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Piracy The Internet

File-Sharing For Personal Use Declared Legal In Portugal 179

Posted by timothy
from the as-long-as-it-involves-kale dept.
New submitter M0j0_j0j0 writes "After receiving 2000 complaints regarding 'illegal file sharing' from ACAPOR regarding P2P networks, the Portuguese prosecutor refused to take the case into court on the premise that file sharing is not illegal in the territory if files are for personal and not commercial use. The court also stated that the complaints had, as sole evidence, the IP address of users, and that it is a wrong statement to assume an IP address is directly related to one individual. TorrentFreak has a piece in English with more details (original source in Portuguese)."
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File-Sharing For Personal Use Declared Legal In Portugal

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:23PM (#41478883)

    ...among a lot of insanity...let's just see what German...err, the EU has to say about that.

    • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:45PM (#41479177) Journal

      Yep, even their drug policy is a bit more same than the rest of the world's, and it's paying off with less addiction.

      More file sharing will bring increased sales.

      • by crazycheetah (1416001) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:08PM (#41479447)

        They proved it with the drug policy enough that the world AIDS organization (forgive me for forgetting the real name of that organization) decided to declare to the world that everyone needs to follow in suit, which they've only done prior to that in declaring AIDS is caused by HIV (because Russia was denying it). Of course, most countries have said fuck you to that.

        The question is if they're going to be able to prove that it's actually effective with file sharing, though. And then if anyone is going to give a shit that they proved it (I have a feeling the US in particular, unless a revolution happens, is going to deny any proof Portugal gives here).

        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:49PM (#41479979) Homepage Journal

          The question is if they're going to be able to prove that it's actually effective with file sharing, though

          Multiple studies have already proven it. One study, in fact, was commissioned by a book publisher wanting to find out how much money he was losing to piracy. Since unlike MP3s and movies, books don't hit the net for two or three weeks, the researchers looked for the pirates and then at sales figures. Rather than the expected drop in sales, there was a sales spike, do doubt caused by the "buzz" the pirate version caused.

          But don't expect that to sway anyone from the MAFIAA, though.

          • Fully agree with you. The hope (although far from expectation) would be that another country proving a policy works might have more weight than a few experiments that the government doesn't care about nearly as much apparently.

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              I wouldn't count on it. Amsterdam decriminalized pot years ago and their drug use declined, studies show that pot's only negative effects are from the smoke and there are many positive effects (like a reduced risk of cancer), yet it's still illegal.

          • But don't expect that to sway anyone from the MAFIAA, though.

            As ministry of propaganda, they must hold on to all the control they can. Look what happened to the USSR as all those bootleg satellite dishes made it into the area. They lost control of the media, and the walls came tumbling down.

        • by SolitaryMan (538416) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @04:22PM (#41481925) Homepage Journal

          I don't think it is important whether or not it is good for business. What important is, if it *fair* and good for society.

          Sharing some hardware tools with your neighbor may be bad for hardware maker's business, but if somebody says it should be illegal, I'd say fuck you.

      • Unfortunately it won't, since the state of our economy will prevent any increase. For all intents and purposes we're the next Greece: bankrupt, with huge unemployment and surviving with bailout money that only increases our debt.

    • by poity (465672) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:28PM (#41479731)

      It's easy to do because Portugal has little stake in copyright enforcement. Can anyone name a globally distributing film/music/software company from Portugal?

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:39PM (#41479819)

        your point (or, *a* point) is taken: since the country, there, is not a big producer of entertainment goods (at least not for export) - they could only be representing their people and not any one local industry. ie, this is what society is/was always meant to be about! the government sticking up for the peoples' rights and interests. even if some corp interests lose out, the people are what matters.

        USA: learn from this!

        (sigh. who am I kidding!? we'll never change. never. dammit.)

        • by poity (465672)

          I don't expect UK or France (other top IP reliant economies) to follow Portugal either. Even without cronyism the legitimate taxes that can be raised from these industries ensures that no country with a sizable stake will do the same.

