Spain Ratchets Up Anti-Piracy Laws To Even More Ridiculous Levels: Criminal Penalties For Linking To Infringing Works

from the going-in-the-wrong-direction dept

If you may recall, for a while, Spain had some of the most reasonable copyright laws around. The country properly recognized that it didn't make sense to blame service providers for the actions of their users, rejecting lawsuits against a number of online services. Of course, this pissed off the legacy entertainment companies who had the US government hand the Spanish government a law that the companies authored, and then put tremendous pressure on the Spanish government to pass the new law. The public outcries were quite strong -- as even the head of the Spanish Film Academy quit to protest the bill -- and the law was initially voted down, as economists explained how bad it would be for the economy. Of course, with continued US pressure and threats of economic retaliation, a brand new government rushed through approval of the bill at the beginning of 2012.

Now that the US and the legacy entertainment companies knew that the Spanish government could be so easily pushed around, they waited barely a year before demanding even more draconian changes. And, it looks like they got them. New measures were put in place that will include the potential of criminal penalties including up to six years in prison for linking for "direct or indirect profit." Indirect profit? That means if you have a site with ads on it, and you happen to link to infringing materials, watch out.

I was in Spain a few months ago, talking with various industry and government officials about the state of the entertainment industry and copyright law -- and it was disappointing. While a number of other countries I've visited have had rather open minds on these issues, many in Spain seemed to view everything through the prism of the country's wider economic problems, and they wanted to blame so much of it on copyright infringement. There was an unfortunate level of blindness. I spoke with one exec from a company offering a video game platform, who argued that examples of success stories via innovation (rather than stronger enforcement) I talked about elsewhere didn't apply in Spain, because the population was smaller than the US, and because Spain's language was Spanish. This seemed extra strange to me, considering that guy was sitting next to someone from Spotify -- an innovative music service that came out of Sweden, a country one-fifth the size of Spain, and whose language is only spoken in that country (as opposed to Spanish -- which is the world's second most spoken language, and actually ahead of English -- but behind Chinese).

It really just felt like the wider economic situation in Spain, with super high unemployment, just had many industry folks effectively "giving up" on innovating, and hoping that some new law would magically save them. Those kinds of situations lead to these sorts of bad laws. They won't magically make people buy. They likely will lead to dangerous lawsuits and rulings against people who most of the general public won't think did anything wrong. That doesn't help the traditional industry at all.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 2:41pm

    Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright law is enforced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:12pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 2:41pm

      Everyone with a functional brain hates when net-phobic industries write their own laws that threaten to criminalize the ordinary behavior of millions of web users.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 5:30pm

      Re:

      average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Joey Speedy, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 7:25pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 2:41pm

      I SEE NOTHING wrong with spains copyright law I think they need to get tougher because large corporations are usung copyright ed advertising and drawing and photos and copyrighted packages and more art and design s with out permission and makings millions of dollars without asking permission from copyright owners the reason for this is because small independent copyright owners can't afford to pay 250.000 to take large corporations to court and they no it so they get away with copyright infringement anytime they want any time they please what u lazy people want is a free ride on someone s hard work creative artistic work u want all free with no payment to copyright holders isn't copyright in Spain the same as a design patent in usa please let me know. Xie4xie

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Aidian Holder, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Please stop using the term "legacy" to refer to incumbents or existing industries. It's pejorative (in a deniable way). It tends to undermine the strength of your own argument.

    Granted, it's not nearly as bad as the time I heard a PR hack refer to retiree health care benefits as "legacy costs," but the same principle applies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:00pm

      Re:

      as soon as someone who beats and robs someone gets a longer sentence we'll consider it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      S. T. Stone, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:02pm

      Re:

      Please stop using the term "legacy" to refer to incumbents or existing industries. It's pejorative (in a deniable way).

      I don't see why. The incumbent major media conglomerates keep trying to extend their ‘legacy’ of control over the media by both turning back the clock on copyright to pre-Internet levels and extending the clock on their own copyrights. The true innovation in media — both in form and function — comes from outside players not burdened by protecting those legacies and playing by the same ‘rules’ (in terms of the thought process behind creation and distribution) as the ‘legacy’ players.

