Yet Another Spanish Court Finds File Sharing Site Legal; Compares File Sharing To Book Lending

from the spain-gets-it dept

Once again, adding to the increasingly long list of similar rulings in Spain, a Spanish court has ruled that a popular file sharing site, CVCDGO, did not actually transfer or host any copyrighted works, and therefore did not violate copyright law. This is the same thing that numerous Spanish courts have found. The entertainment industry will surely use it as part of its media campaign demanding that Spain change its copyright laws (something which economists have noted would do more harm than good). However, wouldn't it be nice if, rather than the knee jerk reaction to these rulings, the industry actually understood what the courts were saying? They're pointing out a simple fact: the service provider isn't actually infringing on anyone's copyright, no matter how many times the entertainment industry wishes it were so.

Separately, the judge in this case noted that the industry seems to be totally overreacting to the issue of file sharing, noting that people have been sharing and trading content for ages:
In their ruling, judges Ocariz, Gutierrez and Campillo said that "...since ancient times there has been the loan or sale of books, movies, music and more. The difference now is mainly on the medium used -- previously it was paper or analog media and now everything is in a digital format which allows a much faster exchange of a higher quality and also with global reach through the Internet."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Rabbit80, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 11:14pm

    Ancient movies??

    "...since ancient times there has been the loan or sale of books, movies, music and more."

    Where are these movies the Spanish have been sharing since ancient times?

     

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    Scootah (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 11:28pm

    Roaming Sabbaticals?

    Spanish law isn't notably different in it's copywrite interpretations, but somehow Spanish judges actually seem to be savvy enough to understand how the technology is being used to identify breaches worth suing over and garbage that should be ignored.

    There must be some way to get these Spanish Judges to go on some kind of roaming lecture circuit sabbatical to educate Judges from other countries about the cases that they're ruling on.

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 12:04am

    Common Sense!

    Now if we could get Spain to export some...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 12:40am

    does anyone want to bet that the judge has a library card or perhaps helps out on a lending library mobile somewhere? Oh wait, we aren't suppose to look too closely at judges that think stealing is fine.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 1:09am

      Re:

      File sharing / IP infringment != stealing, moron. You'll never be able to undertake a serious conversation on this site until you get that through your thick skull, though I suspect that isn't your intent anyway.

      Howver, I do like the fact that someone who spends all day trying to attack a blogger thinks they know the law in a foreign country better than a judge.

       

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      abc gum, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 5:03am

      Re: ianal

      "does anyone want to bet that the judge has a library card or perhaps helps out on a lending library mobile somewhere?"

      - Immaterial, the objection is overruled

      "Oh wait, we aren't suppose to look too closely at judges that think stealing is fine."

      - Obtuse

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 10:43am

      Re:

      The internet is one giant library. Stop treating it like one giant television because it's not.

       

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      What in the world could be wrong with having a library card and volunteering at a mobile library?

       

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

      Re:

      Stop stealing letters from your keyboard and pirating them on our internets!

       

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    Jofre, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 1:52am

    CVCDGO is not a 'file sharing' site. It only contains links to other P2P pages. That's a big difference.
    As an example, it's ilegal to fabricate a bomb (at least in Spain), but it's not ilegal to explain how to do it.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 2:29am

    cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

    Blabla artist control blabla another strawman argument blablabla silly pirate logic blablablabla copyright infringement is stealing Blablaf-ingbla.
    It's getting old and tedious.

    1) copyright law was never about artist control
    2) copyright infringement is not stealing. You can't equate a download to a lost sale, as you can actually GAIN sales through unauthorised downloading. "Ooh I like what I'm hearing, I'm going to buy their records/go to their concerts/buy their t-shirts/rave about them to my friends."
    3) only way for artists to make money is to make quality content.
    4) copyright law was never intended as (but nowadays used as) a welfare state for lazy copyright holders. (please note: content creator isn't necessarily the same as a copyright holder)
    5) Mike Masnick, nor many commenters here, ever talked about abolishing copyright. But rather suggest change to it. To balance the law out to a more fair treatment for both the artists and the public. As right now the public is getting shafted left and right, and being cheated out of their cultural heritage, by locking up our culture behind perpetual copyright.

