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Leaked Cable Shows Heavy US Influence On Swedish Copyright Policy 171

Debuting on Slashdot, seezer writes with a piece by Rick Falkvinge about a recently release diplomatic cable. From the article: "Among the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the U.S. government and industry interests." This is from a Pirate Party founder and so might be slightly exaggerated, but there is certainly evidence in the cable that the U.S. exerted quite a bit of influence of Swedish copyright law. The U.S. government appears particularly vexed that the Swedish public doesn't seem to think anything is wrong with copying protected works, and (not unexpectedly) was quite concerned that Pirate Party members might actually be elected.
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Leaked Cable Shows Heavy US Influence On Swedish Copyright Policy

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  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:13AM (#37327400) Journal
    Exaggerating slightly? The Pirate Party "translates" this:

    Adopt the copyright law amendments on injunctive relief against ISPs and a âoeright of informationâ to permit rights holders to obtain the identity of suspected infringers from ISPs in civil cases.


    Adopt "Three Strikes" making it possible to disconnect prople from the internet without a trial ("injunctive relief"), and implement the IPRED directive in a way that the copyright industry can get internet subscriber identities behind IP addresses (which was not mandatory, my note).

    Which simply doesn't translate. The US here is asking for something like the DMCA (which is required by treaty), not for "three strikes" legislation. Also injunctive relief does not mean "without a trial", nor is any disconnection from the internet being demanded here. It's bad enough without making stuff up. Further:

    Prosecute to the fullest extent the owners of The Pirate Bay. (This doesnâ(TM)t really need translation, except that itâ(TM)s very noteworthy that the executive branch is ordered to interfere with the work of the judicial one, which is illegal in Sweden too.)

    I don't know about Sweden, but in the US, prosecution is an executive function.

  • by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:27AM (#37327684)
    The Department of Justice does the prosecuting, which is under the executive branch. They bring their cases before the judicial branch who renders the decisions on the cases.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:35AM (#37327808)

    Wait until you hear about what the IRS are making foreign banks do to all their customers in order to weed out US citizens living abroad...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:52AM (#37328076)

    It works a bit differently in Sweden. Politicians are not considered competent to meddle in spedific cases and decide who is to be prosecuted and who isn't. The job of the elected politicians is to make policy, while the decision to prosecute is in the domain of prosecutors who are bound by the law as written down and not by the whims of politicians. The reasoning behind this is that it is believed to reduce corruption.

    Now, of course politicians - enjoying power as they do - sometimes put pressure on prosecutors and other public servants to do their bidding. Like in this case. But it's illegal, and not how it's supposed to be done.

    Note that the quoted explanation mentioning the executive branch interfering with the judicial is a bit fuzzy, and not directly applicable to a corresponding situation in the US, for the reasons stated above.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:57AM (#37328188)

    United States tries to protect its corporate interests.

    Fixed for you.

  • by saihung ( 19097 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @12:05PM (#37328306)

    If you don't know about Sweden, then why are you talking about it? The Åklagarmyndigheten is an independent authority, not attached to any ministry or branch of government. Unlike the USA, where the US attorneys are part of the Department of Justice and subject to direct political interference, the Åklagarmyndigheten is not a part of the Ministry of Justice.

  • Wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @12:22PM (#37328584)

    Which simply doesn't translate. The US here is asking for something like the DMCA (which is required by treaty), not for "three strikes" legislation.

    Wrong. The "injunctive relief" legislation that is being pushed is indeed ISP disconnection. From the PDF that TFA links to:

    Injunctive relief in civil cases -- EU Copyright Directive: The law implementing Sweden’s obligations under the EU Copyright Directive entered into force on July 1, 2005 (Law 2005:360 amending the Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works, Law 1960:729). Particularly disappointing has been the lack of a specific injunctive relief remedy against ISPs as required under Article 8.3 of the Copyright Directive (and Article 11 of the Enforcement Directive). Proposed legislation to provide such a remedy is now pending in the Swedish Parliament.(3) If adopted by the Parliament, the amendment would go into one of the major deficiencies that rights holders have faced and which IIPA highlighted in its 2008 submission. (3)(http://www.iipa.com/rbc/2008/2008SPEC301SWEDEN.pdf)

    And if you follow the link to the 2008 IIPA paper on the proposed legislation...

    civil litigation, without preliminary injunctive relief, is just too slow to act as a deterrent.... Unfortunately, we have also heard that the present draft proposal does not contain a right to injunctive relief in a civil case against ISPs, and that it therefore fails to cure Sweden’s inconsistency with Article 11 of the Enforcement Directive and Article 8(3) of the Copyright Directive. In September 2007, a report was issued by Swedish Chief Judge, Cecilia Renfors (“Renfors Report”), recommending that the upcoming legislation contain provisions requiring ISPs to take action to terminate the contracts of certain users who repeatedly use the Internet to infringe copyright.... While this report and, in particular, the suggestions regarding disconnection of repeat infringers is welcome, it does not go far enough to bring Sweden’s legal and enforcement regime into harmony with international trends even assuming that the proposed legislation is adopted in its present form

    So, not only do they want ISP disconnections, they actually want even stronger laws.

  • by jbr439 ( 214107 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @12:38PM (#37328850)

    ... The US here is asking for something like the DMCA (which is required by treaty), ...

    DMCA-like legislation is not required for treaty (are we talking WIPO here?) compliance. Canda's Dr. Michael Geist has gone to great lengths to explain why.

    However, the US likes the DMCA and is hell-bent on ramming it down every other country's throat. And, sadly, the governments of most countries (including Canada's) are willing accomplices in this farce.

  • by pewterbot9 ( 1559933 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @02:45PM (#37330778)
    No argument here: you /are/ a cockroach. No doubt none of your posts to /. will be stained with anything resembling intelligence or insight. At least you get one thing right: you're society's retard, and you know it.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?