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Piracy The Courts The Internet

P2P and P2P Links Ruled Legal In Spain 265

Nieriko writes After three years of arduous litigation, Jesus Guerra Calderon, owner of both a small bar and the P2P link webpage '' has beaten the SGAE (something like the Spanish version of the RIAA). The historic ruling states not only the legality of link webpages, but also the legality of P2P file-sharing networks. Quoting the judge: 'P2P Networks as mere data transmision networks between individual internet users, do not breach any rights protected by the Intellectual Property Law.' Downloading a file (from a P2P network) for private use is perfectly legal as long as there is no lucrative or collective use of the downloaded copy."
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P2P and P2P Links Ruled Legal In Spain

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  • by Anarki2004 ( 1652007 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @03:16AM (#31519772) Homepage Journal
    It would be nice if something like this happened here in America. As it stands now, it seems like Comcast is going to get to mold the internet as they see fit.
  • by Anarki2004 ( 1652007 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @03:50AM (#31519888) Homepage Journal
    I think that a system built on this principal can work in theory, but it requires individuals to be responsible for their actions and probably a rewriting of copyright law. As far as I'm concerned the major corporate media can crash and burn.
  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @03:53AM (#31519902)
    copyright isn't an inalienable right, the community is the one providing the protection to copyright holder, and they can dictate the rules as they see fit.

    I hardly think digital transmission of data destroys anything.

  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @04:11AM (#31519966) Homepage

    I think in Spain they realized just how much the corporate superstructure of the media industry contributes to civilized society: Nothing.

    Art and entertainment have value. Paying suits huge amounts to "monetize" art is not only inefficient from the point of view of the economy as a whole (although it is lucrative to them) but undermines the art itself. These people actually end up eliminating the incentive for artists to practice art for art's sake, and replace it with a "make art that sells" incentive. The result is that we get art that does nothing more than appeals to populism, from artists who are only concerned with that agenda.

    Exploration of niche areas of morality and challenging flaws in the social order are not serving to that agenda. Thus, we won't get art in the vein of James Joyce's writing, or Mozart's composition, or Shakespeare's plays. Instead, we get the trash that is modern music and cinema.

    Thank you Spain, for moving to destroy the stranglehold that corporate interests have on the artistic output of society. Next on the agenda: kill all the fucking lawyers.

  • by delinear ( 991444 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @05:00AM (#31520154)

    Just because the courts have ruled that it's not illegal under current law, that doesn't prevent the labels lobbying/buying up politicians until there are enough to pass a new, more stringent law.

    In the meantime it will be a useful experiment, if music sales in Spain don't suddenly drop off a huge cliff then this could be a strong message of support to people worldwide who have been saying downloading != actual loss for a long time (having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if the labels played it dirty, slashing marketing spend and raising prices to give the opposite result and an excuse for exactly those strict laws).

  • by delinear ( 991444 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @05:07AM (#31520180)

    Strangely, a "try-before-you-buy" system might be the only niche where DRM could be effective. If I could have an album via a free, or at most nominal (a few pence per download) price for a couple of weeks to decide if I like it, after that the album disappears and I buy the non-DRM version, or not depending on my opinion of the trial.

    Of course this terrifies labels because they can't rely on their old fashioned model of having two songs out of 8 worth listening to and hyping the hell out of them in order to sell the album, which is why we're unlikely to ever see it despite it being pretty much a no brainer in terms of the right fit of technology and marketing.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @05:07AM (#31520182)

    I wish you were right, but check Article 27.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You'll find that copyright, or at least something that offers that same basic principles is in fact a fundamental right. Where copyright does stray is in things like transfer of ownership- that's not covered as a fundamental right.

    Now, I really have to agree I'm not sure this is something that should sit alongside things like the right to privacy, the right to fair trial and so forth, but unfortunately, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is currently written, it does.

    The real debate is in determining how far above and beyond the basic rights granted by the declaration go if at all. I would say that right now, copyright strays well too far above and beyond those rights granted in the declaration.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @05:14AM (#31520214) Homepage
    It's pretty hard to have sympathy with Artists who despise the common people and spend their careers intentionally making art that excludes them.
  • by MostAwesomeDude ( 980382 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @05:59AM (#31520392) Homepage

    I like lawyers. Can we kill the corporate overlords running the industry instead?

  • by GMThomas ( 1115405 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @06:18AM (#31520482) Homepage

    Do you really think it is the corrupting power of dollar signs in their eyes that prevents them from taking even a little bit of time away from frantically making as much trash as they can and make some genuine masterpieces? Does it occur to you that this is completely ridiculous?

