Sweden seeks crackdown on illegal file-sharers

Swedish courts will soon be able to force the country's internet providers to produce information on suspected file-sharers in a move to crackdown on piracy, the culture and justice ministers, an Associated Press report, said.

File-sharing can be traced by tracking the IP addresses of the computers that download or distribute a file.

The Associated Press report quoted Justice Minister Beatrice Ask and Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth as saying in a joint opinion as saying that 'we need to "&brkbar; stand up for musicians, authors, filmmakers and all other copyright owners so that they have the right to their own material.'

The ministers said they will move ahead with the proposal this spring, the report said.

'Courts "&brkbar; shall be able to demand an internet provider to give the copyright owner information about who had a certain IP address when it was used for infringement on the internet,' they said.

Sweden has long been criticized as a safe haven for online piracy because the popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is based there, the Associated Press report said.

The site is used by an estimated 10 million to 15 million users worldwide to share videos, music and other copyright-protected material.

Four Swedes accused of being the organizers of the site were charged earlier this year with helping others break Swedish copyright law, the report said.