Judge Rules P2P Legal In Spain Yet Again

from the proper-liability-placement dept

Spain continues to be one of the few countries out there that seems to not have its judges lose their critical thinking abilities the second anyone mentions the word "piracy." We've pointed out a few times in the past that Spanish courts have ruled that file sharing is legal and it looks like they've done so again. Infophage was the first of a few to send in an article about the latest ruling, which again found that just linking to infringing material is not copyright infringement. The judge apparently went further, though, also noting that using P2P file sharing systems does not appear to violate copyright law in Spain, as long as the user isn't doing so for monetary profit.

Of course, this isn't over by a long shot. Late last year, entertainment industry lobbyists got Spanish politicians to propose new copyright laws that would (of course) ratchet up copyright to make it more like it is in other countries (i.e., more draconian). And, as we recently noted, a bunch of Spanish record labels have sued the gov't for not doing enough to stop file sharing. But, hopefully, this country that has explicitly rejected three strikes laws will stick to its guns and recognize that perhaps the court rulings make sense -- and that the first response to an industry unwilling to adapt to a technologically-changed market isn't to change the laws, but to ask those companies to start adapting.

Filed Under: copyright, file sharing, legal, p2p, spain

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 16 Mar 2010 @ 2:47am


    There's money to be made, they are just refusing to supply it. For example, there's no Spanish store (AFAIK) with an Amazon-style selection and convenience for digital content. However, the record labels won't allow Amazon to sell to Spanish customers. So, where do Spanish residents go for their digital music? The only choice they have left - P2P.

    Most areas don't have actual record shops, leaving the only choice to be large cities or department stores (mostly a single chain called El Corte Ingles, average album price is €20+, or over $30 US). Meanwhile, the Chinese and African touts who roam the tourist bars with knockoff designer goods and pirated CDs and DVDs are still doing a roaring trade here - where I live, there's literally nowhere for 10 miles where you can buy the real thing and nobody's allowed to download a paid copy!

    They need to stop doing this - on the one hand complaining about "piracy" while on the other making life as difficult for legal purchasers as possible. I can understand the lack of physical outlets, but not allowing stores based elsewhere in the EU to trade freely with other parts? They get what they deserve by blocking free trade like that.

    Yeah, I know, it's down to licensing agreements and all that. But, I have no sympathy. If they had spent the last decade updating their licensing tactics and streamlining their business model for the online world instead of trying to block progress and sue customers, they would not have these problems. yeah, "piracy" would still occur - as it has throughout the RIAA's history - but they wouldn't be seeing the losses they are now.

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