    But of course, these points will fall on deaf ears on the apologists side. As they'd rather sandbag the discussion, and ignore the points raised by the opposition.

     

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      Tom, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 3:09am

      Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

      plus: is there any proof piracy has actually damaged any business?
      there even seems to be some evidence that it does good.
      It is not like CD and DVD sales have dropped to Zero suddenly.
      A lot of machines that people use now for media do not even have cd/dvd drives. And there is a recession on. And there are other things grabbing our attention and money - like games etc... And there are many more bands making tiny bits of money on the internet. Piracy may be an obvious thing to blame but it probably is not the culprit.

       

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      SteelWolf (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 3:46am

      Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

      I don't understand why so many of us rush to 5). Why is wanting to abolish toxic "IP" laws such a bad thing? As Mike always says, show me one that works. Day after day I see more instances where copyright and patent are destroying my culture and holding back innovation. We've gone the monopoly route, and it isn't working. Let's wipe the slate clean and start over, and if after a while ii seems like we need to give corporations monopoly rent privileges again, we can have that conversation. My guess? The only people who will miss them are those who can't create or innovate, and were hoping to just keep charging those who can.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 4:40am

      Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

      "5) Mike Masnick, nor many commenters here, ever talked about abolishing copyright. But rather suggest change to it. To balance the law out to a more fair treatment for both the artists and the public. As right now the public is getting shafted left and right, and being cheated out of their cultural heritage, by locking up our culture behind perpetual copyright."

      The fact that my culture will never be in the public domain in my lifetime disturbs me greatly. The things that formed my culture mostly took place during my high school years and for it to be locked down and not available to me by my 50th birthday tells me something is seriously wrong. I'm not there yet, but my spending spree days of buying media are long past already, and my culture is not as sell-able already as each generation has their own culture.

      Will anyone honestly even remember who half of today's bands are 70 years from now? Of any that might possibly be, how many of them will still actually be profitable? There's no guaranty that The Beatles will even be profitable 20 years from now.

      This is the absurdity of current copyright law.

       

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        Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

        Well then have the law changed to its original wording would be ideal then. 15 years for the content creator, plus an additional 15 years upon request.

        Abolishing it, you will never get done, too much opposition. This is in my eyes a decent compromise.

         

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          SteelWolf (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 7:24am

          Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

          When you shoot for compromise, you get nothing. There is no "balance" in copyright as we've been shown time and time again. I think any "reform" should be elimination, though practically I think the best bet is to keep showing new creators how they can employ CwF+RtB models that don't require copyright or patent at all.

          I think ultimately, elimination will come through obsolescence - but until then, I'm unwilling to concede any more monopoly privileges to abusers.

           

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          SteelWolf (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 7:25am

          Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

          The other point is that any kind of copyright "reform" is meaningless, because even if you and I accept it as a compromise, it's not going to stop sharing any more than Doe lawsuits. People aren't going to wait thirty years to trade or remix their favorite songs online - nor should they have to.

          It's pointless to argue over things like term length when the whole concept grows more irrelevant every day.

           

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            Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 7:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

            You've got a good point, but after we can get them to agree on this one change, we can push for the next change. As their lobby groups have been doing for years.

             

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              SteelWolf (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 8:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

              I think that's a smart way to achieve political change, but I have difficulty seeing past the uselessness of it all. As we see on TechDirt all the time, laws (or their enforcement) aren't going to change natural sharing behavior, and the business models that succeed going forward are the ones that embrace this rather than attempting to fight it.