      The minds behind Napster saw a new era of ‘tape trading’ and sharing music, and if the RIAA had sought innovation instead of the protection of a legacy, it would’ve jumped on the chance to legalize Napster and turn it into the first major digital music marketplace. But the RIAA had its ‘legacy’ to protect, so it went after Napster (and the P2P hydra that its shutdown created) instead of offering consumers what they wanted (as Napster did, albeit on an illegal basis). Opening that digital distribution pipeline also created the idea that maybe musicians didn’t need the RIAA to spread their music around. Now musicians around the world can make money off of their music without going through the RIAA. Napster effectively destroyed the RIAA’s ‘legacy’ of control over the distribution of music.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:08pm

        Re: Re:

        People would have continued stealing music whether Napster had partnered with labels or not. Give us a break. You're not fooling anyone.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          S. T. Stone, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          People continue to pirate movies despite the existence of Netflix. People continue to pirate music despite the existence of iTunes. Both services offer legal, reasonably-priced access to content — but people still pirate, for any number of reasons (some more understandable than others).

          Piracy will exist no matter what the ‘legacy’ players or the new players do. The best course of action lies in the path of least resistance: stop giving ever last damn possible about piracy and start giving a damn about offering a product or service that people will want to buy.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
             
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "People will murder people no matter what. Please stop trying to prevent wars, domestic abuse, and racism."

            Once again: give it up. Your pathetic attempts at logic aren't fooling anyone.

            Don't you understand yet? No one is being fooled by your willfully blind buffoonery.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              S. T. Stone, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Cool strawman, bro.

              I said ‘stop giving every last damn’, not ‘stop giving a damn at all’. Nothing save for a planet-wide EMP can 100% stop all piracy. Concentrating on offering a solid product/service for consumers that gives them what they want on their terms, however, will do more to knock out a decent portion of it than will DMCA notices or attempts to deny what technology can do via legislation.

              A better business model beats poorly-worded laws written by ‘legacy’ players who don’t want to (or can’t) understand modern technology any day of the week.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                 
                identicon
                out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Cool FANTASY, "S. T. Stone": "A better business model beats poorly-worded laws written by ‘legacy’ players who don’t want to (or can’t) understand modern technology any day of the week."

                SO present this amazing new "business model" that Mike hisself hasn't laid out in FIFTEEN years on this topic!

                You guys have been asked surely hundreds of times for even just an outline of a workable plan for how content owners can deal with the new media of "teh internets" where piracy is so easy, and basically the ONLY thing you say is: "Just quit worrying about piracy." -- In other words, you're only pro-pirate, and circularly blaming the people who produce the pirated products for the piracy because their products are pirated.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  identicon
                  S. T. Stone, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  SO present this amazing new "business model" that Mike hisself hasn't laid out in FIFTEEN years on this topic!

                  You present this argument as if a single, ‘golden bullet’ business model exists in this day and age. It doesn’t and it never will. The definition of ‘better business model’ will change from industry to industry, and what works for one person/group within a specific industry won’t necessarily work for another. But some generic details will remain the same no matter what: offer customers what they want, when they want it, in an affordable and DRM-free(-ish) package.

                  In other words, you're only pro-pirate

                  No, I favor logical approaches to business and copyright. Spending all your time trying to police your copyright won't make you any more money (using all your resources to do so may even cost you more money than you make), and it could even result in a poorer reputation amongst potential (and existing) customers.

                  I don’t advocate a ‘scorched earth’ approach to piracy. Smarter enforcement (e.g. only enforcing copyright upon monetized infringement) on top of a smarter business model beats trying to stamp out piracy 100% any day.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  SO present this amazing new "business model" that Mike hisself hasn't laid out in FIFTEEN years on this topic!


                  You should read the site more.

                  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091119/1634117011/future-music-business-models-those-who -are-already-there.shtml

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:45pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    and if you'd read the site more you'd know that OTTB ignores anything that proves him wrong and will continue to repeat his misinformation

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                       
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:03pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Funny, the entertainment companies have indeed embraced a myriad of new technologies and business models, yet you douchebags still free-load.

                      This is why you're mocked so mercilessly. Quit whining, little bitches.

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:29am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Uhh, only when they're dragged kicking and screaming. This has been consistent from the days of fucking 8-track. From the VCR, to the DVD, to the MP3. The only times they've come along is about 10 years after they really needed to to maximize profit margins.

                        Maybe we should shoot them, see if they bleed Washingtons and Benjamins.

                         

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      •  
                        icon
                        techflaws (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:41am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Funny, the entertainment companies have indeed embraced a myriad of new technologies and business models

                        Like Cinavia, DRM and "preview" services at 30$/movie? Funny, care to try again?

