Norwegian government targets filesharing sites
By Colin Mann

Norway’s Ministry of Culture has proposed amendments to the country’s Copyright Act in an effort to crack down on online piracy. Part of the new proposals involves removing the need for companies to have a licence from Norway’s data protection office in order to collect and monitor IP addresses of filesharers.

The proposals also include provisions to force ISPs to block sites accused of being piracy havens. “While freedom of speech today will be maintained, it will open for the blocking of sites that clearly and in large-scale make available content in violation of copyright,” said culture minister Anniken Huitfeldt.

Two processes are suggested as options: one would involve Norway’s Media Authority overseeing the blocking orders, with a complaints appeals board in place. The second would see courts able to order site blocks. The move follows previous unsuccessful attempts by local rights-holders to force Norwegian ISP Telenor to block The Pirate Bay. If the new proposals are accepted, they would come into force in 2012.