Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government News Your Rights Online

Downloading Copyrighted Material Legal In Spain 323

Posted by kdawson
from the presumed-innocent dept.
Sqwuzzy notes a judge's ruling in Spain that makes that country one of the most lenient in the world as respects sharing copyrighted material over P2P networks. "The entertainment industries in Spain must be progressively tearing their hair out in recent months as they experience setback after setback. ... After Spain virtually ruled out imposing a '3-strikes' regime for illicit file-sharers, the entertainment industries said they would target 200 BitTorrent sites instead. Now a judge has decided that sharing between users for no profit via P2P doesn't breach copyright laws and sites should be presumed innocent until proved otherwise." This ruling occurred in a pre-trial hearing; the case will still go to trial.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Downloading Copyrighted Material Legal In Spain

Comments Filter:
  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:43AM (#28651479)

    I heard the same thing about Sweden... then suddenly The Pirate Bay went down after police raided the building that housed the servers.

    • by LordEd (840443) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:14PM (#28651789)

      The article was just saying that torrent sites are presumed innocent until proven guilty. I didn't expect this kind of Spanish Inquisition.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I didn't expect this kind of Spanish Inquisition.

        NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by tnk1 (899206)

        The article was just saying that torrent sites are presumed innocent until proven guilty. I didn't expect this kind of Spanish Inquisition.

        NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!

      • No one expects a Spanish Inquisition!
      • by Soul-Burn666 (574119) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:50PM (#28652367) Journal

        And as a meta-comment for all the redundant ones:

        No one (sic: everyone) expects the spammish repetition!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:48AM (#28651507)

    I'm pretty sure if I go to microsoft.com or any other website the content over there is copyrighted, but yet it's legal for me to download it. I can even download software they provide free of charge, and they are copyrighted, but it's still 100% legal.

    Just why would anyone think downloading something that has a copyright on it would be illegal?

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:18PM (#28651847) Homepage Journal

      Just why would anyone think downloading something that has a copyright on it would be illegal?

      Maybe because the copyright lobby has been pushing the "downloading X is illegal" meme for all it's worth (X = music, movies, software, ...) without bothering to draw a distinction between the circumstances under which it's legal and the (far larger number of) circumstances where it's perfectly legal.

    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      Obviously its only illegal if you do not have the rights to do so. When you go to microsoft.com or any other website, its assumed you have the right to download them. This is totally different than when you're downloading material that's copyrighted and you haven't got the permission to do so, be it either that you haven't paid for it or you do not have the licenses or any other reason.

      • by Shagg (99693) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:46PM (#28652295)

        When you go to microsoft.com or any other website, its assumed you have the right to download them.

        No, the reason you can download MS software from microsoft.com is because MS is authorized to distribute their own copyrighted content. It has nothing to do with the downloader needing any rights.

  • Practice! (Score:5, Funny)

    by agnosticanarch (105861) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:52AM (#28651557) Homepage

    I want you to say:

    Lack of gain
    in Spain
    Drives RIAA mainly
    INSANE!!

    fifty times. You'll get much further with the Lord if you learn not to offend His ears. ;)

    • by causality (777677)
      And when their music and movie industries do not fall apart, can this prove once and for all that the way the USA and several other nations are handling copyright is unnecessary and causes far too much harm?
      • No.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by skeeto (1138903)
      Burma Shave
  • I thought everything was copyrighted by default?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by maxume (22995)

      Depends on the jurisdiction. Also, the copyright on some material has expired.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Knara (9377)

        There's only 3 countries that haven't signed on to the Berne Convention (Iran, Myanmar, and another one I can't remember), and Spain isn't one of them.

        Now, you are correct about the expiry of some copyrights, but let's be honest, the overwhelming percentage of works being shared by P2P and torrent sites are still under copyright.

        • by digitig (1056110) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:25PM (#28651931)

          There's only 3 countries that haven't signed on to the Berne Convention (Iran, Myanmar, and another one I can't remember)

          The one you can't remember is Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, The Maldives, Mozambique, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, The Seychelles, Sierra Leone, The Solomon Islands, Somalia, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda and Vanautu.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Knara (9377)

            So I was off by a few :)

            (it's worth noting that more than a few of those are either failed states, dysfunctional states, or in weird political situations (taiwan))

            The list of signatories [copyrightaid.co.uk] is extensive, however.

