Spain Criminal Convictions for Fraudulent Use of Intellectual Property Rights Via the Internet

On March 31st, 2005, Madrid Criminal Court No. 3 condemned the owner of the website weblisten.com for selling music via Internet in MP3 format since 1997 without any authorization from the producers of phonograms (AGEDI). The Defendant company was ordered to pay a fine of €5.5 per day during six months; immediate closure of the website (The website closed on June 1st, 2005, with the warning: “This Website has been closed following the legal procedure at the Juzgado de lo Penal nº 3 of Madrid.”); and prohibition to engage in any future similar activity.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Besides this Criminal code law, what other Spanish law did the defendant violate by selling music over the Internet?
What was the specific conduct that made the defendant liable?
What arguments did the defense present in this case?
What did the Court rule regarding the users’ conduct of downloading the music from the Internet?

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