norwegian student fined for mp3 sharing
Date 27-Jan-2003 8:14:48
|A court has fined a Norwegian student over his song-swap Web Site in a ruling hailed by the music industry on Thursday as a victory for giants like EMI and Sony whose revenues have suffered from online music piracy.|
The case, the first in Norway on downloading of music without copyright holders' approval, followed similar rulings in neighboring Sweden and Denmark in favor of the industry.
The court in the southern city of Lillehammer ruled on Wednesday that Frank Bruvik broke the law when he made his own version of the now-closed U.S.-based Web Site napster.com, enabling users to download songs by clicking on links on his site, napster.no.
"This was the most high-profile piracy site in Norway for downloading music and an important victory for us," Saemund Fiskvik, director general of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in Norway, told Reuters.
The IFPI sued Bruvik together with Norway's TONO performing rights society, the Nordic Copyright Bureau and major music companies including EMI EMI.L , BMG BERT.UL , Sony Music and Universal Music EAUG.PA V.N .
Bruvik, 24, was ordered to pay 100,000 crowns ($14,520), about a fifth of the music industry's original claim for estimated losses of sales caused by napster.no. Big music labels blame online piracy for a dramatic drop in CD sales.
"I call it even," said Bruvik's lawyer Magnus Stray Vyrje.
"The ruling said it is illegal to distribute the links, but that it's legal to use them. That is a victory for all Internet users in Norway," he told Reuters, estimating Norwegians make about 60-100 million pirated music copies per year.
Bruvik would probably appeal, he added. The deadline for any appeal is four weeks.
Fiskvik said Bruvik, who had developed the program as a school project in 2001, shut down the service after the lawsuit was filed late that year -- after a few months in operation. ($1=6.885 Norwegian Crown)