Spanish Gov't Officials Active Uploaders And Downloaders Of Unauthorized Content

from the and-yet... dept

The entertainment industry has been pushing hard for new copyright laws in Spain, even pretending that they might pull out of Spain if the laws aren't changed. That's because, under existing laws, file sharing for personal use is considered legal. Of course, economists have pointed out that the new laws would do more harm than good.

TorrentFreak is now reporting that someone has been checking in on Spanish gov't IPs, and discovering that it appears that gov't officials are regular uploaders and downloaders of unauthorized content. Of course, as noted, that is legal in Spain right now -- but it does raise some questions about why the government would be so keen to change the law. And, before someone brings it up: no, an IP address is not evidence by itself, but as a bit of aggregate information it is a good way of getting a general sense. The problems with IP as "evidence" is when they're used to accuse a single person, not of understanding the wider usage patterns.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Blatant Coward (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 3:41am

    Once they have the next Shakira album, all the episodes of "Lost" and "Hee-Haw" though, things-a-gonna change around here!

     

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    David, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 6:00am

    file sharing

    I bets its much more widespread in other governments as well. Dave - 1300 Numbers

     

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    Tyanna, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 6:19am

    Is it me, or is the entertainment industry threatening to hold it's breath in this case?

    'If you don't change your laws to make file sharing illegal, we won't provide you with any more content that you can legally buy!'

    Yes, b/c that will stop the file sharing....

     

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    Joel (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 6:31am

    I knew it!!

    To me it is obvious that they would be doing this, no one likes to pay for content especially if they can get it for free and legally...I would do the same!

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Hello...

    My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my download. Prepare to die....

     

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    RD, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 8:40am

    FAIL either way

    "And, before someone brings it up: no, an IP address is not evidence by itself, but as a bit of aggregate information it is a good way of getting a general sense. The problems with IP as "evidence" is when they're used to accuse a single person, not of understanding the wider usage patterns."

    So, we have the following (possible) scenarios:

    1) The IP's are genuine, thus making most of the govt culpable for piracy via those it employs. Passing a huge anti-piracy/file sharing law would thus be hugely hypocritical.

    or

    2) The IP's are not genuine, thus that method cant be counted on to accurately identify sharers. Passing a huge anti-piracy/file sharing law would thus be a massive exercise in false accusations and unethical prosecution.

    Either way, and you CANT have it both ways, this is a FAIL.

     

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      Modplan (profile), Apr 5th, 2010 @ 9:30am

      Re: FAIL either way

      Or you can have a more informed and nuanced idea of IP's that aren't one extreme or the other.

      IP's can give ideas as to whereabouts/residency, but not necessarily the actual person illegally file sharing. We have a general idea that people within the Spanish government are doing this, but can't consider it reliable enough to accuse any one specific employee.

      This is exactly the same as Mike and others have argued previously. Places where more than 1/2 people live and public places with free wi-fi make a mockery of IP as evidence of any specific individual and thus insufficient evidence on its own to block someone.

       

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        RD, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 10:53am

        Re: Re: FAIL either way

        "Or you can have a more informed and nuanced idea of IP's that aren't one extreme or the other."

        Stop, stop! You're killing me here! Stop making sense or you run the risk of someone in the Govt taking notice and branding you a "terrorist" for having such views. Everyone knows IP exists to serve one end, and ONLY one end, of the spectrum: rights holders and Big Corps.

        "IP's can give ideas as to whereabouts/residency, but not necessarily the actual person illegally file sharing. We have a general idea that people within the Spanish government are doing this, but can't consider it reliable enough to accuse any one specific employee."

        This is exactly the same as Mike and others have argued previously. Places where more than 1/2 people live and public places with free wi-fi make a mockery of IP as evidence of any specific individual and thus insufficient evidence on its own to block someone."

        Again with the making sense! Stop, my sides are hurting. These views will never fly with any Govt entity because they a) make sense, b) actually HELP the public and c) go against the bribes (oh sorry, "contributions") that they are paid to ENSURE that these ideas never take hold.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Ip is useless for anything but pointing to a random place

    For instance my IP recently put me in Kanas(I live in Washington, almost touching Canada). The only time an IP is valid is if it is static. Since most of the internet lives on dhcp all i have to do is restart my modem and I get a new IP. Course I could feel real robust and write a script to randomly disconnect/reconnect my service. Not to mention I can spoof it and leave some one else with the legal bill. Public Wifi is nothing to what some knowledge will do to a case pinned on a ip that you are relying on the isp to keep up to the second ip tables.

     

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