A land-marking case between the music labels and the creator of Spanish file-sharing software has finally ended with defeat for the labels. The developer admitted that the court decision cleared the way for even more development, and immediately introduced his brand new, BitTorrent-powered software.
Six years ago, a number of recording studios (Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner) and “Spanish RIAA” joined forces to sue a company named MP2P Technologies. The firm was established by Pablo Soto, the creator of Blubster – the “Spanish Napster” file-sharing app. The plaintiffs claimed that Soto had created his software as a platform for people to pirate music and profit from their activity. This was claimed to amount to unfair market competition and the labels demanded $18 million in damages.
The litigation proceeded till 2011, when a Spanish court handed defeat to the labels and ruled that the developer’s technology was neutral. Although its users could indeed infringe copyright, Pablo Soto can’t be hold responsible for that. In addition, Soto had nothing to do with the record business, while the labels had nothing to do with the file-sharing business, so the unfair competition claim was also dismissed.
Of course, after investing so much in the Spanish case, the music industry wasn’t ready to concede defeat. As such, the case went to the Spanish Court of Appeals, which recently announced its decision: the labels lost once again. Moreover, now the court claimed that the Spaniard’s activity was not just neutral, but perfectly legal and protected by article 38 of the country’s Constitution.
The developer, who has been into writing software since he was 16, pointed out that the win was not just good news for him, but also for his colleagues seeking to innovate. This court ruling can clear the path for more opportunities to bring edge technologies to the marketplace.
His attorneys described the ruling as having a “very strong foundation” and said that the software developers can now go about their business free from the industry’s accusations. To celebrate the victory, Pablo Soto has immediately released a new version of his Blubster software: now it is powered by BitTorrent, and the developer promised to launch it on both Linux and Mac soon.