            • by digitig (1056110)

              So I was off by a few :)

              (it's worth noting that more than a few of those are either failed states, dysfunctional states, or in weird political situations (taiwan))

              And indeed, Spain is not on the list. And some of those states have signed up to more recent copyright conventions.

        • by jank1887 (815982)

          all linux distro's are copyrighted, no? Your right to copy much of that stuff is dictated by a free license. so it is copyrighted, and it's okay for you to copy it because license has been given for you to do so. Whether or not something is copyrighted should have no bearing on download legality. whether or not the copyrighted material is licensed for a particular download is what matters. there's no way a P2P or torrent site could know that a priori. Maybe the copyright holder could inform a site that a pa

          • by Knara (9377)

            The assumption is that something is copyrighted is the default as it should be. If something is allowed under a copyleft license or the like, no one is going to send a C&D to the p2p/torrent site demanding takedown.

            In the case of most torrent/p2p site lawsuits, there's a paper trail of the rights holders (or their designated administrative organization) notifying the site that the works in question should be taken down and a failure of the site to do so.

          • by Shagg (99693)

            all linux distro's are copyrighted, no? Your right to copy much of that stuff is dictated by a free license.

            To be specific, you can download and use linux without agreeing to the "free license". The GPL only comes into play if you want to modify or distribute it.

    • by santax (1541065) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:58AM (#28651615)
      There is a thing called fair use. In the Netherlands for example we pay about 24 eurocents on every empty cd or dvd we buy. In return it is legal to download music and movies for personal uses. I can imagine Spain also has this ruling.
      • by Knara (9377)

        I do not think Spain has that sort of thing set up.

        • by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:36PM (#28652129)

          Yes, we do. We also pay to SGAE (the spanish RIAA) when you buy a DVD recorder mp3 player, a mobile phone or a hard disk. 6 months ago I bought a 500 GB hard disk, and 13.92 of it went to SGAE.

          Obviously, after paying that I demand the right to pirate all what I want.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by shark72 (702619)

            To be clear, the SGAE is not "The Spanish RIAA." The RIAA is a trade group representing record labels. The SGAE represents music composers, lyricists, and publishers. They are the Spanish equivalent of ASCAP and BMI.

            In the eyes of many Slashdotters, this is a meaningless difference -- both groups are interested in protecting the rights of the folks behind the stuff that we feel should be freely (as in beer AND freedom) available and thus are the "bad guys." But if you're of the "artists good, record labels

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        In the Netherlands for example we pay about 24 eurocents on every empty cd or dvd we buy

        And this makes sense? I buy all my music and use CD/DVD for data copying. So I'd have to subsidize someone who doesn't feel he has to buy music/movies? What a joke.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by santax (1541065)
          I agree, it doesn't makes sense at all. This is what good lobbying can do for an industrie. Most of the dvd's and cd's I buy I happen to fill with the music I make with my band... Even weirder it gets when you take into account that I am effectivily paying myself that way but despite numerous letters I still have to recieve my part of the fair-use money.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gstoddart (321705)

          And this makes sense? I buy all my music and use CD/DVD for data copying. So I'd have to subsidize someone who doesn't feel he has to buy music/movies? What a joke.

          It doesn't make sense, but it was the media companies who pushed for the levies in the first place.

          Once they realized that everyone said "ok, screw you, I'm downloading since I've already paid you" they wanted to have their cake and eat it too -- they want the levy and for downloading to be illegal.

          I'm betting that a couple of courts have sided w

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by multisync (218450)

        There is a thing called fair use. In the Netherlands for example we pay about 24 eurocents on every empty cd or dvd we buy. In return it is legal to download music and movies for personal uses

        That's not "fair use," if you have to pay a tax to do it. Fair use is by definition non-infringing use of copyrighted material. As such, copyright holders should receive no compensation for it.

        We have a similar tax on blank media here in Canada, and people use a similar line of media industry propaganda to justify it,

  • Short lived ruling? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:54AM (#28651577)

    Given that the ruling seems to violate several international agreements on copyright, I wonder how long it will last.

    I also don't get the common sense aspect of it. If, instead of being akin to losing some sales to piracy, all sales were legally lost to piracy, how would companies stay in business? Well, they'd do it by erecting technical barriers to copying. DRM plus a million. Because they would have to.

