New anti-piracy regulations implemented by the Swedish government triggered a 30% drop in web traffic on the day they came into effect, reports AFP.
Some Swedish experts maintain that illegal downloading accounts for 50-75% of all web traffic and the slump indicates that would-be file-sharers were deterred by the tougher laws, which became effective on April 1st.
Under the new regulations, copyright holders may forces ISPs to give up user data on file-sharers. This information could then form the basis for legal action against individual Swedes.
Swedish Games Industry Association spokesman Per Stroemback praised the new law:
[It is] a historic example of effective legislation... No one could predict such a dramatic decrease in illegal traffic and not only that there's also been a huge increase in the legal [download] services.
However, Christian Engstroem (left), who serves as deputy leader of Sweden's Pirate Party as well as a member of the European Parliament, argued that Internet users will be unjustly punished by the new regulations:
This is a completely unequal law, where ordinary people will become scapegoats and will be asked for hundreds of thousands or millions of (Swedish) crowns by the industry. I don't think it will be efficient in the long run. I believe the traffic is going to climb up again after some months.
-Doug Buffone, ECA Intern