Portugal: File-sharing for personal use is not infringing the law
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Deutsch: Portugal: Filesharing für private Zwecke verstößt nicht gegen das G...
The Portuguese prosecutors division DIAP (Department of Investigations and Criminal Acts) have recently ruled against ACAPOR (the Association of Audiovisual Commerce of Cultural Works and Entertainment of Portugal) in a case the latter initiated in 2011 against approx. 2000 alleged illegal file sharers.
Last year, ACAPOR members wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Piracy is Illegal”, handed over to the Attorney General’s Office several boxes with IP-addresses of allegedly illegal file-sharers. “We are doing anything we can to alert the government to the very serious situation in the entertainment industry. (…) 1000 complaints a month should be enough to embarrass the judiciary system,” stated ACAPOR at that time.
However, DIAP not only decided not to prosecute the 2000 file-sharers, but gave a serious blow to the entertainment industry by explaining that file-sharing for personal use is not infringing the law: “Moreover, from a legal point of view, while taking into account that users are both uploaders and downloaders in these file-sharing networks, we see as lawful this conduct of participants in P2P, for private use - art. 75 no. 2a) and Art.81 b) from Portugal Copyright law - even when it’s considered that the users continue to share once the download is finished."
The prosecutor emphasized that the right to education, culture, and freedom of expression on the Internet should not be restricted when the copyright infringements are clearly non-commercial. Moreover, the decision considers that IP addresses do not constitute evidence enough as an IP-address is not a person. “The IP-address is not necessarily the user at the moment the infringement takes place, or the user that makes available the copyrighted work, but rather the individual who has the service registered in his name, independent of whether this person using it or not” reads the ruling.
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(only in Portuguese, 26.09.2012)
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