    How is this ridiculous at all? Society continuously beats into our head that money is equal to success, and success is the only thing worth striving for in life. What kind of musician wouldn't want to be famous, rich, and have a huge following of fans? The kinds that are greedy and want all of this badly ARE the ones that rise to the top. They are shoddy musicians next to some of the deep underground ones, and they are so popular BECAUSE of their drive for money.

    even though the artists themselves will end up being worse off, not to mention that most people will be deprived of the 'trash' that they actually like?

    Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, and Miley Cyrus wont be obscenely rich. Cry me a river. Meanwhile, bands that care more about artistic integrity might find themselves with more fans, or maybe not, either way, I'm sure they don't mind (being one of them myself). And when it all collapses people will just sell their iPods and everything because there is no longer any music out there that they would like, which is incredibly far from the truth.

    and the great era of plenty

    Quality over quantity. That's all I have to say. Who cares about the sheer amount of it when it is completely bereft of quality?

  • by alfredos ( 1694270 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @07:00AM (#31520704)
    If I understood the story correctly, it was the Romans who killed him for getting into politics in an age in which politics were a stinking and dangerous game. Not that things have changed much, come to think of it...
  • Re:In Hungary, too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kevinbr ( 689680 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @07:29AM (#31520840)

    You watch TV for free and you listen to the radio for free. Think carefully about value for money. If your barber overcharges you change barbers. If the Rolling Stones album is a rip off, the copyright is owned by a monopoly - no one can compete.

  • Re:In Hungary, too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 18, 2010 @07:47AM (#31520902)

    It's quite simple, really. Some artists and corporations feel they should not be bound by that part of the copyright law stating that after a limited time the copyrights return to the public. This is motivated by limitless greed. The public response has been to renege on their end of the agreement, and copy freely. In other words, greed begets greed. Monkey see, monkey do.

  • Re:In Hungary, too (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OrangeCatholic ( 1495411 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @09:43AM (#31522014)

    No that's a perfect example. 60's music is old crap that everyone is tired of hearing. If that was free, then new music would have to be better to attract dollars.

    Instead, people are still paying for that 60's shit, indirectly, every time it's on the radio. And the radio just avoids playing new stuff, because it isn't very good.

    I think you just nailed the issue of why obsolete media shouldn't be protected. Because it's obsolete. Everyone's heard it, and everyone has a copy already. There's no natural market there.

  • by selven ( 1556643 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:23AM (#31522522)

    Are you suggesting basic rights are something that exists independently of social acceptance?

    Yes. That's kind of the whole point of modern theory regarding these matters. Under your system, the Chinese government has the right to censor information and arrest and execute random people, the Iranian government has the right to brutally put down protests and every other evil regime would be justified because that's just how things work over there.

    Do you really think laws define morality? Every day I hear people casually talking about the latest movie they pirated and joking about what trouble they would be in if the government found out how much they lied on their customs forms. And nobody reports on people who do this. If you went around talking about how you steal chocolate bars, you would be shunned from society pretty quickly. There is a massive disconnect between what is legal and what is right, and sometimes breaking the law is the only right thing to do. []

    This brings me to my whole point: these papers are descriptive, not prescriptive. They try, but often fail, to keep up even with what the socially acceptable view on morality is. Having sex with minors isn't wrong because the law says so, the law says so because it's wrong.

  • Re:In Hungary, too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pofy ( 471469 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:37AM (#31522722)

    "Why don't people want to pay for what they use anymore?"

    Do you pay the writer som money when you for example borrows a book from someone to read? Or what about when you listen to some music at someone elses house? Or when you sit in a chair doing so. Or do you want to use it without paying for it?

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @10:56AM (#31522974)

    "Under your system, the Chinese government has the right to censor information and arrest and execute random people, the Iranian government has the right to brutally put down protests and every other evil regime would be justified because that's just how things work over there."

    Absolutely, that's exactly it. If you only look at a localised section of the world- that is, in China, if you ignore all external views and treaties, you do not have the rights you do elsewhere. If however you do not focus purely on China, and instead look at China in the context of the world view, then because there is a stronger view that people in China have those rights, then they can be recognised as rights- again, rights can only exist when there is enough agreement to recognise and enforce them, or at least, for there to be the will and acceptance to recognise and enforce them.

    You seem to finally get it in your last sentence.

    This is exactly what I said- laws do not define morality, they formally define what has previously been generally agreed as to what is moral. This is precisely the case with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights- it does not define in itself what fundamental rights people should have, it cannot, because that is subjective. It defines the generally accepted world view on what those fundamental rights should be to the extent that enough people are willing to recognise them as, and support them as rights.

  • Re:In Hungary, too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Philip_the_physicist ( 1536015 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @11:15AM (#31523200)

    Blatantly no true: think how many styles of music were not invented until after the 60s. All the fans of those types of music would still buy modern music. In fact, a short copyright period would encourage innovation, because only a really good band/composer would be able to produce new works in old styles with consistent success, since if it isn't as good as the old work people won't buy it.

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