    If you justify copyright infringment based on "information wants to be free", then expect people to try their damnedest to change what their information wants to be.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:00PM (#28651647)

      If, instead of being akin to losing some sales to piracy, all sales were legally lost to piracy, how would companies stay in business?

      Even in the complete absence of copyright, the first sale can never be lost to piracy.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_performer_protocol
      http://www.schneier.com/paper-street-performer.html

      Plumbers only get paid once for installing my toilet, no matter how many people use it. I'd rather a world with no professional musicians than no professional plumbers.

      • And, of course, you pay your plumber 99 cents on iPlumber.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jedidiah (1196)

          No. David Bowie gets to pump himself out to the AudioPlumbers union
          and can't just sit on his ass and collect his royalty check. He has
          to work in order to get paid just like the rest of us.

          He gets to "play for his dinner" like the rest of us.

      • I'd rather a world with no professional musicians than no professional plumbers.

        Me too. I'd rather have crappy music than crappy pants.

      • by CannonballHead (842625) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:18PM (#28651841)

        Allow me, for a minute, to be a Professional Musician. I shall now think to myself.

        Me to Self: Self? ("yes?") You know, I wrote[/performed] some great music here. I think I'd like to sell it to people.

        Self to me: That's a great idea. But you know, once you sell it the first time, anyone can download it for free.

        Me to Self: Well, I really do want to make some money on this... but I'll only get paid for the first sale, huh?

        Yup.

        Ok. Well here's what I'll do; I'll just wait until someone is willing to buy my 3 minute recording for about $10,000. They can distribute it as much as they want after that.

        ...

        Seriously. Plumber analogy is bad. Why? Toilets keep breaking. The SAME toilet. Music doesn't "break." And if it's free to download again, and if the only time the originator gets paid is the FIRST time, then that FIRST time is going to be pretty stinking expensive, and we'll be back to the rich people (or a church) being the "patron of the arts" ... that system. Which worked back in the 18th century. But really not a whole lot since, if I remember correctly, Beethoven.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Spot on. However, don't expect that to go over very well. Folks have been conditioned to believe they are entitled to get whatever they want for free. Somehow to them, the only thing worth purchasing are physical goods.

          • by Knara (9377)

            Well, and to an extent, I can understand the conditioning. Downloading a movie or song for free doesn't *feel* like stealing, in that the chance you'll be in jeopardy for downloading it is very low (unlike physical object theft, which carries am much higher likelihood that you will be caught).

            I imagine that this was the idea behind the MPAA/RIAA lawsuits, but the implementation was just awful.

        • Bad analogy. Toilets keep breaking and musicians are free to continue recording good music. All these people equating infringement with stealing are doing a disservice to their own side. Most people will never consider such simply because it's too difficult to imagine stealing something intangible. You cannot put the genie back in the bottle. At some point some enterprising person not named 'Cuban' will figure out a way to use the mass amount of illegal downloads to legally make money. You can't expec
        • by santax (1541065) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:45PM (#28652273)
          Well I happen to be such a musician and in the real world it doesn't work like that. I started with the guitar at age 6... I'm 30 now and still learning. Along the way I picked up other instruments like bass and piano and even the trumpet are no secrets to me anymore. I have been in about 17 bands thru the years and reality is, when I write a good song, I want to perform it. And no mp3 can replace the good feeling the people have when they see the guys and me performing. And that is where a little money comes from. Ticket sales. My songs? Please, download them, give them to your friends. And when you see a poster hanging in your town with my bandname on it. Buy a ticket and come see us perform. You'll have a great night. And we will have a little cash to do what we really want to do. Just play.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Seriously. Plumber analogy is bad. Why? Toilets keep breaking. The SAME toilet. Music doesn't "break."

          Yes it does! My lady is always harassing me to get some new music :/

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by T Murphy (1054674)
        You can use the repaired toilet as much as you want just as you can play a purchased track as much as you want. Regardless of your opinion on copyright, this is a bad analogy. I'm happy to discuss whether limited copyright or no copyright is better, but flawed arguments don't help anyone.
      • by torkus (1133985)

        Ignoring plenty of faults in the analogy...

        A moderately skilled plumber can still work reasonably hard and make a reasonable living. Tell me that applies to musicians.

