In Sweden, basic copyright provisions are similar to those of other continental European countries, although with some differences. The basic legal provision is the Swedish Copyright Law of Literary and Artistic Works (Upphovsrättslagen, Swedish Code of Statutes 1960:729). Important developments concerning authors’ rights have been linked to the implementation of EU-directives within the copyright field, aimed at harmonising and facilitating the single market. Sweden has implemented the following EU-directives:
- rental and lending rights;
- satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission; and
- harmonisation of the duration of rights protection (70 years after the death of an author).
Legal measures against copyright infringement have been intensified in the last decade. The digitisation of production, access and consumption of protected works and performances are continuously producing new possibilities and new problems. Since 1998, possessors of legal rights in the music field have been awarded copyright-based financial compensation for the losses that have been caused by private copying of phonograms, in a model originally intended to compensate for music being copied to blank cassette tapes. Revenue is allocated to creators and performers by their respective collecting societies. Reimbursement to composers and musicians has also been introduced for public lending of phonograms and to composers for public lending of sheet music. For authors, translators, and illustrators, such reimbursement has existed since the 1960s. Reimbursement for authors is allocated by the Authors’ Fund (Författarfonden), see chapter 4.2.5.
A prominent public issue in recent years has concerned measures against illegal sharing and downloading of copyright protected material on Internet. Sweden’s partial legal implementation of the EU directive IPRED (International Property Right Enforcement Directive) in February 2009 has been much debated (see chapter 2.4).