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Swedish internet traffic plummets on pirate law

April 3, 2009

Internet traffic in Sweden fell by 33% as the country’s new anti-piracy law came into effect. Sweden’s new policy – the Local IPRED law – allows copyright holders to force internet service providers (ISP) to reveal details of users sharing files.

The new law, which is based on the European Union’s Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), allows copyright holders to obtain a court order forcing ISPs to provide the IP addresses identifying which computers have been sharing copyrighted material. Figures from Netnod, a Swedish firm that measures internet traffic in and out of the country, suggest traffic fell from an average of 120Gbps to 80Gbps on the day the new law came into effect. According to Statistics Sweden – 8% of the entire population use peer-to-peer sharing.

Sweden is home to popular BitTorrent sharing site, The Pirate Bay, currently fighting a court case on copyright infringement. Some observers predict traffic will pick up again as users figure out how to change their security settings to hide their identity while sharing.

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