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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Norway Won’t Monitor File-Sharers Any Longer

Recently Norway’s only law company that had a license to monitor file-sharing networks had lost their right to do so. This means that the file-sharers are now able to freely download whatever they want without running a risk to be caught.


Five years ago Simonsen law firm obtained a license from the local information protection office to track file-sharers and keep a database of their IP addresses. Three years ago their license expired and there was a heated debate on what licenses can and cannot do.

Today Simonsen faces yet another problem: the law firm, part of which is Espen Tøndel (a well-known pirate-chaser), had lost their license once again this past March, but this time it seems to be permanent, with the Privacy Appeals Board rejecting their appeal against Data Inspectorate. The latter made a decision not to license Simonsen anymore.

Cecilie Rønnevik, the senior advisor to the country’s Data Inspectorate, confirmed that “as of today, no monitoring of file-sharers is allowed in the country”.

In the meantime, Simonsen, which also represents the Motion Picture Association of America, claims that if nobody is authorized to process personal information in order to stop copyright violation, it definitely weakens the licensees’ ability to pursue infringements that take place on the Internet, and their ability to protect their interests as well. The law firm hopes and believes that the problem in question will soon be solved, but an alternative solution is to create an anti-piracy outfit to represent copyright owners.

Cecilie Rønnevik admitted they had been asked if they could accept an organization on the licensee side, and they promised to consider the idea of getting an application for a license. However, no application has been filed thus far, which should make Norwegian file-sharers really happy.

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