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Spanish man sued over creation of file-sharing software

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 22 May 2009 1:34 User comments (7)

Spanish man sued over creation of file-sharing software The Promusicae association, which encompasses Spanish record labels as well as international giants such as EMI, Universal, Sony and Warner has sued Spanish citizen Pablo Soto for $17.5 million USD, alleging that they profited handsomely from software that allowed the sharing of unauthorized music over the Internet.
Soto created three popular file-sharing programs and has admitted that he did make money from the programs but continues to claim innocence on the charge of "unfair competition," which is what the Big 4 is claiming.

In Spain, downloading free music is not illegal unless it is found to be for commercial use, so the Promusicae may be facing an uphill battle in court.

Soto feels the media companies are now targeting program designers as a way to make money after failing to win cases against alleged file sharers who downloaded music for personal use. Fans of the file sharing networks also claim that the companies already make up the "losses" claimed by the record labels through the so-called "iPod Tax" which means all Spanish citizens pay a small levy on any new CD, MP3 player or phone purchase.

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7 user comments

122.5.2009 12:48

This is the equivalent of putting the CEO of Browning on trial for murder because someone used a gun made by the company to shoot someone.

Yes, he did get some profit off the sale of his software but as long as his software is legal (i.e. it doesn't come with MP3s, etc.) I don't see why they could sue him.

Peace

222.5.2009 13:06

Someone seriously needs to put the Big 4 in its place and bring them down a notch. If consumers where truly educated enough and worked as a team, boycotting their products would be a good "kick in the face" and maybe they'd realize they are biting the hand that feeds them.

The dictionary definition of Greed should be" Sony,EMI, Universal, Warner, RIAA etc...

323.5.2009 0:46

I think webster's is considering that change this year.

425.5.2009 3:51

Originally posted by Pop_Smith:
This is the equivalent of putting the CEO of Browning on trial for murder because someone used a gun made by the company to shoot someone.

Yes, he did get some profit off the sale of his software but as long as his software is legal (i.e. it doesn't come with MP3s, etc.) I don't see why they could sue him.

Peace
I agree with this statement. Had he sold MP3's with the goal of making a profit, then they'd have every right to sue him.

However in this case, the man only sold software that could potentially be used to share illegal files. How the software is used, is up to every individual user and as such I think he shouldn't be held accountable for it. The comparison with Browning is a very good one.

In short, he just sells a means to share files. How those means are used depends on the users, not on him.

As such, I don't think this'll hold in court.

528.5.2009 9:40

Any lawyer that brings a case like this forward should be debarred on the spot. And if a judge even solicits the case he/she should be removed period! These ridicules cases are becoming way too common and what a waist of money for this poor man to have to defend, which is a drop in the bucket for the big 4.

628.5.2009 10:20

Does that not mean that all manufacturers of DVD/CD recorders have broken the law? Many years ago they tried to say that you couldn't record programs. So what was the point of the technology? Why can you buy blank media? The same goes for the car. It kills people but its not illegal to sell them. Download from the music TV channels and record your own.
Th big boys would make more money if they priced their product to pile em high and sell em cheap like Wallmart. Then the pirating would be uneconomic.
Meanwhile carry on regardless.

728.5.2009 15:03

Hey how about they sue Bill Gates after all his software probably needs to supported by an OS doesn't that make MS an accomplice ?

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