Monday, March 15, 2010

P2P and linking thereto declared legal in Spain

Andres Guadamuz has a nice analysis of the Barcelona court decision declaring P2P sites and the act of linking to such sites legal.
"(Via El Mundo) A judge in Barcelona has just delivered an astounding sentence with regards to sites that link to P2P content. The case was brought by SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores), the main Spanish collecting society, against Mr Jesus Guerra-Calderón, an individual who administers a site called SGAE claimed that Mr Guerra has been reproducing and communicating to the public works owned by their associates. The respondent argued that his website does not store any content, is not for profit, and that it simply provides links that can only be accessed using eMule, a P2P application, and therefore is not liable for direct or secondary copyright infringement. The judge agreed with the respondent, and dismissed the claim....
This is an important and interesting ruling. I tend to agree with the linking part of the reasoning, but I completely disagree with the argument presented by the judge with regards to P2P networks. The judge uses some paper-thin arguments here to imply that P2P networks are not illegal, that they are here to stay anyway so what is the problem, and that almost nothing taking place in those networks can be enforced. I would be surprised if SGAE does not appeal the ruling.
Having said that, it seems clear that judges around the world are increasingly having to grapple with complex technical issues. The Australian judge in Roadshow v iiNet got the technology right. I’m afraid that Mr García-Orejudo did not even try."

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