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Internet Music Piracy Teen Freed

September 16, 1999

STOCKHOLM (AP) _ A Swedish teen-ager has been acquitted of charges that he made copyright-protected recordings available free on the Internet.

Tommy Olsson, 17, was accused of spreading pop hits such as Madonna’s ``Ray of Light″ through his Web page. However, the court said he was innocent because he only posted links to other sites on the Internet where the music files could be found.

The links functioned as road signs helping Internet surfers find music files. Web users then could listen to the songs or record them.

Olsson, a high school student, did not post any of the illegal music files himself, the court ruled Wednesday.

Olsson had been sued by the Swedish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents 53 record companies. The case reportedly was the first of its kind in Europe.

The organization’s attorney, Magnus Maartensson, did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The verdict said the court did not consider whether Olsson participated in the illegal spreading of copyright material, as that was not part of the charges.

Police were ordered to return Olsson’s computer, which had been seized as part of the investigation.

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