              I think our time is best spent trying to minimize the damage to our government the maximalists are able to inflict and encouraging new creators to embrace superior models. I don't want to support something like limited copyright only to have folks turn around and holler, "See? Those pirates are stealing anyway!"

               

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                Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

                I fear that you are right.

                Somehow I doubt I'll ever see Copyright abolished in my lifetime. Hell, I'd consider myself lucky, if we ever get a bit more sensible copyright laws, laws that will make sure that the works will enrich our society.

                If we look at the crap that's coming out of the music houses today, it's absolute drek. Sure, some gems are between them, but they aren't the norm, they are the rare exceptions. Usually it's just a few random people picked up from the street, put together under a label, and made to sing. They are nothing more than sockpuppets, controlled by the "big labels"... and by making sure that only their crap is peddled on terrestrial radio, they make sure there is a revenue source.

                That's also why they are still battling internet radio and satellite radio, because they can't control those beasts.

                Copyright nowadays is indeed about control, mind you, not artist, but control over what we can hear. The Big Labels don't give a damn about artists.
                Copyright is a stick, much like patent law. The one who has the biggest portfolio wins. Or the one who has the biggest budget for its legal team wins. It sickens me.

                The apologists need to realize, that that is the order that many so-called pirates are fighting against. Sure some do it just for the free ride... others do it, to prove a point. You don't need total control over your works in order to profit from it. Let go one aspect, and you'll win so much more, rather than litigate and raise a lot of bad blood.

                But they don't see the sea-change. Or don't want to see it. They fear the power of the Internet. They don't understand or don't want to understand that it doesn't need to be a bad thing. That if you play your cards right, you can profit from filesharing.

                Case in point: the leak of the movie Wolverine.
                Bad, awful movie, crappy leak too, but it was a bigger box-office hit than movies that didn't leak out before its premiere release.
                We can't prove it was because of the leak, much the same way that the apologists can't prove that a single download is a lost sale. But it's peculiar. The movie leaked, many people saw it for free, and still the movie made a lot of money.

                I need to stop ranting. :/ bad for my health.

                 

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      Joe Public, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 6:05am

      Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

      As right now the public is getting shafted left and right, and being cheated out of their cultural heritage, by locking up our culture behind perpetual copyright.

      Hear, Hear!

      I can deal with the existence of copyright, but it needs to be pruned back. I think that taking it back to the days of:
      - Creators registering to have copyright apply.
      - A much shorter term of monopoly (20 years with room for a 10 year extension by request).
      - Strong and clear third party protections and fair-use rules. Something that would actually allow content to be used for academic and cultural discussion without a blizzard of paperwork and fear of lawsuits.

      That would be fine by me.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 6:41am

      Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

      Mike Masnick, nor many commenters here, ever talked about abolishing copyright.

      Mike may not have, but I certainly have. I fully support the total abolishment of both copyrights and patents.

       

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        SteelWolf (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

        Thank you.

         

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        Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 7:34am

        Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

        Good luck, meanwhile in the real world, we'll have to make do with compromises. :)

         

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          SteelWolf (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 8:22am

          Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

          Or, much more likely, people move on from anachronistic ideas like copyright altogether - and are so busy making money they don't even notice.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 10:47am

          Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

          I seek the absolute abolishment of copyright, however, if copyright were to last, say, only 30 years then I wouldn't seek to abolish it. I would seek more fair rights to the consumer but . . . .

          Unfortunately, copyright length will never be shortened. All I have to do is look at the past 40 years to see the truth in that statement.

           

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          The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: cue for many copyright apologists to come here and talk about:

          Funny how so far, all the compromises have been "you get less rights, corporations get more money and government-granted monopolies."

