy to sit on the proposed reference group to discuss how we can improve the legal framework for online music services, promote the virtues of user-friendliness and educate the public about the importance of copyright. There is enormous interest in buying music online and this report could help us tackle the mass piracy which has been a major roadblock preventing more players from investing in the market for legal services.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,400 major and independent companies in more than 75 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 49 countries. IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.
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