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Operators Could Crack Down on Illegal Downloading

Teleoperators in Finland may soon begin monitoring customers' online activities. A new legislative proposal aims to help authorities crack down on the illegal downloading of online materials. A similar law is already in force in France and Britain.

Pirate Bayn logo ruudulla
Image: Yle

Currently, authorities face roadblocks in trying to prevent people from pilfering copyright material. The legislative proposal would require operators to send letters to people caught downloading copyright material illegally. An estimated 200,000 Finns illegally download movies and music each year.

Downloading movies illegally accounts for one-third of Finns' online activities, according to teleoperators Elisa and Sonera. When illicitly downloaded music is added to the mix, the number jumps to over 50 percent.

However, implementing reform could be difficult.

“The problem is that there are no repercussions with this model. A person could get ten letters about illegally sharing online materials, and that's it. This model is ineffective in our opinion,” says Antti Kotilainen, the director of the Copyright Information and Anti-piracy Centre,

Pasi Palmulehto, the chair of the Pirate Party of Finland, agrees the law is useless. “I don’t think that this law will have any effect. You could fill a mailbox with as many letters as you want and it would not change anything.”

The pro-piracy side says the best solution would be to allow free downloads for private use. However, copyright organisations want to secure payments for workers like musicians and actors.

The legislation could come into force later this year.

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