                        Quit whining, little bitches.
                        From the looks of it people have long ago and simply continued downloading. Good job, jackass.

                         

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      •  
                        icon
                        PaulT (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:41am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "Funny, the entertainment companies have indeed embraced a myriad of new technologies and business models"

                        Which ones are available in Spain, the market in question here? Spotify is definitely there, but what else? Go on, list them, there's a "myriad" after all, it shouldn't be too hard to list, say, 20 of them fairly quickly...

                        "yet you douchebags still free-load."

                        Citation needed. Seriously, when your entire justification depends on a strawman and a lie, how is anyone going to accept any other point you try to make?

                        "This is why you're mocked so mercilessly. Quit whining, little bitches"

                        That laughter you hear every time you try to make a point? People are laughing at you, not with you.

                         

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      •  
                        icon
                        John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:53am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        the entertainment companies have indeed embraced a myriad of new technologies and business models


                        They have??? That's news to me. I haven't seen the "embrace" any new technologies or business models at all, except for DVDs, and they only embraced that because they thought they could control it better than videotape.

                        The have eventually, begrudgingly, adapted to new technologies, but only after fighting each and every one of them with every fiber in their being.

                         

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                     
                    identicon
                    out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 5:05pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Took the AC link to where Mike sez: "stop worrying and learn to embrace the business models that are already helping musicians make plenty of money and use file sharing to their advantage, even in the absence of licensing or copyright enforcement."


                    HA! DO I KNOW MIKE, OR WHAT? Read mine recently up there:
                    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130921/23215224614/spain-ratchets-up-anti-piracy-laws-to- even-more-ridiculous-levels-criminal-penalties-linking-to-infringing-works.shtml#c263
                    where I wrote: 'basically the ONLY thing you say is: "Just quit worrying about piracy." '

                    Yup, that's Mike position on piracy! "The absence of licensing or copyright enforcement" will just magically cause revenue streams to flow perfectly only to creators, and not to grifters who sell the works cheaper and edge out those who made them. You guys don't even seem able to conceive of why laws exist! You ankle-biters are young puppies, all right. You can't compete with free when it's your own works.

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 11:59pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You can't compete with free when it's your own works.

                      A Couple of counter examples.
                      Cory Doctorow makes all his books free from his own site in various formats with no DRM, and still make money selling paper versions.
                      Nathan Lowell has made audio versions of his books, and they are up on podiobooks for free, while he has had problems due to his publishers ill health, print editions of his books are entering production. It was the demand of his fans who have listened to his work that led to his efforts to get his books into print.
                      There you go, two examples of free aiding the creator to make money, and their are many more on the net if you go and look.

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              techflaws (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No one is being fooled by your willfully blind buffoonery.

              Says the jackass that claims more enforcement will do the trick. You can't be any more willfully blind than that.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          nowhere did he say copyright infringement would stop because of a Napster partnership and in fact the comment says the labels should embrace sharing.

          you'll win an argument with a strawman everytime

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And these "legacy" players would continue stealing the government no matter what.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:54pm

        Re: Re: "would’ve jumped on the chance to legalize Napster"

        You admit Napster was not legal. Good.

        Then you assrt a loony non-sequitur that embracing the criminals who are giving away your copyrighted products for free would be the way to proceed -- let alone even possible: what if Napster said no?

        "Now musicians around the world can make money off of their music without going through the RIAA." -- They always could! It's the "getting money" part without studio promotions and some sort of collection agency that you don't grasp.

        "Napster effectively destroyed the RIAA’s ‘legacy’ of control over the distribution of music." -- Yet Napster is dead and its principals lucky to be out of jail, while RIAA goes on.

        You pack in more wrong notions than I can unscramble.

        The only forum where "give away and pray" is taken seriously.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: "would’ve jumped on the chance to legalize Napster"

          The only forum where "give away and pray" is taken seriously.


          Except that it's not.

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080522/1545021204.shtml

          You really can't post here without posting something flat out wrong, can you?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            PaulT (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "would’ve jumped on the chance to legalize Napster"

            Come on, if he can't depend on lies and distortions then he'd have to face reality - and the fact that reality opposes every half-assed claim he makes. That would probably break his clearly already fractured mind...

