An article published by the New York Times on Sunday reported that illegal file sharing is on the decline in Sweden, one of the main fronts in the record industry’s battle against pirating.

The article points to an increase in legal music sales by 10.2 percent in 2009 as a sign that the Swedes are turning to legal means of acquiring new music. Sales on digital services such as iTunes saw a substantial increase, rising 28.2 percent last year.

Some of the reasons cited for this increase has to do with new legislation in Sweden, passed in April 2009, that put greater restrictions on file sharing. According to a BBC article published on April 2, 2009, the law allows copyright holders to demand personal information from internet service providers about people who use file sharing services. This led to a decrease in traffic towards these services. Just two weeks after the bill passed, the Swedish government convicted four of the founding members of the Pirate Bay, which is based in Sweden and is one of the most popular file sharing destinations in the world, for copyright infringement. They were each sentenced to a year in prison.

Although the New York Times article points out that new technologies from sites like the Pirate Bay may foreshadow a resurgence of file sharing, the increase in legal music sales in Sweden highlights that legal measures are working.

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