Insurance Against Filesharing Lawsuits Launched in Sweden
A new service has been launched in Sweden, covering any fines resulting from filesharing lawsuits against the user. For a €25 annual fee, the user is protected in any coming lawsuit for copyright infringement.
The service, K-kassan, is run by stock corporation Sharing is Caring AB, owned completely by the Young Pirates of Sweden. They were inspired by P-kassan, which is a similar service protecting people sneaking in to the public transport system. They prefer not to view it as an insurance, but more as a way to help others if they are charged for copyright infringement.
While the risks of being caught for filesharing in Sweden are still small, they are increasing – according to the 5101 project, 2011 saw nine cases, 2012 saw ten, there have already been four cases in 2013, and the Police recently reported that they wanted to prioritise copyright crimes. According to manager Isak Gerson, the point of the service isn’t to assist people in breaking the law, but rather to help those confused by the laws:
I think a lot of people are experiencing a fear of having their future destroyed by debts just because they aren’t sure how the laws work. Are you allowed to stream? What happens if your children download? Internet is the best thing since sliced bread and it’s important that people don’t stop using it just because we have out of date laws.
In most cases so far, the filesharer has been sentenced to a suspended prison sentence as well as the fine, and the insurance service will only help against the purely economic consequences. Gerson is also clear that they only promise repaying fines and not necessarily damages, as this has yet to be tried for copyright offences in Sweden. The service is also keeping with the Pirate Party politics in that it doesn’t allow any commercial activities.
Featured image by Anton Nordenfur, in the public domain. Picture to the right by K-kassan, allowed to share.