File-sharers in Norway hit Jackpot as Law Firm Lose Monitoring License

By Saturday, August 25, 2012 0 , Permalink 0

Back in 2006 the Simonsen law firm was granted a temporary license to monitor file-sharing networks for piracy activities and log IP addresses of users. Three years down the line in 2009, the license expired while a debate was on regarding what a licensee can and can’t do when it comes to monitoring activities.

This year in March, the firm became unlicensed and a new one hasn’t been issued as Data Inspectorate decided not to give a new license citing data protection. The company’s appeal against the decision of the Inspectorate in Privacy Appeals Board also met with a similar fate.

Cecilie Rønnevik, senior advisor to the Norwegian Data Inspectorate, said, “As of today no hunting of file-sharers is allowed in Norway.”

In an email to TU.NO, the law firm said, “When no one is authorized to process personal data in order to stop copyright infringement, it weakens licensees’ ability to pursue violations happening online, and thus their ability to protect their interests. We hope and believe that this problem will soon be solved”.

An alternative to fill up such a void is being proposed, similar to the one in Sweden, in the form of formation of an anti-piracy group that will represent rightsholders. But, no application of such sort has been received by the Inspectorate. “We will consider it if we get an application for a license.” said Rønnevik.