Mixed results for content industries in Spain and Ireland

January 2012


An attempt by the Spanish record industry to sue the provider of file-sharing technologies in Spain has failed. All four majors joined with Promusica to sue Pablo Soto and his MP2P company, which distributes various file-sharing clients, including Blubster, Piolet and Manolito P2P. Paszt rulings have led to an approach that individuals sharing copyright content online do not infringe if the users are not profiting from their actions. The Spanish music industry hoped that if they could prove MP2P was profiting from activities that were detrimental to their business that might be a strong enough case in itself (similar arguments have had some success in the Italian courts) but it wasn’t to be. According to El Mundo, a Spanish court has now ruled that Soto and his companies provide a neutral technical function, and that there is no liability for any sort of infringement.

Spain’s Sinde Law will provide a system through which rights owners can have copyright infringing websites blocked. Whilst approved by the country’s parliament, implementation of the Sinde Law has been delayed by an election and now a change of government in Spain.

Eircomm’s voluntary the ‘three-strike’ anti-file-sharing system being operated by Eircom has been halted on privacy grounds after Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner found that the scheme breaches people’s online privacy rights. It is thought the Irish Government will introduce legislation in 2012 to better protect the content industries.

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