Judge Rules P2P Music Dowload Legal
Judge Paz Aldecoa of number three criminal court in Santander, Spain, has ruled innocent the defendant charged with downloading music from the internet. The music industry association was demanding a two year prison term, but the Judge has taken a "what nonsense is this?" stance; she ruled that the practice is not criminal since no monetary gain involved, and the download was covered by the right to private copy.
The defendant, J.M.L.H, 48 years old was arrested for downloading music albums through several different systems, and for offering in exchange music he already possessed. He took part in conversations with this aim using chat and email. The facts of the case prove he offered and swapped music with other internet users at no price. The plaintiff, "The Spanish Phonographic and Videographic Association (Afyve), and the Spanish Association of Entertainment Software Distributors and Editors (Adeses), demanded a two year sentence, €7200 fine plus damages of €18361 in the first case, with further damages to be decided by the two associations later.
Judge Paz Aldecoa, deemed that for a case of Intellectual property theft to exist, monetary gain should be involved; a fact absent from this case.
"Neither price nor other compensations other than the swapping of material amongst the various parties were present in this case. And in my judgment, this is enters the purvue of article 31 of the Intellectual Property Law which allows that obtaining copies for private use without the authorization of authors; as long as their is no illicit aim to obtain monetary gain." [Free translation]
Judge Paz Aldecoa concludes her reasoning assuring that, without the monetary gain, the facts of the accusation do not constitute an infraction that warrants criminal sentencing.