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          'Yet Napster is dead and its principals lucky to be out of jail, while RIAA goes on.'

          and so does sharing. no amount of enforcement will stop natural market forces.
          also, way to miss the point

          'The only forum where "give away and pray" is taken seriously.'

          except it's not and you know it you dishonest piece of shit

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          S. T. Stone, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: "would’ve jumped on the chance to legalize Napster"

          You admit Napster was not legal. Good.

          I admit that Napster built itself upon an illegal act, yes. I don’t dare call the technology it created — and the ensuing technologies that came in the wake of its demise — illegal, though.

          They always could!

          Before the Internet, a musician couldn’t make a real living on their music without going through the RIAA. The RIAA controlled all the mechanisms for advertisement, distribution, and other such areas of the music/record business.

          After the Internet became a regular everyday thing, that no longer applied — and Napster helped dispel the notion of needing the RIAA to distribute music to a worldwide audience.

          Yet Napster is dead and its principals lucky to be out of jail, while RIAA goes on.

          Notice how, before Napster, the RIAA had six major record labels. Now it’s down to three (it’s still three, right?) and piracy has become as much of an everyday thing for tons of people as Facebook or Twitter.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:15pm

      Re:

      "Legacy" isn't pejorative at all. It's neutrally descriptive. What term would you prefer?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 2:59pm

    It's Spainful reading about draconian laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    h, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    spain

    Spains coming up with spectacularly bad laws - this no doubt anticipates TPP which is designed to SHUT UP alt media.

    Then theres 6mil fines if u are found using solar panels. Crazy.

    No wonder Spain is BUST

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    This helps to explain why regions of Spain are attempting to secede from the country.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/15/spain-mariano-rajoy-catalonia-referendum

    I wouldn't want to be part of country that criminalizes posting a web page address links.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    anonymouse, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Shame on them

    Give the maffia enough rope and they will hang themselves, and for anyone not paying attention, Hollywood is known as the American maffia around the world.

    Luckily the UK with 1/6th the population has a growing and very profitable entertainment industry of it's own. The UK is going to be very careful before destroying it's name and reputation by following American laws and rules. Yes they are doing a few things that make no difference to people sharing content, but they have been putting off the three strikes law for ages and every time it seem like they are going to implement it it is knocked back.

    Hopefully this means that sharing will eventually become legal in the UK, and i would like to see what the US does to it's supposedly closest ally when they refuse to make criminals of the majority of the population.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:44pm

    So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

    "Spain had some of the most reasonable copyright laws around." -- Not "reasonable" from standpoint of those who wish to gain a living from their works.

    "potential of criminal penalties including up to six years in prison for linking for "direct or indirect profit." Indirect profit? That means if you have a site with ads on it, and you happen to link to infringing materials, watch out."

    Same principle (more severe, true) as US courts have held:

    IsoHunt Still Guilty Of Contributory Infringement

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130321/12104822407/isohunt-still-guilty-contribut ory-infringement.shtml

    As I've written: don't expect multi-billion industries to just sit still while its products are stolen right in public! --And that doesn't mean I'm for draconian punishment and corporate profits: I'M FOR NOT STEALING. Big difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      S. T. Stone, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:01pm

      Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

      Not "reasonable" from standpoint of those who wish to gain a living from their works.

      I hope to one day gain a living from my creative works, and I consider Spain’s prior approach to copyright as reasonable.

      don't expect multi-billion industries to just sit still while its products are stolen right in public!

      Piracy is not theft.

      And that doesn't mean I'm for draconian punishment

      Didn't you say, just a few days ago, that you didn't think ‘criminals’ deserved any rights whatsoever?

      Ah, yes, you did:

      Those who engage in criminal activity (infringement here) aren't in any case entitled to the protections of civil society

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:18pm

        Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

        "I hope to one day gain a living from my creative works, and I consider Spain’s prior approach to copyright as reasonable." -- SO? You are free to offer your own products on any terms you see fit. Give it away and pray, for example. No one is free to dispose of the works of others, see the diff?

        "Piracy is not theft." -- From my bullet points: ) Copyright law is indeed exactly to prevent TWO types of THEFT (during thelimited time): 1) by commercial scale copiers directly profiting 2) by thegeneral public taking the work without rewarding creator. Only creators maymake copies or attempt to gain from it during that (limited) period.

