Pirates Couldn’t Sail Around IPRED

The Pirate Bay’s efforts to help downloaders sail around Sweden’s new copyright enforcement legislation look to have had little effect, as Swedes appear nervous about the new law and Internet traffic has fallen 30 percent since it was introduced April 1.

A little more than a week before the Swedish High Court was to rule on The Pirate Bay case, the world’s best known free music distributor came up with a way to stymie the new regs.

The bit torrent-tracking Web site reacted to the introduction of IPRED, the Swedish Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive that allows copyright holders to request the personal details of suspected illegal downloaders, by launching the mockingly named IPREDator, which is designed to help Pirate Bay users cover their tracks.

Having obtained the personal details of suspected infringers, the copyright holders will be able to make direct contact with the accused users and presumably threaten them with lawsuits.

However, Pirate Bay users who pay euro 5 per month will be able to get to the site via virtual private networks like Tor or VPN, which means they’re far less likely to be tracked.

IPREDator’s Web site says that it won’t store any traffic data, as its entire goal is to help people stay anonymous on the Web. Without any data to hand over, copyright owners won’t be able to find individuals to target.

The move looked to be a defiant poke in the eye for the Swedish copyright enforcers, which have been hounding The Pirate Bay for years.

Three years after the police raided its base and confiscated its servers, they have finally managed to get three of The Pirate Bay team into court for copyright infringement.

The case wound up a month ago and the defendants are waiting to hear if they’re to be found guilty of conspiracy to break the copyright law.
If convicted, they face up to two years in prison and / or fines in the range of £100,000.

They’re also facing 120 million Swedish kronor ($14.3 million) worth of claims for compensation and damages from major music and movie companies.
As for IPREDator, technology news site Ars Technica says success depends on whether The Pirate Bay users will fork out five euros per month or simply look for lesser-known torrent trackers to use.

The Pirate Bay case doesn’t seem to have deterred others from setting up similar sites, as Swedish journal The Local is reporting that more arrests are being made.