        • by jitterman (987991)
          But... but... corporations ARE people!!!!

          What a sad country we've built for ourselves.
          • Corporations are composed of people, and in general all those people can vote. The problem comes from pretending that the group of people is an additional super-person.
      • It's easy to do because Portugal has little stake in copyright enforcement. Can anyone name a globally distributing film/music/software company from Portugal?

        Why is that even relevant? What would change if there were such a company?

        • If there were such a company they would lobby the politicians to make sure laws like this do not get passed.
        • by poity (465672)

          Such a company represents more than just profit for the owners; It represents a influx of both domestic and foreign revenue for the economy at large; it represents a decrease of trade deficit, perhaps even an increase of trade surplus; it represents a body of money that otherwise would not have been taxed. In short it represents a goose that lays golden eggs for a country (though far be it from me to elevate companies to such levels), and governments are not stupid or crazy when they think twice before acti

          • Yes, that's all obvious. But why would they have to be in "fear of losing them", if they had/have such companies?
      • I'd say the next Pirate Bay VPN located there will sure meet your description of a globally distributing film/music/software company based in Portugal. :)

      • From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

        2010s

        In 2010 Portugal produced 22 feature films.[2][1]

        In 2011, there were a total of 19 feature films produced.[3][1] The most commercially successful Portuguese film of the year was Blood of My Blood by João Canijo with 20,953 admissions and grossing €97,784.72.[4] The share of Portuguese cinema in the Portuguese box office was 0.7%.[5] On the artistic side, one of the most successful films was Joaquim Sapinho's This Side of Resurrection, premiered at the Visions programme at the

        • Not really. Our film industry is divided between the commercial producers, which only makes crap for the least common denominator (like the Morangos, which is one of those teenage soaps/dramas played by unknown "actors"), and the artistic producers, which live off government subsidies and make stuff nobody but the critics watch.

          We had a streak of great movies in the 40s and 50s, but the rest barely registers.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:25PM (#41478907)

    Portuguese citizens need to be reminded that they're still under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, and WILL be extradited to the U.S. for breaking any IP laws!

    • by ammorais (1585589) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:30PM (#41478973)

      Portugal actually have laws that even prevent an U.S. citizen from being extradited under certain circumstances.
      http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=pt-PT&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parlamento.pt%2FLegislacao%2FPaginas%2FConstituicaoRepublicaPortuguesa.aspx%23art33 [google.com]

      • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:59PM (#41480117)

        Those laws all look like pretty standard extradition terms, actually. Many countries forbid extradition if it might carry the death penalty, for example, only do it for serious crimes, and only do it for crimes they recognize as crimes.

        Which is not to say all countries always follow those laws (exceptions are made, for example, if they requesting country agrees not to pursue the death penalty in that case), but those are pretty standard extradition laws.

        • by ammorais (1585589)

          Those laws all look like pretty standard extradition terms, actually.

          Yes they are, in countries that abolished the death penalty . Wasn't implying they weren't or trying to make them notable in some way.
          Wasn't sure if GP was being sarcastic and wanted to point out that his assertion didn't even apply to U.S. citizens, even more to Portuguese.

        • Many countries forbid extradition if it might carry the death penalty...

          Which is not to say all countries always follow those laws (exceptions are made, for example, if they requesting country agrees not to pursue the death penalty in that case),

          That hardly seems like an exception. The extraditing country agrees not to enforce the death penalty. An exception would be if it was a "we won't*wink wink* execute him" statement.

    • by hpacheco (2536480) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:31PM (#41478985)

      Portuguese citizens need to be reminded that they're still under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, and WILL be extradited to the U.S. for breaking any IP laws!

      there's no extradition agreement between the U.S. and Portugal

      • by dabadab (126782) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:58PM (#41479323)

        Well, then you fall back to drones, I guess.

      • by jamstar7 (694492) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:41PM (#41479841)

        Portuguese citizens need to be reminded that they're still under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, and WILL be extradited to the U.S. for breaking any IP laws!

        there's no extradition agreement between the U.S. and Portugal

        Didn't stop then from going after Noriega in Panama and it's not stopping them from going after Assange in Sweden and Dotcom in New Zealand. Does the term 'extraordinary rendition' ring a bell?

        • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @02:04PM (#41480189)

          First, they haven't gone after Assange in Sweden because he isn't in Sweden, and it would have made more sense to just do straight from the UK anyways since the US has a better treaty with them, and second, at least the latter two actually have extradition treaties with the US. Noriega was captured in a straight-up war (as a POW), and eventually extradited back to Panama (via France) to serve his sentence there. So, none of those were actually cases of "extraordinary rendition" at all.

          • by jamstar7 (694492)
            Um, the US was not at war with Panama. Noriega ducked into an embassy in Panama until they got tired of listening to rock and roll music played so loud it rattled their fillings. Arguably an act of war, even though nothing 'physical' went off Panamanian soil. And Noriega was El Presidente in Panama at the time, which meant no way he was gonna be extradited in the traditional manner.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Portuguese citizens need to be reminded that they're still under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, and WILL be extradited to the U.S. for breaking any IP laws!

      Are you thinking of Puerto Rico by chance?

      Portugal is not under any US jurisdiction whatsoever. Seriously, look at a map.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:39PM (#41479091)

        Seriously, look at a map

        I did, there's only two places on it: The US, and US Drone Territory.

        • by jamstar7 (694492)

          Seriously, look at a map

          I did, there's only two places on it: The US, and US Drone Territory.

          Guess that rules out that trip I had in mind to Toronto, eh?

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          old and busted: calling non-US territory 'rest of world' or ROW.

          new hotness: calling the ROW 'fair game for US drones'.

          uhm, can we go back to the first one, again? maybe its not so bad.

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Please do not be alarmed by that whooshing noise above your head.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Please do not be alarmed by that whooshing noise above your head.

          Cut him some slack ... it's very difficult to tell the difference between a stupid American who has no idea where other countries are, and an asshole American who thinks their laws apply everywhere else.

        • by mhajicek (1582795)
          It's just a drone.
    • not insightful; just flat out WRONG.

      portugal is not puerto rico. maybe your thoughts got crossed?

    • by alendit (1454311) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:46PM (#41479189)

      Portuguese citizens need to be reminded that they're still under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, and WILL be extradited to the U.S. for breaking any IP laws!

      This post contains dangerous levels of sarcasm and thus required by Poe's Law to have at least a single emoticon (smiley). The poster may be considered himself warned.

    • by macbeth66 (204889)

      ::whoosh::

      crazyjj, I see you sitting back in your chair, smirking as you sip your Port.

      craptastic!

    • by metacell (523607)

      Portuguese citizens need to be reminded that they're still under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, and WILL be extradited to the U.S. for breaking any IP laws!

      Trolled much lately?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Someone better stop this sh*t before it spreads!... Common sense that is!

    Where's the RIAA/MPAA/1% at with damage control?

    Oh thats right, they are buttering up the EU and other large groups instead of small member or non-member nations...

    If they suddenly went POOF, I wouldn't have a care in the world

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:27PM (#41478939) Journal

    Nice.

    Portugal is also a very pretty country with lots of nature, and did I mention CHEAP housing with LOTS of land for pocket change? Plus low taxes, and even lower for the seniors.

    Perfect retirement country, I may be heading there one day...who knows.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:38PM (#41479083) Journal

      Also, possession of personal quantities of just about every drug [wikipedia.org] has been decriminalized in Portugal, for about 10 years now. The result has been a decrease in drug use and all associated problems.

      • by macbeth66 (204889) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:48PM (#41479217)

        And drug abuse has not gone up as a result. Just think of the money the country saves on not prosecuting these cases. A small island of sanity.

        • by jamstar7 (694492) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:03PM (#41479377)

          And drug abuse has not gone up as a result. Just think of the money the country saves on not prosecuting these cases. A small island of sanity.

          Well, we can't have that. Cue 'discovery' of Al-Quaeda terrorist cells/terrorist training camps/oil/nuclear weapons programs/Julian Assange in Portugal in 5... 4... 3...

