Those quirky Swedish Pirates. If they’re not causing a stir at music industry events or gaining political power they’re generally being as disruptive as possible to the entertainment industry’s attempts to clamp down on filesharing. Now they’ve gone a step further and are launching a piracy-friendly ISP in their native land.
Pirate ISP, launched yesterday puts anonymity of its users first. Torrentfreak reports that after a two-week test period, the service the service aims to expand to take 5% of the broadband market in the Sedish city of Lund. Further locations around the country are expected to follow.
Gustav Nipe, the CEO of Pirate ISP sounds bullish about any potential interference from big business, telling Torrentfreak: ““They can bring on whatever they have, we will refuse to follow there. We don’t agree with what they are saying and we don’t agree with the laws they are making so if they have an issue with us, then we will have an issue – but that’s it.”
What about serious crimes?
Of course, when the cops come a-calling Pirate ISP’s brave claims will be put to the test. It’s also not clear whether Pirate ISP will tollerate any kind of activity at all on their network or not. Downloading a few films over BitTorrent is one thing, but how about more serious crimes? Would they open up to the police then? The ISp’s FAQ doesn’t address such details, simply saying the site is run “In accordance with the Pirate Party’s principles”. Those principles appear to say that “anything goes”, noting (translated via Google):
“An ISP is only to be seen as a messenger and shall not be responsible for the content of his cables. The principle of ‘mere conduit’ shall apply. If Internet providers are in no way responsible for traffic, it means not only having to check all traffic that travels through their cables, but they also have to interpret whether certain information is legal or not.”
Of course, there’s a difference between believing that and being beholden to the law. For now at least, it seems some Swedish copyright infringers have a safe place to hide.