You’re sitting at your desk, finally positioned with a cup of tea and the episode of Mad Men that took forever to download. It’s dusk, and the glow of the laptop screen casts a bright hue across the dim room. Suddenly, bright halogen lights flood through the windows, the curtains billowing inwards as a violent gust accompanies the unexpected illumination. Wagner blasts from outside (maybe “Carmina Burana,” if those Valkyrie chicks are too cliché). Glass shatters, as men in the unmistakable black uniform of authority drop onto the carpet, their eyes instantly focusing on the laptop in front of you.
Such is what I imagine happened in Sweden recently, when police went on a good ol’ fashioned raid in central Sweden after getting wind of an alleged “pirate network.” I’m not sure how Scandinavian raids work since the decline of the Vikings (especially when the tipoff comes from places like IFPI), but I like to think it’s a variation of the Simpsons scene where Mr. Burns thinks he’s finally tracked down Homer’s mother.
A pirate, you say? Sounds familiar these days. The culprit, a man from outside Österlund, is suspected to have shared a whopping 6,000 audio tracks on the internet (which may pale in comparison to your library of 12,000, but hey, who’s the one getting caught?). While there are plenty of Swedes who actively download and share music — we all know about The Pirate Bay, for example — those, like the man arrested, who use Direct Connect, often end up sharing their entire collections. By doing so, they provide much more hard evidence than people who use BitTorrent.
If convicted, the unfortunate man who presumably helped propagate The Knife and Peter Bjorn and John could be sent to prison at worst, or at least receive fines or a suspended sentence. His “computer media” was confiscated, according to prosecutor Henrik Rasmussen, leaving him without a computer and, worse, without music. Let this be a lesson to you: don’t use Direct Connect, and don’t believe that the Swedish get away with everything.