      • Drive it home (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:04PM (#41479389)

        The result has been a decrease in drug use and all associated problems

        I don't think you really drove the point home. What this literally means is that decriminalization of drugs results in:

        - LESS crime
        - LESS violence
        - LESS injustice
        - LESS corruption in government

        In other words, decriminalization has the exact opposite result of what the government propaganda teaches us. That should immediately raise a red flag and cause a citizen to lose trust in government. The fact that drug use itself also goes down, rather than up, is just the icing on the cake. The reason drugs need to be decriminalized is not simply to lower drug use; it is for the much more critical reasons stated above.

        • Re:Drive it home (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:27PM (#41479711)

          Hold on, one second.

          First, I'm assuming that "LESS crime" means less crime once you account for the fact that you're not prosecuting drug crimes. It would take a willfully ignorant misreading to screw that up.

          However, how do you measure "LESS injustice" and "LESS corruption" as a result of decriminalizing drug laws? Not that I don't believe you, just that I think those would be hard to measure as effects.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            Oh, come on... Even without that whole "causation" thing, or that "significance" bullshit, just calculating statistics is hard enough.

            Especially while high.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            If you only decriminalise posession of small amounts it won't make any difference.

            There is two types of crime that are caused by the "war on drugs"

            1. Organised crime in supply.

            2. Petty Crime used by addicts to get the stuff they need.

            First could be solved by government selling anything you want (Taxed at a level that means large amounts of profit for the government but still far cheaper than organised crime can supply it for and at a regulated quality). You can wipe organised crime out really easily (People

        • It also means less prisoners, which would put thousands of corporate detention officers out of work. You obviously just hate honest hardworking Americans and want them to become unemployed government moochers. What are all those prison guards supposed to do if you have your way? Not to mention the thousands of hard working criminal attorneys and police officers. Why there's a whole industry of jobs you are threatening with your radical talk.

          You must be a marxist, socialist, muslim, athiest, commie,
      • Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:33PM (#41479767)

        Also, possession of personal quantities of just about every drug has been decriminalized in Portugal, for about 10 years now. The result has been a decrease in drug use and all associated problems.

        This is a closely-guarded secret held under wraps by the US government, corporate-owned media, Big Pharma, and most especially the sickening for-profit prison corporations. You as a US citizen will NEVER hear about this on the news. Bill Maher should open every show talking about Portugal and compare it US prison statistics.

    • by daem0n1x (748565)

      Don't forget many others greats:

      1. Weather;
      2. Food;
      3. Wines;
      4. History;
      5. Beaches;
      6. Safety.

      Just don't come here to work. Business and State are completely disorganised and pay is absolute shit, unless you are an executive. In that case, please come. We desperately need competent management. Not sure if the useless bloodsuckers we have now will yield their comfortable positions easily, though...

      • To bad this is not the Dresden Files Universe

        about 2 books back in The Dresden Files the Bloodsuckers got made extinct.

        (oh you are talking about Managers Not Vampires never mind)

        btw Cold Days comes out on November 27 (read the previous 13 books first!)

      • by cp.tar (871488)

        If it weren’t for your unemployment rates, which almost rival the ones here in Croatia, I’d be considering emigrating to Portugal. This way, I’m primarily considering Australia.

        • by daem0n1x (748565)
          Why would you want to come to Portugal? You already have what we have, great beaches and a shit economy.
          • by Kreigaffe (765218)

            *MOST* places with great beaches have a shit economy. I don't understand it exactly but suspect the two may be related..

            • by daem0n1x (748565)
              Tell that to Brazil...
            • Lackadaisical attitude since you're near the beach why not enjoy it and drug use commensurate with the lackadaisical lifestyle. There's a reason Jamaica isn't a powerhouse in anything except murders, drug use and beaches.

              And yes, I heard the whoosh.

