File share programmer sued by record companies
Wednesday 20 May 2009
Record companies went to court yesterday claiming €13 million from a Spaniard they claim profited from computer programs he designed to allow free music downloads from the internet.
The Promusicae association of Spanish record firms and branches of international companies Emi, Sony, Universal and Warner are suing Pablo Soto for what they allege is unfair competition.
Soto, 30, designed three popular file-sharing programs for internet users to download music for free. He admits he earned a living from the programs but denies committing any offense.
Spanish courts have repeatedly ruled that free music downloading is not illegal if it is not for commercial use.
This stance has infuriated the music business which claims it is being cheated of rightful earnings. The industry says Spain is among the worst offenders for what it says is internet piracy.
Soto says business groups are now trying to target program designers after several failed cases against people who downloaded music for personal use.
His supporters argue that people in Spain already cover the alleged losses made by music companies and artists by paying a special tax on CDs, pen drives and mobile phones.
Spain's Culture Ministry said talks are being held with all parties with the aim of drawing up new legislation to try to end disputes but there was no immediate prospect of a bill.
The case was to be heard at a court again on Thursday.
A spokesman for Madrid's Superior Court which oversees the tribunal said a ruling was expected within a month. News reports say the case could drag on for years with appeals.
The spokesman was speaking on condition anonymity in keeping with court regulations.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Life & Style blogs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
- 1 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained star's white boyfriend Brian Lucas confirms LAPD internally investigating 'racist' detainment
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
- 5 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time: 'That was the lowest I'd ever felt'
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...
£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...