        My quote in full: "4) Those who engage in criminal activity (infringement here) aren't in any case entitled to the protections of civil society; this is an evolving area of law -- and Mike objects to that evolution, wants the law to remain fixed so that criminals can grift off infringed content." -- Yup. Context being a pirate site that sits somewhere outside of national borders with its trove of links to infringed content that draws eyes to ads, defies US and German laws in doing so, AND its only punishment is to have its domain name taken away: THAT KIND OF CONTEXT. I always know that if there's any way my writing can be taken out of context and twisted, it will be, yet I can't cover EVERY possible mis-use.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          S. T. Stone, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

          No one is free to dispose of the works of others, see the diff?

          I don’t see how piracy ‘disposes of the works of others’ when the original work still remains in the hands of its creator.

          From my bullet points

          How’s this for a bullet point?

          • In copyright law, infringement does not refer to theft of physical objects that take away the owner's possession, but an instance where a person exercises one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder without authorization. Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft. For instance, the United States Supreme Court held in Dowling v. United States (1985) that bootleg phonorecords did not constitute stolen property. Instead, "interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: '[...] an infringer of the copyright.'" The court said that in the case of copyright infringement, the province guaranteed to the copyright holder by copyright law—certain exclusive rights—is invaded, but no control, physical or otherwise, is taken over the copyright, nor is the copyright holder wholly deprived of using the copyrighted work or exercising the exclusive rights held.

          Context being a pirate site that sits somewhere outside of national borders with its trove of links to infringed content that draws eyes to ads, defies US and German laws in doing so, AND its only punishment is to have its domain name taken away: THAT KIND OF CONTEXT.

          If the US and Germany can’t comply with their own laws and conduct a proper adversarial hearing under proper channels, I don’t see how that changes the context of your statement in any way. You have basically advocated for the eradication of rights for anyone deemed a ‘criminal’.

          I always know that if there's any way my writing can be taken out of context and twisted, it will be

          Irony, thy name is Out of the Blue.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
             
            identicon
            out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 5:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

            @ "S.T. Stone":
            >>> No one is free to dispose of the works of others, see the diff?

            I don’t see how piracy ‘disposes of the works of others’ when the original work still remains in the hands of its creator.


            Sheesh. The value of any intellectual property is that others will pay to consume it -- and they are morally obligated to pay a couple bucks OR forego the content. IF that link is broken, then it's just plain stealing the very possibility of gaining any income from those works. That's the societal deal of copyright, and you don't have any other to replace it.

            Tell you what. You're so willfully contrary and / or invincibly stupid there that you're beyond my poor powers of persuasion and reality will have to be your tutor. So just put your own work out on every "sharing" host! You'll still have it! Enjoy your poverty.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 5:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

            @ "S.T.Stone": If the US and Germany can’t comply with their own laws and conduct a proper adversarial hearing under proper channels, I don’t see how that changes the context of your statement in any way. You have basically advocated for the eradication of rights for anyone deemed a ‘criminal’."


            NO, you're blathering on when there was in fact "due process" suitable for the level of a domain name, which WENT THROUGH A COURT. It's not a criminal act to take away a domain name for cause shown. It's not a dire violation of free speech to prevent a site from providing links to infringed content. You are leaving out that the site's principals from the law and WOULD NOT appear in court or apparently even give an address where it can be served, so you're saying that NOT giving an address is all criminals on "teh internets" need do to escape ALL process that may affect their criminal enterprises.

            But YES, I'm assuming that the site is guilty of profting from the infringement that it promotes and I'm not concerned with the niceties of their legalistic dodges. -- Heck, just dodging process shows criminality. -- I'm prejudiced in PLAIN words, based on the facts as I know them. YOU are also prejudiced, but in the PRO-PIRATE way. We're gonna disagree.

            My point with regarding them as criminals is that IF pirate sites want to enjoy the protections of civil process, then they MUST act civilized! Including appear in court!

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              S. T. Stone, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 5:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

              It’s early, I’m cranky, so let me do the short version first: you’re an ass.

              Longer reply to this and your other comment to come shortly as a reply to your other comment below.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
             
            identicon
            out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 5:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

            @ "S.T.Stone"
            Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft.


            Infringement is a TYPE of theft, an insidious one difficult to quantify, but nonetheless REAL in removing SOME possibility of income to the copyright owner.

            Not really in dispute, though you pirates seem to think that if someone merely walked through your open door and looked around at your stuff without touching anything that they wouldn't have stolen your sense of privacy... It's real but intangible, see? Look up the word: intangible.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

              >possibility of income

              Funny you should mention that. Possibility of income makes no sense in the analogue world, either. Otherwise chicken farmers would be justified in charging several thousand bucks for one chicken, because selling the chicken kills off potential income made from egg-selling and egg-hatching for more chickens.

