Keeping An Eye On File-Sharers Is No Longer Allowed In Norway

After Norway’s only law firm with a license to monitor file-sharing networks lost their right to do so, King Harald V’s subjects can freely download whatever they want.

Half a decade ago Simonsen law firm obtained a license from Norway’s data protection office to monitor file-sharers and keep a database of their IP addresses. In 2009 their license expired and there was a heated debate on what licenses can and can’t do.

Now the law firm faces yet another problem. Simonsen – part of which is Espen Tøndel (a famous pirate-chaser) – lost their license once again in March 2012, but this time it seems to be permanent as the Privacy Appeals Board rejected their appeal against Data Inspectorate who decided not to license them anymore.

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

The law firm, which also represents the MPAA, stated:

“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,” the company said in an e-mail sent to TU.NO.

However, an alternative solution is to form an anti-piracy group to represent rightsholders.

“We have been asked if we could accept an organization on the licensee side, a bit like Antipiratbyrån in Sweden,” said Cecilie Rønnevik.

“We will consider it if we get an application for a license.”

No application has been filed until now, so we believe that Norwegian file-sharers must be really happy. Enjoy it while it lasts, brave pirates of the North Atlantic Ocean!