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Downloading Copyrighted Material Legal In Spain

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the presumed-innocent dept.

The Courts 323

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.

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323 comments

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Easy solution for entertainment industries... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651407)

All the entertainment industry have to do is set off a few bombs on trains in Madrid. After that they can dictate terms to the Spanish government.

Re:Easy solution for entertainment industries... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652041)

They tried, it didn't work. Pirates will not be scared, arrggggh!

pre-trial ruling (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651473)

i'm assuming this has at least one or two more appeals after the real trial before downloading copyrighted material is found to actually be illegal.

of course, IANAL, especially not a Spanish lawyer, so i could be totally wrong.

I heard the same thing about Sweden... (4, Informative)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651479)

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

Re:I heard the same thing about Sweden... (5, Funny)

LordEd (840443) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:I heard the same thing about Sweden... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651949)

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:I heard the same thing about Sweden... (1, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651973)

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!

Re:I heard the same thing about Sweden... (1)

Plaid Phantom (818438) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652031)

No one expects a Spanish Inquisition!

downloading copyrighted material (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:downloading copyrighted material (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651847)

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.

Re:downloading copyrighted material (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652173)

that ofcourse is BS, as everybody know which kinds of music/movies/software is talked about....

Re:downloading copyrighted material (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651911)

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.

Re:downloading copyrighted material (1, Troll)

doshell (757915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651981)

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.

So every time you want to visit a website you write them a letter first asking for permission to download their data? After all, you could be infringing on some copyrighted material, and you won't even know until it is in your possession.

Re:downloading copyrighted material (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652123)

So every time you want to visit a website you write them a letter first asking for permission to download their data? After all, you could be infringing on some copyrighted material, and you won't even know until it is in your possession.

Like said, if its open website and theres no restrictions or info about the copyrights, its pretty much assumed you can visit that site and let your browser download what it needs. However that still doesn't mean you can reuse their graphics or code or whatever copyrighted.

Re:downloading copyrighted material (1)

doshell (757915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652349)

Like said, if its open website and theres no restrictions or info about the copyrights, its pretty much assumed you can visit that site and let your browser download what it needs. However that still doesn't mean you can reuse their graphics or code or whatever copyrighted.

By visiting the website and viewing their graphics and the page content dictated by their code, you're pretty much using that copyrighted material. I fail to see the difference between this and accessing a website to download some audio or video file to watch them myself without giving them to anybody else.

Re:downloading copyrighted material (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652217)

Everybody loves a Moron...

Re:downloading copyrighted material (3, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:downloading copyrighted material (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652143)

It's because Microsoft.com actually has the rights to distribute such copies.

AnonCowardx on random bit torrent sites does not.

nice! (0, Redundant)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651531)

Now I can have legally approved sex with a 13 year old AND listen to my downloaded Counting Crows album at the same time... *take a holiday in spain, leave my wings behind me*

Re:nice! (5, Informative)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651805)

Now I can have legally approved sex with a 13 year old AND listen to my downloaded Counting Crows album at the same time... *take a holiday in spain, leave my wings behind me*

I am sure you are joking but just an fyi - if you happen to be coming from the US - going to another country with the intent of doing something that would be considered illegal in the US (e.g. sex w/13 y/o) you would be convicted of doing that crime upon your arrival (assuming they 1) knew of your intent and 2) prove that you did it).

Well you made a post on /. so step 1 is out of the way :)

BTW there was, about 6 months ago, a trial where a guy sent e-mails to his friend talking about going to south america to get underage prostitutes. He did this. When he came back the cops arrested him. Not sure how they knew he actually did the deed (I don't remember) but they used his e-mails to show his intent. He is in jail.

Re:nice! (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651935)

Well I was joking indeed, I'm not from the US but from the Northpole, eh Netherlands. We have the same rules here. It is approved to have intercourse with an 16 year old (allthough you can't take pictures, that would be the making of childpornography (weird isn't?)) but if someone from the Netherlands would have sex with someone below the age of 16 in another country he/she can be brought to justice in the Netherlands. Personally, I think that's a good thing.