              I'm not surprised you still haven't answered the question: Which moviegoer, on going to the cinema, loudly declares a refusal to watch a movie unless it cost $100 million to make? Answer is nobody, not ever, but you're too much of a jackass to admit it.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                 
                identicon
                out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

                First, are you serious or having me on?

                What is "the analogue world"?
                analogue n. a thing or part that is analogous
                If your chicken babble is intended... well, I give up, there. I'll just concede that you're absolutely right: chickens should cost THOUSANDS.

                Think I can field this one (which I never noticed, sorry if you feel slighted), though:
                "Which moviegoer, on going to the cinema, loudly declares a refusal to watch a movie unless it cost $100 million to make?" -- I agree: "nobody, not ever"! NEVER! NOT ONCE! (Is that clear enough?) -- Holy cow, that was PAINFUL! Feel like I've been waterboarded by our valiant troops. Congratulations for wringing the confession out of me! -- But now that I've answered it, perhaps someday when you're sober you can toss me another off-the-wall "question", as comic relief to my reasoned arguments. We all need a laugh.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 10:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

                  See, that's what's funny. You insist that analogue definitions like theft have to apply digitally - despite "potential income" being a concept largely laughed out of courts. "$100 million" movies has been your consistent benchmark for culture that needed grandma-suing-level copyright protection, and you regularly claim that any budgets lower than these can't produce anything good, despite proof indicating otherwise in that lower budgets can have good products and huge budgets can have atrocious ones.

                  Poor usage of sarcasm aside, congratulations. You earned yourself another DMCA vote!

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              S. T. Stone, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 5:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Spain found out how well trusting pirates works!

              NO, you're blathering on when there was in fact "due process" suitable for the level of a domain name, which WENT THROUGH A COURT.

              Without an adversarial hearing. The court never gave h33t a chance to defend itself and put all of the liability of h33t’s actions on a third party. Key Systems only counts as, at best, a tertiary offender with no knowledge of what h33t did with the domain h33t’s owners bought from the company.

              It's not a dire violation of free speech to prevent a site from providing links to infringed content.

              No, it just counts as a dire violation when you prevent a site from even showing up on the web (without actual due process) because you think it provides links to infringed content. How does h33t know that something infringes and something doesn’t? As I’ve pointed out before, not even The Great And Powerful Viacom could make the distinction in its lawsuit against YouTube.

              Universal Music should have issued DMCAs if it had that much of an issue with h33t. By going after the domain registrar, they not only routed around due process for h33t, but essentially asserted copyright over works for which it doesn’t own said rights. That should scare the piss out of anyone who has their own domain name.

              You are leaving out that the site's principals from the law and WOULD NOT appear in court or apparently even give an address where it can be served

              Without condoning or condemning, I understand their actions.

              I'm assuming that the site is guilty of profting from the infringement that it promotes

              Do you have any actual, irrefutable evidence (the kind of stuff necessary in a fair and unbiased adversarial hearing) that proves h33t profits from or promotes and encourages infringement?

              My point with regarding them as criminals is that IF pirate sites want to enjoy the protections of civil process, then they MUST act civilized! Including appear in court!

              Again, without condoning or condemning, I understand why most ‘pirate site’ owners feel reluctant to show up in court: their guaranteed adversarial hearing would turn into as much of a farce as the Pirate Bay trial.

              Infringement is a TYPE of theft, an insidious one difficult to quantify, but nonetheless REAL in removing SOME possibility of income to the copyright owner.

              Do you know what else does that? Putting out a competing product does that. Congratulations, you just equated copyright infringement with capitalism.

              If I put out a work and I don’t have a guarantee from 100 people that they’ll buy my work, those 100 people steal nothing from me if they download my work elsewhere. I lost nothing because I didn’t have their money to lose and I still have the work to offer to others.

              ‘Potential’ income does not equal real income, and copying does not equal theft.

              Now I’m cranky and I need breakfast. Mind laying another egg for us?

