In October 2013, the Finnish government commissioned the Ministry of Education and Culture to amend the Copyright Act in accordance with the objectives set out in the government policy programme.
The government’s assignment concerns five core areas and is set to culminate in a new government bill during winter/spring 2014.
The Ministry has already proposed a draft bill regarding one of these areas: enforcement measures against unauthorised use of copyrighted material online. The new draft bill introduces changes to the current procedure for website blocking orders and also a new alternative tool to disrupt the operation of illegal websites: bandwidth ‘throttling’. The new ‘throttling order’ would enable courts to order Internet service providers to slow down traffic to and from pirate websites.
One of the changes proposed is that the court would have the authority to issue a blocking order independent of a case against the primary infringer when, despite reasonable efforts, the infringer cannot be identified or actions cannot be brought against the infringer in Finland. Interim blocking orders are already possible in the context of legal actions against the infringer but, since operators of pirate services tend to hide their identities and/or are operating from jurisdictions from where they cannot be brought to appear in court, the measure in its current form is ineffective.
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Copyright, Finland, online piracy, private copying, copyright transfer