        Besides all that, the MAFIAA just loves their current business model and the fact that they've gotten international laws enacted to help guarantee their income. There ARE other business models out there that certainly do work. Heck, there are plenty of PROFITABLE (ahemgoogleahem) that give away their product to their customers. Maybe music

    • I assume that Spain has a supreme court of some kind, and that there are avenues to appeal. I have a hard time believing that higher judges would accept that mass internet copyright infringement is a right. But you never know. This is Spain, a country that has judges that take it upon themselves to prosecute foreign "war criminals", and was only recently rebuffed in their efforts to do so. They might well rule "Hey, download all you like here".

    • by Hatta (162192) * on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:23PM (#28651903) Journal

      If, instead of being akin to losing some sales to piracy, all sales were legally lost to piracy, how would companies stay in business?

      By selling services instead of copies. You can't pirate technical support, programmer man hours, etc..

      Well, they'd do it by erecting technical barriers to copying. DRM plus a million. Because they would have to.

      And it still wouldn't work.

      • By selling services instead of copies. You can't pirate technical support, programmer man hours, etc..

        Sure, you can. See outsourcing to India.

        Besides, that only works as long as the software is hard to use. If it becomes more polished/easier to use, this revenue source goes away. Preverse incentive, huh?

        And lastly, a lot of good programmers want steady income to work on products, not occupy the lowest rung of the ladder/innermost circle of hell.

        Well, they'd do it by erecting technical barriers to copying

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Just Some Guy (3352)

          And lastly, a lot of good programmers want steady income to work on products, not occupy the lowest rung of the ladder/innermost circle of hell.

          Something like 95% of programmers work on in-house projects for their non-software companies.

          DRM works. It's not foolproof, but it does cut down on the piracy.

          No, it doesn't [guardian.co.uk]. Not even a little bit. Not a smidgen. There is no credible evidence to support that position.

    • In the US, at least, treaty is the province of the executive branch of government. Treaties are supposed to be ratified by Congress. If/when the courts rule that an executive treaty is unconstitutional, then it goes back to the executive and legislative branches to be reexamined.

      No matter what the law and/or any treaty might say, we all know that copyright law has been raped by the "rights holders". It all needs to be reexamined, if not completely rebuilt. The actions of RIAA-like organizations in recent

  • Everyone shhhh! Stop posting these stories, or else we're gonna have to host TPB and its ilk in outer space or something.

  • by carnicer (1449311) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:04PM (#28651677)
    At least that's what is said at least in Catalonia. In Spain, Justice is not reliable at all. It is collapsed and it's not independent from political forces. Therefore, the term "Spanish Justice" is an oxymoron, a contradictio in termini.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by c4t3y3 (1571639)
      You are intentionally lying. Read the truth from a dozen newspapers by googling [justicia cataluña colapso]. Unfortunately justice in catalonia is so overloaded as in the rest of the country.
  • by sakti (16411) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:04PM (#28651683) Homepage

    Wow, never thought I'd see common sense creep into any courtroom when it came to copyright. Doubt it will last.

  • by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:05PM (#28651685)
    Big Content has always had to deal with the cost-of-doing-business, just like every other industry. Sharing a video tape, a book, a CD or whatever else it has to produce, does take away from their business (though there is discussion that sharing leads to future purchases in the same way giving out free food at the grocery is an advertising expense).

    From a business perspective, I am absolutely certain it has become cheaper to produce their content to CD over Tape (or DVD over VHS), and even more cheaply as a digital download. Content, just like insurance/financial services, is one that should could thrive if it embraced the newer, cheaper methods of production/sales/distribution than trying to do things the old way.

    I'm glad that the court is identifying that internet-based sharing is no different in essense, than sneakernet sharing which is always something the companies have had to deal with and has always been a cost-of-doing-business. The fact that it is "online" is ultimately irrelevant, and even if greater sharing drives down sales (which is debatable), online/digital distribution should also lower costs which if done properly, should allow them to remain profitable. Business is about adaption. No business has a fundamental right to exist. Suing your customers and taking rights they either explicitly had, or felt they had is no way to keep those customers, in which sharing and distribution become irrelevant.
    • Sharing a video tape, a book, a CD or whatever else it has to produce, does take away from their business (though there is discussion that sharing leads to future purchases in the same way giving out free food at the grocery is an advertising expense).

