Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Spanish Firms Target File Traders

from the spreading-worldwide dept

A lawyer in Spain, taking his cue from the RIAA's legal actions against file traders, is getting ready to file lawsuits against 4,000 individuals who used file sharing networks to download software products. The lawyer won't name the companies he's representing because they're afraid of the backlash. Furthermore, they're pushing for the highest possible penalties, including four years in jail, and having to repay the market value of the software they downloaded. It looks like it might be an uphill battle. First of all, under Spanish law, violations of intellectual property require an "intent to profit". The lawyer claims that "intent to save money" is the same as "intent to profit", but that may not be what the court believes. Also, a Spanish senator is suggesting that the lawyer broke the law by "intercepting private communications" without a court order. The lawyer says that since the information was publicly available (using older P2P software that broadcasts the files traded and IP address), he has done nothing wrong.

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