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Copyright as ideology

    Sounds like desperate people clinging to an economic ideology of copyright, in spite of the evidence. I find this somewhat surprising -- of course, desperate people make bad decisions, but historically, lawmakers have ignored IP issues in times of crisis to focus on more important matters. But I guess if copyright / IP is now the One True Church, then it's impossible to ignore. Still, very odd.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Copyright as ideology

      Ah, but governments in times of perceived crisis have a long and rich history of suppressing free speech. Criminalizing links makes lots of sense if lawmakers aren't quite sure of the difference between the pirate bay and occupy wall street.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jake, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Look on the bright side. Criminal penalties, criminal standard of proof.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Study after study has show that those that share are the best customers. They care enough to be exposed to the crap. I hope it is totally shut down soon. No, I don't wish those that share any bad will. But the sooner it is shut down the sooner these major entertainment groups can go belly up.

    At this point I am past tired of hearing the belly aching of these poor companies down to their last penny that every year turn around at the stockholder meetings crowing about how good they are doing. Can't be both. Kill the hydra of the mafia entertainment groups and you'll eliminate the real criminals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    rollercoaster (profile), Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:05pm

    Bleak future for the web

    Now that the government and big media have a taste of the power they'll never let it go. Using the internet will be linked to illegal behavior and thousands will be rounded up and placed in private prisons to keep their profits high. Once everyone realizes it's best to stay away from the internet due to excessive risks the media companies will remake it into a pay for play before re-releasing to the docile public. This all sounds way to probable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:41pm

    That reminds me of SOPA. They want to break the Internet because it changes society.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 5:16pm

    New measures were put in place that will include the potential of criminal penalties including up to six years in prison for linking for "direct or indirect profit." Indirect profit? That means if you have a site with ads on it, and you happen to link to infringing materials, watch out.

    Seems reasonable to me Chubby.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 5:44pm

    OOTB

    christ man i have been gone from this site for three years and your still here talking ####?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:31pm

      Re: OOTB

      @ OOTB
      christ man i have been gone from this site for three years and your still here talking ####?


      Your tribute overwhelms me.

      But I'm not "christ". Many have that impression because I stick to a few plain moral precepts, old as civilization, the most relevant for this site being "Thou shalt not steal". I'm just an ordinarily honest person as used to be typical, quite an anachronism nowadays.

      I'm not really even a strict moralist, though many also get that impression in comparison to themselves so willfully anti-moral and anti-rational, foolishly thinking that's rebelling. But rebelling nowadays means adhering to simple common law while pointing out how The Rich are setting themselves up as hereditary tyrants. You cannot effectively argue against thefts by The Rich while you're a sneak thief of other people's (intellectual) property.

      I'll be able to hold out here indefinitely (with perhaps breaks) because in the right, as court cases and reality keeps proving. The pack of ankle-biters keeps shrinking, though, as they've no unifying philosophy except to get valuable content for free. Calling yourselves "pirates" is dead giveaway that you're not in the right.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:44pm

        Re: Re: OOTB

        "You cannot effectively argue against thefts by The Rich while you're a sneak thief of other people's (intellectual) property."

        except copying is not theft: a pirate can argue against theft without being hypocritical and you can think one is right and the other wrong without being contradictory

        " Calling yourselves "pirates" is dead giveaway that you're not in the right."

        by that logic the Kline Klux klan was right because some black people refer to themselves or others as "Niggers"

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: OOTB

          klu not Kline!

          oh, and for the record I'm not saying that blue's position makes him as bad as the kkk, but that taking a negative name upon yourself is not an indicator of wrongness

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
           
          identicon
          out_of_the_blue, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 7:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: OOTB

          @ AC:
          except copying is not theft: a pirate can argue against theft without being hypocritical and you can think one is right and the other wrong without being contradictory


          Okay. It's just me, the courts, and nearly every copyright owner who hold otherwise. Good luck with that notion if caught "not thieving".

          I'll assume that you think your last line makes sense. But in no case would names used by anyone justify violent acts. -- At least the "Kline Klux klan" was ashamed of their acts (hiding under hoods in the night too) and did NOT accurately call themselves racist murderers. Similarly, when you pirates hide your identity, it's clearly because you FEAR what decent people would do to you if you get caught.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 7:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: OOTB

            whether "the courts" call it theft depends on what court. I could drag out court case after court case where the ability to stop copying is not a common law right but a utilitarian statute

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 7:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: OOTB

            since you want to drag the courts into this, fox film vs Doyle:

            The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the [copyright] monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        PaulT (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:46am

        Re: Re: OOTB

        "You cannot effectively argue against thefts by The Rich while you're a sneak thief of other people's (intellectual) property."

        Just once, I'd like to see you prove this slander that half of your arguments are based on. Go on, prove that the person you are replying to is a "thief".

