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Spain allows P2P, link-sharing of copyrighted works

Posted at 16 March 2010 05:00 CEST by Jared Newman

As long as no profits are made, it’s legal to share copyrighted material through peer-to-peer transfers or link to it through a Web site, a Spanish court ruled.

At issue was the case of elrincondejesus.com, a site that links to files on the decentralized P2P network known as eDonkey. Jesus Guerra operates the site for no commercial gain, but last May, the music industry group SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) sent a complaint to Guerra, alleging copyright abuse. Eventually, the case was brought to trial while the site continued to operate.

Judge Raul N. García Orejudo has now ruled that Guerra did nothing wrong by operating the site, TorrentFreak reports. Guerra’s lack of direct or indirect profits from the site factored into the judge’s decision, but he also noted there’s no law in Spain that prohibits linking to copyrighted material. An index of links is not the same as distribution itself, Orejudo ruled.

The real treat for users of file-sharing sites, however, was Orejudo’s declaration that peer-to-peer transfers are legal as long as no one’s profiting. As TechDirt points out, this is essentially a reiteration of a ruling from 2009, in which a man who downloaded over 3,000 movies was cleared of copyright infringement charges because he wasn’t profiting from his actions.

Spain’s lenient copyright laws have obviously drawn the music industry’s ire. Earlier this month, Spanish indie labels sued the government for its laws on file-sharing. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from Spain as the industry tries to get tougher laws on the books.

Still, this case wasn’t about directly pirating movies. The defendant was merely accused of linking to copyrighted files. This puts the industry in a tough position, because decentralized file sharing makes it difficult to track down the actual pirates. Guerra was an easier target, but he wasn’t the right one.

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There are 10 comments

paulw2
MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 16 Mar 10 07:22
    MPAA/RIAA to Obama "Declare war on those Spanish bastards" They are terrorists..
    Mr. Belvedere
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 16 Mar 10 09:00
      So far so good...
      debro
      Blown to smitherines
      Posted on: 17 Mar 10 02:41
        .... and 99% of the world moves to Spain .... leaving behind politicians & the RIAA/MPAA...

        It's a surprise that Spain law upholds personal freedoms, over corporate profits.
        Can anyone remind me of what sort of Music & Movie industry Spain has?
        roadworker
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 18 Mar 10 00:16
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by debro
          It's a surprise that Spain law upholds personal freedoms, over corporate profits.
          Can anyone remind me of what sort of Music & Movie industry Spain has?
          Spain is a country that gets a lot of it's revenue from tourists="personal freedoms" with mp3 players and other multimedia devices who spend a lot of money there.
          As for corporations:there are no indications whatsoever that they bribe the spanish politicians as much as the US corporations do......
          Mr. Belvedere
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 18 Mar 10 09:15
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by roadworker
            Spain is a country that gets a lot of it's revenue from tourists="personal freedoms" with mp3 players and other multimedia devices who spend a lot of money there.
            As for corporations:there are no indications whatsoever that they bribe the spanish politicians as much as the US corporations do......
            Those tax free islands are a blast too! They can import any kind of electronics for little money and sell those to tourists under the rule of that it is also beneficial for local inhabitants to have these electronics. So they cannot sell GPS navigation systems, since the islands usually have just a few roads.
            Chicago_Guy1
            MyCE Rookie
            Posted on: 18 Mar 10 21:20
              It is about time a nation like Spain upholds personal freedoms. Let’s see how the MPAA & RIAA use their lobbyist in Washington to have our government nudge Spain’s way of thinking. But then again the US and Spain never did see eye to eye. Way to go Spain, I hope other counties will now feel more comfortable in making rulings such as this and not be pressured by large corporations and their profits.
              Arachne
              Senior Administrator & Reviewer
              Posted on: 18 Mar 10 22:03
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by debro
                .... and 99% of the world moves to Spain ....
                LOL! That was my first thought on reading the thread title.
                coolcolors
                MyCE Resident
                Posted on: 18 Mar 10 22:14
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Arachne
                  LOL! That was my first thought on reading the thread title.
                  I don't think- I think they already did before this news headline came out...Slow death for RIAA/MPAA....
                  Mr. Belvedere
                  MyCE Resident
                  Posted on: 19 Mar 10 09:27
                    No slow death at all. No death at all. The European Government is getting the ACTA agreement down their throats like a goose being prepared for Foie Gras.
                    Zathros
                    MyCE Resident
                    Posted on: 20 Mar 10 05:29
                      I am a Puerto RIcan, my Grandparents are from Spain. I can say that we do this in America already. I can't stand all this DRM RIAA poop. Now, I can claim it is cultural!!

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