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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Portugal Court Ruled File-Sharing Legitimate

Portugal Court Ruled File-Sharing Legitimate

Portugal Court Ruled File-Sharing Legitimate

Added: Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
Category: Bit Torrent Freedom > The Right To Share
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extratorrent.com
When it comes to file-sharing issues in courts, the community is always ready for the worst. However, the Portugal case makes an exception. Last year, ACAPOR (one of the local advocacy groups) has sent the IP addresses of two thousand alleged copyright infringers to the Attorney General. The outfit hoped that they the pirates would be prosecuted, but the result surprised everyone…


Surprisingly enough, a Portuguese prosecutor decided not to follow on the people behind the IP addresses. Instead, a statement was made that it was absolutely legal to share file on non-commercial basis. In addition, IP addresses can’t be enough to launch a lawsuit against the suspected pirates.

A year ago, ACAPOR provided the Attorney General with 2,000 IP-addresses of suspected pirates while wearing T-shirts saying “Piracy is illegal”. The outfit claimed it was doing its best to alert the authorities to the very serious situation in the content industry. It believed that a thousand complaints per month should be enough to embarrass the judiciary system. But their hopes appeared in vain after the Department of Investigation and Penal Action investigated complaints and took a decision not to charge individuals involved in the case.

It said that from a legal point of view, taking into consideration the fact that alleged users were both uploaders and downloaders, this conduct was seen absolutely legitimate, even if the users continue file-sharing after the download is finished. Moreover, one’s rights for online education, freedom of expression and culture should be respected if no commercial copyright violation is involved in the case.

In addition, the statement of many experts was supported, saying that an IP address does not necessarily indicate the infringer, because there may be another individual behind it, not the one in whose name the service is registered, regardless of whether the real owner of IP address using it or not.

Of course, ACAPOR wasn’t happy with this decision, claiming that the prosecutors simply found a way to adapt the legislation to their interest. They might be right, because it is in no-one’s interest to have to send thousands of letters, hear thousands of people and investigate thousands of PCs.

Industry observers hope that this ruling will set a precedent and an example to other countries that tend to take side of the content industry in such lawsuits.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for the source of the article

October 2nd,2012

Posted by: 

Date:  Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Comments (11) (please add your comment »)

posted by ET junkie (2012-10-02 17:09:23)
salesman91 avatarok....

posted by (2012-10-03 01:51:45)
Coded avatarExactly, these people were smart. It's not illegal unless your making money from it!!!!! Share, share, share.

posted by men (2012-10-03 06:05:48)
STEVENS8134033002 avatarCOMMON SENSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by (2012-10-03 10:08:51)
giraffe avatarThanx for the article Sam. It's good to read that one court thinks sharing is caring.

posted by ET lover (2012-10-04 19:24:53)
229395mig3 avatarA step forward,common sense is rare these days!

posted by (2012-10-04 21:04:09)
dfresh avatarJust want to say GREAT comments by everyone!!! Common sense, like what-- 229395mig3-- stated, it's so rare these days. Thanks guys/girls.

posted by (2012-10-05 00:34:02)
No avatarMaybe it's just a differance in how portugal administers justice...but...

How does an attorney generals decision to proceed or not proceed with a case equal a court decision? This articles headline says a court ruling, yet the content of the article never mentions a court or presiding authority...just an AG who issued an opinion...is it binding precedent? Is this the policy of the country or the office of the AG? Can some other AG office or administration choose to prosecute at a differant time??

posted by (2012-10-05 02:39:00)
No avatarHi hsrunner. This is a case of mis-translation. Attorney Generals do not exist in Portugal, it doe not use the same system as the US and UK and therefore cannot be simply translated word for word. The "incriminating evidence" was presented to the Procurator for the Republic. This then has to be submited to a prosecuting magistrate/judge who will the evidence against current law and the constituition of the country. His argument is that sharers, by the act of sharing are behaving as a community. No different to showing a film in a piazza in the summer in a small village, as such no profit has been made and nobody has been harmed or suffered loss. It is therefore not possible to prosecute under current piracy legislation as file sharers do not request money for the file. Also under the constitution there is a right to duplicate materials to spread a message, whether political or artistic, by copying/sharing/duplicating etc as long as the author(s) are acknowledged. As the decision is by a magistrate/judge it is binding through the country unless appealed successfuly at constitutional tribunal or European Court.

posted by (2012-10-05 14:56:55)
No avatarHey Jaytiberian, way to break it down! I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me, thank you!

posted by Blocked (2012-10-05 17:59:03)
skreamer avatarseconded.

posted by ET babyET lover (2012-10-06 00:42:12)
eNdEmiOn avatarWell guess I'm moving to Portugal.

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