        Prediction: you can't, because you're a liar who can't grasp reality.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    What Anonymous, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 11:23pm

    Response to ootb =)

    Russian scientist did not create graphine, they copyed an idea and published it.
    U.S.Army did not create an idea of using graphine as waterpurifier, they copyed it and patented it.

    Neither stole anything...

    Spot a difference if you can?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:44am

    "I spoke with one exec from a company offering a video game platform"

    A useful quick note: Spanish video game prices are ridiculous. New videogames often cost €60 ($90) or more, in a country with high youth unemployment. You can argue that localisation might be an issue, but many games are sold on multi-language discs that cost at least 50% less in the UK - it's usually cheaper to import games from the UK than buy locally. This in a country with extremely high youth unemployment, and a traditional average wage of less than €1000/month in many areas even when the economy was doing well.

    This exec doesn't seem to know his own market.

    "This seemed extra strange to me, considering that guy was sitting next to someone from Spotify"

    Something else worth noting: Spotify was available in Spain early on and has been very successful from what I understand. Netflix is not currently allowed to stream to Spanish households, despite the fact that they are allowed to stream to Latin America (so translation might not be an issue for most content), and legal streaming services for most types of content are fragmented at best, if not completely unavailable. You can't block people from accessing illegal services while you refuse to offer legal ones - that just does not work.

    So, again, we see a situation where some people are ignoring what's in front of their faces despite both customers and more innovative companies showing them what's demanded and what's possible. The current government is so poor at its job, we'll probably have to wait until they get voted out for any real innovation to start or any change to the economy (this is far from the only example of poor decisions led by personal ideals/greed). Sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:12am

      Re:

      I always find it hilarious to find that the solution proposed by governments, the entertainment industries and their supporters (read: shills) for failing economies, youth unemployment and general social unrest is to purchase more overpriced non-indigenous culture at unaffordable costs instead of life-sustaining items.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:55am

    Small notes: Swedish is also talked in Finland and all nordic countries somewhat understands swedish. Total would put it at about spanish numbers. However, if you are talking cultural products, you better aim at exact languages, which would make only Sweden relevant and therefore it is correct to use the population of Sweden proper. Also, Spain is one of the most expensive countries in the world when it comes to copyrighted material. Even Sweden has 33 % lower prices. I am surprised that personal import (the legal kind!) isn't a bigger part of the debate there. Many products for computers ship with a batch of languages anyway so we are not talking spanish as a monopoly bearer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:10am

    what is sad is that the USA is still fighting to protect an industry that refuses to adapt and give customers what they keep asking for. what is even more sad is that Spain is succumbing to all the USA demands when it is part of the EU. if it wants to follow the USA, fine, but pull out of the EU. see how much aid it gets from the USA. i'll bet it would be a big, fat zero!!
    countries keep worrying about being on the 'dreaded 301 list and getting trade sanctions imposed by the USA. what is it that any country could want that it cant get from anywhere else? China and other Asian countries produce the majority of what every country needs. the USA produces just about nothing!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 4:21am

    Quite simple, start posting links to infringing content on MAFIAA's sites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 6:31am

    Before it was 3 felonies a day from vaguely written laws that almost everyone violates daily, now it'll be 15 felonies a day. Thanks Spain, I think I know how to solve that unemployment problem of yours, meet the prison and law enforcement industries. We'll just throw the unemployed in jail, or hire them as cops or prison guards.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    steve, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 6:52am

    Impossible standards make bad laws

    How can the site owner know whether there is or not infringement at the other end of a link?

    Are site owners expected to somehow have a list of all copyrightable works *AND* know the terms on which each of them is licensed to each recipient? How would that be possible? Even if you personally, manually examine every file at the linked-to site, how could you possibly find out the copyright and licensing status of those files?

    A reasonable law would say, if a plaintiff P proves in court that person X infringed P's copyright, then the court can issue an order for another party to take down a link to the file on X's site.

    Placing the burden on the operator of the linking site creates a situation where no one will dare to make a link, because if it turns out to go to something infringing the linker will be subject to prosecution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mandrake, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    The Language of Spain

    The Spanish language survives, as Espagnol, only among the old Spanish colonies of Latin America. The language of modern Spain is Castellan, not Spanish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Leonardo Balliache (profile), Sep 25th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    Es absurdo

    Dicho en español. Es absurdo. Ni calvo ni con dos pelucas.

    It is absurd. Neither bald or hairy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This