A Spanish judge has ruled that downloading copyright files online is legal, as long as it's not for profit, a ruling that would make Spain one of the most lenient in the world
Even as other EU countries tighten their grip on the runaway P2P scene, Spain is bucking the trend and going the other direction.
According to a recent Torrentfreak report, a recent court case highlights just how one country is removing the stigma attached to pirates.
In a recent Spanish court case, an eD2K P2P website that specialises in recent release movies was brought to court by the country's leading entertainment copyright coalition, hoping to target 200 individual downloaders for their so-called 'crimes' of downloading.
But the judge's ruling was not the one the lobbyist group expected. Instead of clamping down of the downloaders and issuing a tremendous fine, as we're used to seeing in the USA and elsewhere, the judge ruled that when the downloading (regardless of whether it's copyrighted material or not) is for non-profit use, then it does not constitute breaking any laws - effectively making P2P and Bittorrent legal in Spain and issuing the entertainment groups a strict 'persona non grata'.
The website at the centre of the lawsuit, elrincondejesus, specialises in the latest Hollywood movies - although you'll need to understand Spanish to get your way around the site. Still, saying that it's okay to download copyright material is a bold move, one that flies in the face of other court rulings around the world - particularly the Pirate Bay's pursuit of 'free speech' and of course, free downloads.
Perhaps the Pirate Bay should of been hosted in Spain.
Speaking of the ruling, attorney Carlos Almeida-Sanchez cited the unique legal precedent displayed, saying; "This is the first time a court clearly states that P2P itself does not violate any rights."
It's a confusing time to be a downloader in the world. In the US, American citizens continue to be targeted by giant lawsuits, equalling fines in the millions for some.
While in France, a French court ruled that internet should regulated as a human right, thereby crushing a ruling to disconnect downloaders in a 'three-strikes' style law, being looked at in many EU countries.
Over in Sweden, the courts recently denied the appeal of the Pirate Bay defendants, while in Spain we now have a number of judge's ruling in favour of downloading. With all these conflicting laws, it's no wonder the entertainment industries are scrambling to protect their interests.