Legal background

Scope and duration of copyright

Does copyright end immediately after the minimum period mandated by the Berne Convention? No
Since Sweden is a Member State of the European Union and has implemented the "Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights" the period of protection is longer.
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Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights under competition law, for example by imposing compulsory licensing or regulating royalties charged by dominant rights holders? In part
As in many countries this question is not entirely resolved. Competition laws preventing abuse of dominating market positions are applicable. However there is no general prohibition against compulsory licensing systems.
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights pursuant to a bill of rights or similar human rights instrument, for example by preventing copyright from being used to stifle protected speech? Yes
Sweden's Constitution guarantees freedom of press & speech. Sweden is also a signatory to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms..
Can databases of non-original material be reproduced without infringing a copyright or sui generis database right? No
Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases
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Are rights holders prohibited from excluding user rights under copyright law? Yes
Moral rights may not be licensed.
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Is computer software excluded from the scope of patentable subject matter?

Freedoms to access and use

By Home UsersIs there any general user right that is based on a set of balancing criteria, such as a "fair use" right? Yes
Besides the right to quote and make parodies the law allows a limited "private" use without requiring permission or payment.
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Is time, space and format shifting allowed (such as ripping music from CD to an MP3 player)? Yes
Time, space and format shifting is largely covered by the "private" use.
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Can consumers reproduce copyright material for their own use in the original format, for example for backup purposes? Yes
Consumers may reproduce copyright material for "private" use.
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Can works be communicated to a limited public (for example, family and friends) without infringing copyright? Yes
Communication to a limited group is allowed.
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For EducationMay students copy works for private research or study? In part
The student may reproduce works under the private use exception in 12§URL. The school/university may only do so when collective licenses apply (or with permission). The amount of reproduction is limited.
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Does any such research and study provision cover distance and online education? No
The distance and online education platforms owned by schools or universities can only reproduce with permission (or licensing).
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May translations of works be made for educational purposes? No
May educators copy works for use in the classroom? No
OnlineAre temporary or transient copies, incidental to a lawful use, excepted from copyright? Yes
Does the law exclude or limit the liability of intermediaries such as ISPs for copyright infringements carried out on their network? Yes
However this may be affected by the amount of information the ISP has about the infringement.
Is Internet access free of ISP filtering or monitoring for potential copyright-infringements? Yes
By content creatorsIs there any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works? In part
Only within the limitations of private use. Otherwise permission is required.
May computer software be reproduced or transformed for the purpose of reverse-engineering interoperable software? No
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Is the incidental inclusion of a work in other material permitted? Yes
For example a photographer may take images of a person without asking permission from the rights holder of copyrightable material in the background of the image.
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Is there are copyright exception for parody or satire? Yes
By the pressIs there a copyright exception for the news of the day? Yes
Works of fine art which have been made public may be reproduced in a newspaper and a periodical in connection with a report on a current news event, except if the work has been created for reproduction in such a publication.
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May copyright material be reproduced for the purposes of review and criticism? Yes
Anyone may, in accordance with proper usage and to the extent necessary for the purpose, quote from works which have been made available to the public.
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May quotations be used for any purpose? Yes
By LibrariesMay libraries copy works if they cannot reasonably be obtained commercially? No
May librarians copy works for users for the purpose of research or study? In part
Governmental and municipal archival authorities, scientific and research libraries that are operated by public authorities, and public libraries may do so.
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Are libraries allowed to make preservation or archive copies of materials in their collections? Yes
Governmental and municipal archival authorities, scientific and research libraries that are operated by public authorities, and public libraries may do so.
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Can lending libraries operate without incurring public lending rights fees to copyright owners?
By disabled usersIs it permissible to copy or adapt work for the use of those with disabilities? Yes
Anyone is entitled to make, by means other than recording of sounds, such copies of literary and musical works which have been made public and of works of visual art which have been made public, that persons with a disability need in order to be able to enjoy the works. The copies may also be distributed to those persons.
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In public affairsAre laws excluded from copyright? Yes
Copyright protection does not cover: 1. laws and other regulations, 2. decisions by public authorities, 3. reports by Swedish public authorities, 4. official translations of texts mentioned under 1.- 3.
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Are other governmental works either excluded from copyright, or routinely shared under permissive licences? Yes
Copyright protection does not cover: 1. laws and other regulations, 2. decisions by public authorities, 3. reports by Swedish public authorities, 4. official translations of texts mentioned under 1.- 3.
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Are the results of publicly funded research required to be published under an open access licence? No

Freedoms to share and transfer

Do copyright owners have the right to release their works to the public domain, without any limitation on how those works may be used? No
The creator cannot relinquish his moral rights.
Can public domain works be used without the need for any payment or registration of the use?
Does the law make special provision for the legal use of orphaned works? No
Is parallel importation of copyright works permitted? Yes
When a copy of a work has been has been transferred, with the consent of its author, within the European Economic Area, that copy may be further distributed.
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Are there national programmes or policies to promote the use, production or dissemination of openly-licensed material such as free and open source software or open educational resources? No
Are there national programmes or policies that specify or promote the use of open document formats? In part

Administration and enforcement

What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for an individual? Fines and imprisonment max 2 years 53§ URL
What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for a corporation? Fines and imprisonment max 2 years 53§ URL
Is innocent infringement of IP treated differently by the law? No
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Is the creation or distribution of devices that can circumvent technological protection measures (TPM) permitted, where such devices can be used for legal purposes? In part
Is the use of such devices by consumers or intermediaries permitted in the legal exercise of user rights? Yes
Does national copyright or consumer protection law require that the effect of TPMs distributed with copyright works be disclosed to consumers? No
Are there cases in which the availability of injunctive relief for IP infringement is limited by the law on public policy grounds?
Does the law protect a user's Internet access from being suspended for alleged copyright infringement, except after a hearing in court? Yes
Are criminal sanctions limited to cases of large-scale commercial counterfeiting? No
Are damages for copyright infringement limited to the loss sustained, rather than a pre-established or statutory damages award? Yes
Is there provision to penalise the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement? No
Is there provision to penalise the obstruction of consumers' exercise of user rights?
Does the patent system allow for pre-grant opposition?

Recent or upcoming changes

Summary of position

As the birthplace of the Pirate Bay and the home of the first major Pirate Party, with representation in the European Parliament, Sweden has a reputation for rebelling against global copyright norms.  However as a member of the European Union, it is actually quite constrained in its ability to put its principles into practice domestically.

Indeed, Europe is challenging the USA for the number of consumer-unfriendly measures it can push through multilaterally. For example in 2009, the Commission, with heavy public opposition, submitted a proposal to extend the term of protection of performers and interpreters rights to 95 years. The proposal was passed in amended form in April, extending the term instead from 50 to 70 years.

Also introduced in Europe in 2009, the Telecoms Package, a set of norms led to regulate Communications, will have an important impact in Copyright enforcement as it establishes the ability of Communication service providers to set conditions limiting access to services and applications and the promotion of collaboration between communication service providers and sectors interested in the promotion of lawful content. It also leaves in hands of the different countries the decision about the authority competent to establish restrictions on the Internet. These have already led some countries to create administrative institutions to deal with online piracy.

Sweden's own copyright law can be described as moderate by European standards, with a strong private copying provision, funded by a levy, which has contributed to Sweden's file sharing culture. However it does lack adequate provision for library uses, and lacks any pro-active provisions on open access, FOSS and the public domain such as are found in some other countries such as Brazil, and even elsewhere in Europe such as Spain.

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