  • Hey.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:35PM (#41479029)
    Anyone got a lead on good Portuguese proxy servers I can torrent through?
    Want to help me set some up?
    • So, IANAL, but isn't this saying that the court ruled it is not a criminal offense to share files for personal use? I.e. These were not lawsuits that were thrown out, but rather a trade organization trying to get the Attorney General to prosecute 2000 file sharers for illegal activity?

      If so, then this doesn't exactly seem like a landmark or very important decision, since isn't the same pretty much true everywhere else [wikipedia.org]? Even in the U.S., it's not a criminal offense unless you're profiting from it (or engagin

  • Bailout (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:36PM (#41479045)

    And this is how it will remain until the bribe I mean the interest free financial bailout monies are forwarded. At which point the subject will be revisited.

    Why Portugal May Be the Next Greece [time.com]

    • by ammorais (1585589)

      [sarcasm] Perhaps if we send file sharing teenagers, or their moms to jail, we bail the crisis then. [/sarcasm]

    • by daem0n1x (748565)

      What bribe are you talking about?

      The billions of euros that we, the Portuguese taxpayers, dumped into saving banks? Banks that got themselves in dire straits because of serious criminal activities that lasted for years, right under the nose of the supervision authorities?

      Because that money was interest free.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:37PM (#41479055)
    Enabling pirates since ~1577. Thanks!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Fernandez [wikipedia.org]
  • LOL @ ACAPOR (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:41PM (#41479111) Journal

    âoeWe are doing anything we can to alert the government to the very serious situation in the entertainment industryâ

    I can't quite put my finger on it exactly, but for some reason that sentence made me LOL bigtime. Luckily no coffee was in my mouth at that moment, or I'd have ejected it explosively through several facial orifices.

    • Why did quotes become "Ãoe"? Slashbug?

      • Because Unicode is for hippies and tree-huggers.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          And foreigners.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Why did quotes become "Ãfoe"? Slashbug?

        Yes. Ciopy from almost anywhere, including slashdot, and paste it into a comment and half the punctuation (especially quotes and apostrophes) change into garbage. There's no unicode support in comments.

    • It's relevant to mention that ACAPOR is the association of video clubs (like Blockbuster), and they're mostly butthurt that people have moved on much like everywhere else (exacerbated by the fact that our salaries are low and the internet speeds are reasonable).

  • by tibit (1762298) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @12:54PM (#41479285)

    You just wait until various acronymous industry groups start blaming Portugal's "lax" IP laws on their financial problems. With entertainment revenue's bottom dropping out, as it does to an extent when people have little or no disposable income, we're bound to hear industry groups blaming it all on legalized file sharing. Sigh.

    • by daem0n1x (748565)
      I'm pretty sure the IMF will say something about that. And our puppet government will immediately create a law that forces every Portuguese to buy a certain monthly quantity of overpriced CDs containing shitty French and German music.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2012 @01:54PM (#41480047)

    Portuguese with some legal background:

    It has always been legal to own or acquire (download) unauthorized copies of most content. *
    It's legal to make how many copies you want for your own use and to share with other people
    within your "personal" sphere.

    What is illegal is "making such content available to the public", emphasis on "public" as in
    "general public".

    What the A.G. clarified is that, in the particular case of BT and similar P2P protocols,
    the act of seeding a file you are downloading, or did just download, enjoys the same treatment
    as if you were downloading using a traditional protocol, i.e., benefits from the "personal use"
    exception.

    This does not mean you can happily run a public W4R3Z FTP server with impunity, but it does clarify
    an important issue re: the law vs P2P downloads that had had no previous legal interpretation.

    It has also brought about an interesting IP != person argument which will be interesting to follow up on,
    in case of more serious offenses.

    AC

    * thanks to the lobbying efforts of the BSA-equivalent in the 90s, computer programs are dealt with differently
    and enjoy no "personal use" rights.

  • by scarboni888 (1122993) on Thursday September 27, 2012 @02:32PM (#41480621)

    Piracy = making money off of other people's works = bad

    File sharing != Piracy

    Thank goodness the portugese legal system understands that as most of the rest of the world (Including Slashdot) seems to think those things are one and the same.

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