Spanish Judge’s Ruling Leaves Music Industry Tilting at Windmills

A Spanish judge has effectively endorsed file sharing and CD burning in a recent ruling. The judge dismissed a case against a file sharer on the grounds that the defendant was simply participating in “socially acceptable” and “widely practiced” behavior. Central to the decision was the judge’s consideration that the individual was not conducting the activity for profit.

There is no getting away from how serious a problem piracy is in Spain. The total music market has lost over half its value and file sharing is higher there than anywhere else in Europe: close to a third of Spanish Internet Users regularly download music from illegal file sharing networks. Spain also has the highest rate of movie file sharing. This latest ruling does little to help the music industry’s cause in a market where it has been able to do little to halt the inexorable rise of file sharing.

Additionally the IFPI have raised concern about the tacit approval of copying albums onto CD-R, but this is in fact pretty similar to the BPI’s Peter Jamieson stating that the BPI didn’t mind people making digital copies of CDs in the UK for private use, even though the law states otherwise. The reason the IFPI is so concerned is that commercial scale CD-R piracy is massive problem in Spain.