      What a bizarre assumption. You acknowledge that sharing may lead to future sales, but you ignore the (likely much much larger) factor - sharing only takes away from their business if the recipient would have otherwise purchased the material. I haven't met someone for whom that's the case.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:07PM (#28651713)
    Downloading material is not copyright infringement. Distributing copyrighted material (uploading) is. No one should be punished for downloading unless it can be proven that it was their intent to distribute the material to others. Unfortunately, the P2P protocols are built around the premise that everything you download is automatically shared with other people. Plus, the RIAA goes to great lengths to attempt to confuse people about the difference between downloading and uploading.

    Let's put it this way -- if receiving on unauthorized copy of copyrighted material was actionable, then I could just copyright something, arrange to have someone else email it to everyone in the world, then start suing everybody who didn't delete the email!
    • Let's put it this way -- if receiving on unauthorized copy of copyrighted material was actionable, then I could just copyright something, arrange to have someone else email it to everyone in the world, then start suing everybody who didn't delete the email!

      Uh, no ; because you gave permission for teh distribution so wetehr or not d/l is a copyright violation is irrelevant in your example.

      • by doshell (757915)

        Uh, no ; because you gave permission for teh distribution so wetehr or not d/l is a copyright violation is irrelevant in your example.

        On a related (offtopic) note, I always find it funny when I get those emails with the disclaimer "if you received this message in error, please do not take any action based on it and delete it immediately."

        Especially because I'm never sure which of the two I should do.

    • by Shagg (99693)

      Copyright law talks about unauthorized distribution of content, it says nothing about receiving it.

      Although, your email example is flawed. When you "arrange to have someone else email it", you are authorizing them to be a distributor. So whether copyright law is in regards to downloading or uploading in that example is irrelevant. It's not infringement because the copyright holder (you) authorized the distribution.

  • no profit

    copyright laws were created so that some other guy with a printing press or vinyl press wouldn't make and sell copies of a book or recording all on his own without regard to the creator

    it never was intended, and never had anything to do with, the idea of someone reproducing material and giving it away FOR FREE

    simply because such a person would be insane: all that expense for nothing. to not be motivated by profit is simply nonsensical on the old media world, which was the whole point in copyright: keep the profit with the creators

    but the issue of effortless file sharing is a fundamental change in how media works, and has more to do with traditional publishers coming to grips with a new reality. IANAL, but i would like to see a legal argument that says copyright law is only valid for the pursuit of those PROFITING from illicit copies, that those copying for free are essentially outside the scope of the spirit of intellectual property laws and their intent and purpose. which is a fundamentally true argument: the internet is new technology and makes possible what was not possible before, so to apply laws from an old era onto it without thought is to fail to understand the issues in play

    such an approach would draw a nice line between the old media world and the new media world as defined by the new economic laws the internet forces onto the world, welcome or not

    • by skeeto (1138903)

      copyright laws were created so that some other guy with a printing press or vinyl press wouldn't make and sell copies of a book or recording all on his own without regard to the creator

      That's not quite true in the US. Copyright law here was created to "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". It's not about some obligation to reward authors or artists, but simply to provide an incentive for them to create, for the ends of benefit of the public.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Microlith (54737)

      no profit

      No recoup of expenses, either. This is a money driven world, not some socialist utopia where your needs are taken care of.

      it never was intended, and never had anything to do with, the idea of someone reproducing material and giving it away FOR FREE

      Sure it did. It grants control over redistribution to the creator. It paid no mind as to whether it was going to be charged for or not, or who distributed it.

      simply because such a person would be insane: all that expense for nothing. to not be motivated b

    • by jank1887 (815982) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:44PM (#28652267)

      since you said Intellectual Property, what about stretching your claim to patents: if person X patents an item, and person Y makes the item for free and gives it away, is he in violation of the patent even though he isn't selling it? what if Y does it to flood the market and put person X out of business, because his other product lines can support the cost? I thought that IP law protects X in that regard. Perhaps the same or something similar could be said for copyright.

  • I feel almost certain that Spain will face an international backlash because of this. In all likelihood, I'm guessing that the international community will put pressure on them to reverse these decisions. Nevertheless, as a piracy supporter, I'm delighted by this news and hope that other countries will follow suit. I'm not getting my hopes up quickly though.

    • by Joce640k (829181)
      How will other countries "follow suit"?

      No new laws have been created, all the judge did was spell out Spanish law to the RIAA, ie. that non-profit copying isn't illegal here and never has been.
  • ... the RIAA begins a search for the next General Francisco Franco [wikipedia.org].
  • by popo (107611) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:17PM (#28651819) Homepage

    Well... the original intent of copyright was as applied to "commercial copying"... his reading of the law is 100% valid.