           

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    WammerJammer (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 6:08am

    Thank you

    I am 63 years old and as long as I can remember the record companies have been fighting change.
    First they fought the cassette tape, then the cd, then the movie companies got in the fray with the dvd, now it's the internet. The only time I can remember that they had a lock on the content was with the Singles/Albums and 8 track tapes.
    If I had 1/1000th of the money they have wasted fighting this, I would never have to work again. What if they had invested this capital into the economy or developing new musical technologies? What a concept. Corporations actually improving our lives.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    Book Lending

    "Compares File Sharing To Book Lending"

    All that means is that book lending should be illegal too. How can you expect authors to keep writing books if people can just borrow them instead of buying them?

     

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    The Doctor, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 6:45am

    Copyright...

    Copyright is going the wrong way...

    With the speed of development, deployment and change, not to mention low cost of duplication, transmission, etc., copyrights should be more 3 years and patents should be for 1 year.

    Anything else goes completely against the founding fathers wishes and makes the system abhorant.

    Copyright/patent is not for making money, it's not for monopolizing and abusing... it's for PROMOTING the arts and sciences.

    It does neither. It is broken. It is evil. It needs to be destroyed in it's current form.

    Freeing the facts and ideas promotes progress, not locking them up.

    But sadly, lazy americans with their entitlement philosophy have created this juggernaught of idea oppression.

    As th Darek's so eloquently put it... "Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!"

     

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    Rosedale (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    I like this line of reasoning

    I'm finishing up a book was loaned to me by a friend. I started to think about how we've functioned as a society for years upon years. Sharing is at our core. The value of a product increases as we are able to share it with other people. The more we like it the more we want to share it. Obviously mass P2P file sharing doesn't share some of those same benefits directly. Since most P2P is anonymous, but private sharing amongst individuals has this same value. I listen to music that I like and immediately want to share it with my friend 1000 miles away. However, that is technically illegal. Fortunately for music there is no DRM to prevent such things, but when it comes to movies, ebooks and other things it is pretty much tough luck.

    If my friend had bought the ebook rather than the paper back I wouldn't be able to barrow it right now. At some point there will have to be a day of reckoning. What will libraries do, and how can you truly stop people from doing what they do naturally and have for centuries? File sharing isn't much different from a mass library system. Sharing is what we do. And if something cannot be shared, thus having the shared experience, then its value is greatly diminished. The MPAA and RIAA doesn't realize that if their wet dream is realized (no more file sharing) that their content will cease to be as valuable. If they successfully change human behavior I'd be that their bottom line would actually be doing worse. How would I know if I like the latest album of Lady Gaga (not that I listen to her) if I can't hear it first. How will I know if I like an author if I couldn't sample his work first? It puts the past few decades of fighting by the *AAs into a self defeating battle and they don't even know it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 11:22am

      Re: I like this line of reasoning

      Sharing is in our genes and it's what's been keeping the human race alive.

      Think about when we were caveman. Suppose I have fire and you have a nice huge piece of mammoth meat. Mammoth meat tastes like crap when raw. Also there are risks of poisoning. You want fire to cook and I want meat. We could go the obvious path and fight for them, but the risk is too high since we could get both killed.

      But what about if we shared? I could give you fire and teach you to make fire and you could give me meat and teach me how to hunt. See? We both gained something from this where, otherwise, we would both end up losing.

      There is always more benefit in sharing. NOT sharing should be the crime.

       

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        Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re: I like this line of reasoning

        "But what about if we shared? I could give you fire and teach you to make fire and you could give me meat and teach me how to hunt."

        Technically that's not sharing; it's barter, which is a form of payment. So while I understand what you're trying to say, you've done a poor job of making your point, and someone like TAM will use this argument against you. Sorry to put a turd in your punch bowl.

         

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      Rosedale (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 11:27am

      Re: I like this line of reasoning

      Another thought is, some musicians I like are because of them being shared to me by certain friends. I read certain books only because a friend shared it with me. And I've watched certain movies only because a friend wanted to watch it with me and share the experience. I like the Cohen Brothers now only because a friend shared one of those movies with me. In a world where that ceases to be so does the value of those things. It will be those people who are willing to allow their information to be shared that will truly exceed.

       

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