Re:nice! (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651989)

I am sure you are joking but just an fyi - if you happen to be coming from the US - going to another country with the intent of doing something that would be considered illegal in the US (e.g. sex w/13 y/o) you would be convicted of doing that crime upon your arrival (assuming they 1) knew of your intent and 2) prove that you did it).
 

So when I was 19 and I went to germany and bought some alcohol that was more than 21%, I committed a crime because its illegal to sell me more than 21% before I'm 20 in my country? Or my friends from other country where its just 3.5% with store bought alcohol before 20? (haha, poor suckers)

And for that matter, no USA citizens ever go to Amsterdam to eat the "cakes"?

Re:nice! (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652029)

Yes, chances are very good that all of those situations are illegal and prosecutable.

Re:nice! - WTF? (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652119)

Under what law or jurisdiction are they prosecuting these crimes under? Does that mean that it is illegal to go to Vegas?

Re:nice! - WTF? (1)

doshell (757915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652197)

Under what law or jurisdiction are they prosecuting these crimes under? Does that mean that it is illegal to go to Vegas?

More interestingly, I wonder if this applies as well within the United States themselves? What happens if I live in a state where e.g. drinking age is 21, and I have a drink at another state where drinking age is 18 (supposing I am between 18 and 21)? Can I get prosecuted when I return to my home state?

(Disclaimer: I do not live in the USA)

Re:nice! - WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652311)

Heck, for that matter, in my state the age of consent is 17; mere minutes away, it would be 16. Not that I'm getting any of it of course, or "it" of any age for that matter, but what sort of dilemmas could that create?

Re:nice! (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651901)

I'm sure you're joking, but if you're a US citizen, age of consent laws follow you to other countries to prevent sex tourism.

Practice! (5, Funny)

agnosticanarch (105861) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651557)

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. ;)

Re:Practice! (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651787)

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?

Re:Practice! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651795)

No.

Re:Practice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651845)

Fail.

Re:Practice! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651953)

Maybe I should elaborate on that point: Nothing could prove that once and for all. It'd be nice, but no.

The entertainment industries have way too much money and way too many loudmouths for any amount of such evidence to shut them up once and for all.

Re:Practice! (2, Funny)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652087)

Burma Shave

What isn't copyrighted material? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651569)

I thought everything was copyrighted by default?

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651591)

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

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (2, Informative)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651735)

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.

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (5, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:What isn't copyrighted material? (2, Funny)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652233)

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.

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652059)

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 particular file was never licensed for such copying, in which case they should stop hosting and transferring the material. that then just leaves the .torrent file grey area, and the fact that there could possibly be a fair use claim on some transfer.

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652257)

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.

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (4, Informative)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651637)

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

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651769)

Yes, they have the same thing:
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_digital

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (3, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:What isn't copyrighted material? (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651857)

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:What isn't copyrighted material? (2, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652063)

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:What isn't copyrighted material? (2, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652301)

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 with only dinging people once (and supported the notion of fair use) and said if there's a levy, the download is legit.

Since I know I pay the levy here in Canada, I wouldn't feel so bad about copying music if I was so inclined.

Cheers

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (1)

JCZwart (1585673) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652003)

In the Netherlands, copying a book or anything else in public libraries also is more expensive, which serves as yet another arrangement for allowing the copying of copyrighted works. Also, a similar mechanism was proposed for taxing other storage media, like hard drives and MP3 players.

Yet, the Dutch copyright watchdog finds this not being illegal of downloading for personal use a loophole in copyright law. Someone proposing some kind of law against it is only a matter of time.

Re:What isn't copyrighted material? (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652043)

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, but the notion is just plain wrong. Fair use is non-infringing activity, and citizens should fight to ensure the concept is not eroded by groups who would like to see it done away with.

Short lived ruling? (2, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Short lived ruling? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Short lived ruling? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651717)

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

Re:Short lived ruling? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651859)

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.

Re:Short lived ruling? (1)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651811)

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

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

Re:Short lived ruling? (3, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Short lived ruling? (2, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651913)

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.

Re:Short lived ruling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652307)

Isn't there a bridge you can be devouring children under somewhere?

And music becomes old-hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652081)

And you can perform the exact same song in a concert, to which people (having heard your music) will pay to attend!

