A 15 year-old boy has become the youngest Swede ever to be charged with violating copyright laws after uploading 24 films onto internet filesharing sites.
The boy, who is only just old enough to face criminal prosecution in the country, is accused of “intentionally or with gross negligence” uploading Hollywood blockbusters, including The Social Network, Rush Hour and True Grit, to tankaner.com and tankafesta.com.
“He claims he didn’t know his actions were criminal,” prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad told The Local. Ingblad added, however, that his tender years should not act as a reason not to file charges. “If a crime is reported and we think we can show that one took place, we pursue the case regardless of age,” he said.
Police swooped on the boy’s Gothenburg home after his school, which supplied him with a computer, reported that a virus had been found on the machine. After confronting the teenager, he admitted to his teachers that he had downloaded films from the internet and made them available on file sharing sites.
Ingblad, who is representing the Swedish Anti-Piracy Buraeu, said the unrelenting action should serve as a deterrent to other potential file pirates. “The case is important because it will show people that if you share copyrighted material without permission, there is a risk you may get caught,” he said. “When you are trying to create a (digital distribution system) that is legal, it’s important to show what isn’t legal,” he added.
If convicted, which Ingblad thinks is likely, the boy could face a fine and be sentenced to community service.