-- Recorded music sales in Sweden posted a big turnaround in 2009. According to IFPI Sweden, music sales were up 10.2% -- the first increase since 2000. Digital sales rose 99%, but accounted for only 16% of total sales. Perhaps not coincidentally, two momentous events occurred in Sweden last year. First, the four men connected to The Pirate Bay were found guilty of contributory copyright infringement. Second, a tough anti-piracy law, IPRED, was implemented. In addition, the success of Spotify looks to have brought a positive impact on download sales. Streaming services such as Spotify accounted for 46% of download sales, up from 17% in 2008. While a number of factors could be behind the rise in music sales, it seems more than a coincidence that sales increased in the same year that both penalties and a better legal alternative were given to Swedish music fans. Note the study carried out for Swedish TV operator Viasat in 2009. Almost half of respondents said they would be encouraged to stop illegal file sharing if offered a better legal alternative. (TorrentFreak, via Hypebot)

-- Even though digital music services (and their investors) have been chewed up and spit out over the last 12 months or so, ad-supported music startup Guvera has raised $20 million in second round funding. That brings its total funding for this Australia-based company to $30 million, all of which has come from AMMA Private Investment. Guvera has licensing deals with Universal Music Group, EMI and IODA and is reportedly in advanced negotiations with movie studios and television networks. Guvera is certainly valued at more than the $30 million is has raised thus far, which means AMMA sees something in the company to separate it from its predecessors that also raised money at optimistic valuations. But late last year, companies such as Imeem, iLike and Lala were sold for far less than their valuations during fund raising. Another, MySpace Music, was said to be raising money at an incredible valuation of $2 billion at one point. One digital music company that has continued to raise cash -- Pandora -- has actually gained customers, weathered a few storms and achieved profitability (the company claims it turned a profit in Q4 2009). If Guvera has a good chance of returning value to its investors, it will buck a well established trend of music start-ups that raise funds, burn through cash and eventually sell for far less than they were once valued (if they even make it that far). (TechCrunch)

-- U.K. ISP Virgin Media will begin testing piracy-detection software -- although the company says it is merely measuring the level of file-sharing since the software was not designed to identify file sharers. Using similar software to locate and deter file sharers seems inevitable given the government’s stance on protecting content owners from digital piracy. But for now, Virgin says it will track only what is being traded, not which person is trading it. From the Times: “Detica, the firm that runs the system for Virgin Media, claims it can tell within seconds whether the specific data being downloaded are, say, family photos or the latest Lady Gaga album.” (Times Online)

-- Gartner predicts consumer spending on mobile apps will reach $6.2 billion in 2010. Eighty percent of the 4.5 billion app downloads are expected to be free. By 2013, says Gartner, ad-supported apps will generate about a quarter of app stores’ revenue. (mocoNews)

-- Oxford University has banned the use of popular music streaming service Spotify because it uses P2P technology. Thus, Oxford is treating the ad-supported, royalty-paying Spotify like a shady P2P application. While P2P may be an efficient use of a network, the P2P classification is enough to get Spotify banned by a university. (TorrentFreak)

-- Live Nation says the next Pemberton Festival is on hold. The inaugural festival was held in 2008 and was put on hiatus in 2009. (Whistler Question)