Unless you're crap, in which case, you'd want to keep your music as secret as possible until after they've bought tickets.

I fail to see where your problem lies, really.

PS I can fix my own lavvie. I can fix someone else's.

But copyright means I can't sing that song at a party and I can't make a copy of it for someone else.

Re:Short lived ruling? (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652183)

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 expect your business model to remain relevant forever, even with litigation. Change or quit.

Re:Short lived ruling? (5, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Short lived ruling? (1)

valinor89 (1564455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652355)

Then i will be more than happy to pay to hear you sing in a concert what amounts to several times the cost of a CD and then download your music for free. That is if 1) you are good, 2) you make concerts (lots), 3) I have money... I asume your problem would be nÂ2, obbiously you don't want to work 5 days a week, do you? This Law is (with non nuclear proliferation) what i like from Spain... the rest is passable or worst than average. Still, it's nice to live here.

Re:Short lived ruling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651907)

So I assume that you allow the general public to use your toilet whenever they want to, with or without your consent? Your analogy doesn't work, because plumbers perform a service and musicians sell a product and often perform a service. But when musicians lose profit is not when they perform a service (concerts/shows), they lose profit when they sell a product (record).

Musicians sell a service: concerts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652121)

They don't sell a product either: they do not mix the CD, they do not press the CD, they do not package the CD, they do not transport or retail the CD. Yet all the people who DO do these things are paid just the once.

Before recording, we had musicians. Even though they had no product to sell: recorded music.

So your insistence that they do is wrong.

Re:Short lived ruling? (2, Insightful)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652231)

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.

Re:Short lived ruling? (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651675)

This isn't ruling that the people themselves are innocent, but that the sites that facilitate the sharing of information should be considered innocent until proven otherwise. I don't think this would be a problem, as there are always going to be link-sites out there. IANAL but it seems like this ruling is more or less defending the PB approach (search for links) and wouldn't apply to the old Napster approach (hosting). This might not hold up very long if applied to people that are themselves sharing and hosting content, but the trials here are mainly dealing with the BT sites.

Supreme Court? (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651793)

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".

Re:Supreme Court? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652329)

are you comparing a war criminal with a file downloader ?

Re:Short lived ruling? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651903)

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.

Re:Short lived ruling? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652013)

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 years have been simply insane.

We need judges in every country in the world to make rulings like this, and goad the lawmakers to address the problems with copyright as well as patent law.

Re:Short lived ruling? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652207)

If, instead of being akin to losing some sales to piracy, all sales were legally lost to piracy..

That would be bad. But I think people are talking about sales being legally losable, not lost.

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.

Backwards. That's how the company goes out of business: creating negative value for the people for buy their product, instead of ignoring (or trying to attract) the people who don't. DRM is what causes all sales (as opposed to some sales) to change from losable to lost. People can play the non-DRMed content, so some of them will buy it. A market still exists. People can't play DRMed content, so no market exists at all, except the advertising market on the pirate torrent sites.

If you justify copyright infringment based on..

Nobody's justifying infringement. They're saying that it might be legal. Different thing. There are way too many things in this world that are legal that I wouldn't justify or do. I'm not about to start drinking bleach, even if my government doesn't point a gun at me and say I'm not allowed to.

Companies need to look to their profits, not pirates. Pirates aren't going to pay; they're not in the market. If you try to look at things from the pirates' point of view, the whole thing is really bleak. And God help you if you adapt copyright policy to their point of view. Adios, creation.

Copyright policy should look at things from the seller's point of view: who is in the market? Those are the people whose money you want. They aren't downloading the songs from someone else; they're buying it. Or at least that's the case if you're selling. So take their money. (Or leave it, if you're not in business.)

If we're going to talk about the common sense aspect of things, then DRM is the last thing I'd expect a profit-seeking business to pursue. I'd like to see a pro-DRM manager justify their decision to not have customers.

Job Interview Videos (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651595)

A cool place I found Best and FREE tips for Interviews on Video [interviewstudioblog.com] Itâ(TM)s seems like a really cool tool to search for upper level management, account executive jobs, VP level jobsâ¦etc.

