Spain's anti-piracy campaigners have suffered a new blow following yet another court ruling that clears a web site that offered links to protected cultural content of infringing intellectual property legislation.

Three judges closed the five-year case by arguing that file sharing was comparable to the "loan or sale of books," and therefore no offence had been committed.

The case against the file-sharing site CVCDGO.com began five years ago when Spanish police raided a house in Madrid, dismantled the site and arrested four people.

The three judges at Madrid provincial court - Maria Riera Ocariz, Eduardo Jesus Gutierrez Gomez, and Francisco Cucala Campillo - ruled that "since ancient times there has been the loan or sale of books, movies, music and more. The difference now is mainly on the medium used - previously it was paper or analog media and now everything is in a digital format which allows a much faster exchange of a higher quality and also with global reach through the Internet."

In common with most file-sharing cases in Spain recently, the court found that since the site did not host the actual copyright files and generated no profit directly from any infringements of copyright, the presence of advertising on the site did not constitute a crime.

The decision has saddened audiovisual rights collecting society Egeda and Columbia Tristar, who alerted police to the site in 2005 claiming it allowed users to download films on P2P networks. Advertising-financed CVCDGO claimed in 2005 it had had 11 million visits since launching in 2004. It still had servers located in San Diego, the United States, following raids in Madrid, Malaga and Seville.


Three judges closed the five-year case by arguing that file sharing was comparable to the "loan or sale of books," and therefore no offence had been committed.

The case against the file-sharing site CVCDGO.com began five years ago when Spanish police raided a house in Madrid, dismantled the site and arrested four people.

The three judges at Madrid provincial court - Maria Riera Ocariz, Eduardo Jesus Gutierrez Gomez, and Francisco Cucala Campillo - ruled that "since ancient times there has been the loan or sale of books, movies, music and more. The difference now is mainly on the medium used - previously it was paper or analog media and now everything is in a digital format which allows a much faster exchange of a higher quality and also with global reach through the Internet."

In common with most file-sharing cases in Spain recently, the court found that since the site did not host the actual copyright files and generated no profit directly from any infringements of copyright, the presence of advertising on the site did not constitute a crime.

The decision has saddened audiovisual rights collecting society Egeda and Columbia Tristar, who alerted police to the site in 2005 claiming it allowed users to download films on P2P networks. Advertising-financed CVCDGO claimed in 2005 it had had 11 million visits since launching in 2004. It still had servers located in San Diego, the United States, following raids in Madrid, Malaga and Seville.