Swedish file sharers get insurance

— 9:05 AM on July 3, 2006

As Sweden begins to crack down on file sharers, a Swedish student has started an interesting business: he offers insurance to users who fear being fined for their buccaneering habits.

Magnus Braath, a 29-year-old architecture student, is offering to pay fines for any Swede convicted of the country's new antipiracy law. People unwilling to give up the practice of downloading copies of copyright music, movies or games can go to Tankafritt.nu and pay 140 Swedish crowns, about $19, for annual coverage.

A convicted pirate will also receive a printed T-shirt that reads "I got convicted for file-sharing and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."

CNet says Braath uses the insurance as a way to protest Sweden's anti-piracy laws. He may also be making some money on the side in the process. According to him, "only a handful" of people have been fined for file sharing in Sweden so far, and the fines might only top out at 16,000 Swedish crowns—just over $2,200. In contrast, U.S. file sharers who cross the RIAA's path have to cough up an average of $3,600, according to Rolling Stone.
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