Spain legalized file hosting and peer-to-peer networks

    The court ruled that the use of peer-to-peer networks - for example, the BitTorrent protocol - for non-commercial purposes is absolutely legal, even if users download pirated films and music.

    This is the final court decision in the case of Jesus Guerra, the owner of , which hosts a collection of links for the eDonkey file-sharing network.

    In May 2009, Guerra received a complaint from the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE, Sociedad General de Autores y Editores). The complaint stated that Gerra’s resource infringed the copyrights of some members of the Society.

    The case was referred to court. Speaking in court, Guerra noted that his website does not advertise. According to him, the resource does not violate the laws, as it simply provides a selection of links, like a search engine, reports TorrentFreak .

    The Society of Authors and Publishers insisted that the site should be closed in July, but Judge Raul N. García Orejudo did not agree with this requirement. He stated that peer-to-peer networks are simply the exchange of data between Internet users. Orehuda also noted that the provision of links to works protected by copyright cannot be equated with the publication of such materials in the public domain.

    Before making the final decision, the judge also reviewed the financial reports of Gerra and found out that the owner did not use the site as a source of profit. According to the court, the site of Guerra cannot be closed, as it does not contradict the current legislation of Spain.

    Peer-to-peer networks are simply channels for exchanging data between Internet users, so they do not violate intellectual property rights, said Orekhuda. If a person uses peer-to-peer networks - for example, eDonkey or BitTorrent, and with their help downloads copyrighted materials, he cannot be held accountable if he does not use these materials for commercial purposes.

    A source

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