  • Like â40+ ($55 US) a month for a basic, capped, 2MBit/sec internet connection on top of your phone line rental.

    That's if Telefonica - the national telephone monopoly will let you have a phone line, which in rural communities they often won't, due to having no spare wires.

  • Hey Spain, you're about to get new residents. The RIAA is moving in!


  • Finally, a testbed so we can see if this ruling has a detrimental effect on the artists, the economy, or the industry(Spanish, that is) as a whole.
  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:46PM (#28652293)

    As far as I know, downloading always was legal.
    What was illegal, was uploading, when you did not have a license to do so.

    The reason downloading is not illegal, is the same reason it is not illegal to buy stuff from somebody, when later, you read in the paper that the guy you bought it from had obtained it illegally. (Note that I'm avoiding the word "stolen" here, because stealing implies that the original owner does not have it anymore.)

    The person that in these cases gets prosecuted, is the seller. You just show the cops your contract, with the address of the seller on it, and you're good. Of course you have to give the object back to the person it got stolen for. But you can sue the seller for the money.

    At least in Germany.

    I know this, because it happened to a friend of mine.

    Of course, because the **AA do not care about any authors or rights, and their objective is not to protect anyone, but to make money trough mafia-like tactics, they do not care, and spread FUD all over the media, about downloading being illegal etc. Which the media picks up happily, bundling it into a nice sensationalist news.

    So what changed exactly? Did the **AA equivalent of Spain run out of money? Because that would finally be nice news. :)

  • Quién quiere a vivir en España? I just wanted to try that. It won't render &iquest;.

  • by m0rtadelo (888670) on Friday July 10, 2009 @02:18PM (#28653715)
    I am totally fed up with the terms commonly used in media, here in Spain, where they usually intentionally mix "Internet downloads" with piracy, when they want to refer to P2P networks, that are the real ones that are supposedly causing troubles to Entertainment Industry. Most Internet users do not distinguish between a website or FTP download from a download from a P2P network, but judges and lawyers do.

    When you upload a file to an FTP server you are violating copyright laws, since you are using the right to distribute copyrighted content. When you share the same file on a P2P network, from the legal point of view, you are using your right to private copy of copyrighted content. Here in Spain we do still have the right to private copy, so when I buy a CD I can copy it for personal use. I have the right to lend my original copy of the CD to a friend, but private copy rights allows me to lend not the original but also the copied CD to a friend. And what can be shocking is that private copy law in Spain does not restrict users to a fixed number of copies for personal use. So, from the juridical point of view, sharing your CD songs on Bittorrent network is no different from lending your CD copies to friends.

    Having reached this poing technology has evolved much more than laws. So copyrighted content sharing is no longer related to lend some CDs to some friends or relatives, but to the whole world. Spanish RIAA (SGAE) is struggling to press politicians so they "adapt" the private copy law or even make it disappear. I think they are taking the steps, though the things go slower that in other near countries. They have not managed to limit private copy law but they have succedeed in broadening the range of the "Canon compensatorio" [wikipedia.org], that could be translated as compensatory fee. This is a tax that has been around since tape times, and used to add a percentage to the price of blank tapes or photocopiers among others (books, as copyrighted content, were also protected by this law). Nowodays SGAE has managed to extent this compensatory fee to not only blank media supports (DVDs, CDs, etc.) but also flash cards, mobile phones, hard disks, computers, mp3/4 players, etc. They even managed to ask for a fee on the Internet connection, though I think they have succedeed in it yet. It has been reported that the average Spanish family pays now over 300 euros a year with the current compensatory fee, that is entirley redistributed between Entertainment companies and artists (though the say they share it between artists) by SGAE itself, which is an obscure and privately led organization. 300 euros a year pro family is much more than what an averege Spanish family spent on copyrighted content a few 10 years ago (when copying means where not so effective).

    Having said all this I would thank that at least I no longer have to put up with the ads at movie theaters or on TV calling me a thief for legally sharingmy copyrighted content, when I am just using a right, for which I have literally paid a significant amount of money. And not only that, but also taking into account that this money goes to an obscure and mafioso association (not even a company, that must keep its balance clearer), whose role in society is quite a bit less than beneficial.

The only problem with being a man of leisure is that you can never stop and take a rest.

Working...