by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 20th 2009 5:50pm
We've seen a series of efforts by the big four major record labels to shut down file search engines and software in Spain, despite the fact that such systems have been ruled legal in the country in the past. In one case, they were able to get one guy to cop a guilty plea and get jail time, because he couldn't afford to fight the charges. The latest such story is actually getting covered by the Associated Press, as the big four record labels are going after yet another programmer who created some file sharing apps, trying to charge him with "unfair competition" and demanding $17.5 million. Part of his defense is that Spain has a music levy on blank media, and thus it should be legal for anyone to download (other cases in Spain have ruled that personal downloading isn't a violation) -- and, thus, not a violation to create tools for such downloads. It'll come as not much of a surprise, that the record labels disagree. They'd prefer to get their piracy tax and shut down any attempts to share music at the same time.
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