Anti-Piracy Lawyers Thwarted in Norway

Recently, a major blow came to the anti-piracy movement in Norway, as the country's only law firm licensed to monitor pirates and collect IP addresses now faces a new challenge. According to Norwegian website Dagbladet, the Simonsen law firm's license has expired, and will not be up for renewal. Simonsen lawyer Espen Tøndel, widely known for his role in tracking down pirates, said that the firm would object to the non-renewal, and that copyright holders would be powerless in any attempt to halt file sharing.

“One can not deny [the copyright holders] their right to protect their interests in this way,” he said.

Up until now, the law firm has pursued illicit file sharers since 2006, however the firm's license was originally meant to be temporary. As reported by  TorrentFreak, the license hasn't seen the spotlight of political debate until Norway's data protection authorities began to question its true intent. Apparently, the group requested political clarification and legislation on what the license can and cannot do, but political parties have not provided the requested information.

The license rejection comes at the heels of another change in Norway: he country's data protection department told ISP's that they must delete all personal IP address-related data three weeks after collection thanks to the Personal Data Act. In contrast, the European Union demands that ISPs retain data for at least six months, enabling anti-piracy authorities to track down illegal file sharing.

As for Norway's anti-piracy champion, the law firm can no longer monitor the Internet for illegal activity... at least for now. Tøndel still believes that the license can be renewed.