Shhhh! (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651623)

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

Spanish Justice : a oxymoron (3, Interesting)

carnicer (1449311) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Spanish Justice : a oxymoron (1)

pdangel (812046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651763)

That coming from the people who refuse to speak the Nationally accepted Castllian and insist on speaking Catalan dialect. No better than the Basq separatist really. I'll take my references from people who dont demand separate culture/history from the rest of the country. Thanks.

Re:Spanish Justice : a oxymoron (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652089)

That coming from the people who refuse to speak the Nationally accepted Castllian and insist on speaking Catalan dialect. No better than the Basq separatist really. I'll take my references from people who dont demand separate culture/history from the rest of the country. Thanks.

Well, they have a separate history and culture; they just weren't as lucky as the Portuguese to stay a separate country despite Spanish attempts at annexation.

Re:Spanish Justice : a oxymoron (3, Informative)

c4t3y3 (1571639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652049)

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.

Common sense in copyright?!? (2, Insightful)

sakti (16411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651683)

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

Cost of Doing Business (5, Insightful)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cost of Doing Business (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651979)

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.

This is what I've said all along (4, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:This is what I've said all along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651927)

Let's put it this way -- if receiving a car was actionable, then I could just copyright something, arrange to have someone else drive one to someone, then start suing that person if they don't return it!

This argument doesn't work. It would purport to legitimize car theft.

Re:This is what I've said all along (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652113)

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.

Re:This is what I've said all along (1)

doshell (757915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652271)

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.

that's really the entire crux of the entire issue: (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651731)

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

Re:that's really the entire crux of the entire iss (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652201)

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:that's really the entire crux of the entire iss (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652209)

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 by profit is simply nonsensical on the old media world, which was the whole point in copyright: keep the profit with the creators

No. No, no, no. The -purpose- was to give people who created works an incentive to release them by allowing them a means of turning their work into collateral. Instead of having to sit idle until someone came along and paid them, they could take the initiative and produce works of their own accord, and (if they didn't suck) not starve in the process. They could do like any other tradesman and focus entirely on their chosen field and leverage it to live.

Unless you'd like to think that you could spend a day doing manual labor and still have the energy to write software, make music, or create films. Sure you could, but it probably wouldn't be as good or in anywhere near the quantity.

i would like to see a legal argument that says copyright law is only valid for the pursuit of those PROFITING from illicit copies

Except it's not limited like that at all. If it were, it'd be pointless, which it definitely is not.

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

No it's not. It's simply a super efficient distribution channel. The physical channels would be just as efficient if copyright weren't in effect at all. What people -should- do is leverage that efficient distribution and communication to create new works and license them under terms they agree with, instead of jacking the works of others.

I'd buy into the argument that the internet and P2P were truly revolutionary if -new- works and more fairly licensed works were giving the RIAA and MPAA a run for their money. But they aren't. All they're doing is giving the MPAA and RIAA a run for their money by trading works owned by the RIAA and MPAA. Thus they prove the RIAA and MPAA's point.

Re:that's really the entire crux of the entire iss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652255)

If you're going to talk about intent and how copyright was intended to protect the profits of the original creator your argument falls to pieces: The intent of copyright law is not so that 20 people can pool together to purchase one copy of a piece of software then install it on each of their 20 machines because just like a second publisher re-publishing a book this action is also undercutting the profits of the original creator.

(Note that both of these concepts fall to pieces when you consider non-simultaneous sharing of a product.)

Re:that's really the entire crux of the entire iss (3, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

International backlash (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651753)

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.

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651765)

... the RIAA begins a search for the next General Francisco Franco [wikipedia.org] .

If only. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651785)

If only tpb moved from Sweden to Spain, then they wouldn't've sold out.

Copyright was intended only for commercial use (2, Informative)

popo (107611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651819)

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

but spanish broadband is killingly expensive too (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651843)

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 (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28651915)

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

wwot fp.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28651969)

any7hi8g can visions going

ep!!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28652181)

Perfect (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652187)


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.

How is this a change? (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#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. :)

Who wants to live in Spain? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28652339)

Quién quiere a vivir en España? I just wanted to try that. It won't render ¿.

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