The law, which is based on the European Union Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive, aims to curb illegal file-sharing by requiring Internet service providers to turn over IP addresses of “suspected violators” to copyright holders, who must obtain a court order for the addresses to be revealed.
Just hours after the law began, a handful of audio book publishers requested to “find out details of a server suspected of containing more than 2,000 illegally downloaded works.”
Of the Web traffic decline, Henrik Ponten of the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau considered it a good indication that “file-swappers” were worried about getting caught. “There’s no other explanation for it,” he told the AP.
“Sweden has one of the most mature internet industries in the world,” according to vnunet.com. “The figures will be a shock to many, as they point a potentially high prevalence of illegal file sharing.”
Some question how long the law will remain effective, writes Sveriges Radio. Christian Engström, vice-chairman of the Swedish Pirate Party, noted that when other countries implemented similar laws, sharing dropped for a time and then began picking up again.
A verdict on this case is expected this month, according to the AP.