Series Yonkis, Series Pepito, Elitedivx, Series.ly. Series and movie download sites have been a feature of the Spanish internet since the mid-2000s. Their ploy was simple: the content was not directly available on their websites, but instead linked to third-party pages that could be viewed from there. or download them. A strategy that served to evade justice until June 1, 2015, when a reform of intellectual property law came into force that explicitly criminalized linking to protected content.
This is the theory that the courts uphold. The reality is that the people responsible for these pages face very long trials that end in acquittals, but this involves a trial that can last up to 16 years. This is what happened to the two administrators of bajandoxvid.net, who were acquitted this week by a Tenerife provincial court after being acquitted in 2007 by an organization that unites American film producers, today called Adivan (Association of Distributors and Importers of National Videographers). ).
One of the defendants on bajandoxvid.net was a minor at the time of the complaint, meaning he has spent almost half of his life as a defendant. The end of their trial was usual in cases of this type: the magistrates ruled that the defendants could not be punished for an act that was not punishable at the time it was committed. From 2007 to 2009, when bajandoxvid.net was active, linking to protected content was not a crime.
In a ruling to which elDiario.es had access, the Provincial Court of Tenerife also insulted the plaintiffs – and the criminal court that sentenced the defendants in the first instance – for not specifying the works that were allegedly reproduced without it. Manufacturer’s permission. They limited themselves to saying that bajandoxvid.net “contained a list of 500 titles, all of which were protected,” but they only mentioned one: “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, released by its rightful owner Warner Bros.” on June 11, 2007 and that a few days later it was available for download through the links provided by the defendants.”
“This absence of the sentence appealed from would affect one of the essential elements of the crime for which the defendants were convicted, which required a minimum specification of the works that constituted the object of the crime to which users were given unauthorized access.” copyright holders,” the ruling said. If they were pirates, the defendants would only be from the Harry Potter film, the only work referred to in their sentences, magistrates explained before announcing the acquittal.
It’s not over yet
The managers of bajandoxvid.net may have another chapter added to their legal history. Adivan could appeal the decision of the Provincial Court of Tenerife to the Constitutional Court. elDiario.es contacted the association that represents the interests of record companies, which refused to reveal whether it intends to do so: “I have nothing to comment on this matter, as is our custom when they are. Legislature– said the president of Adivan, Santiago Mediano. Latin location Legislature The case involves proceedings that are pending in court, although the bajandoxvid.net case was recently settled with an acquittal of the defendants.
Adivan also declined to say whether it has filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court against Series Yonkis, the largest download link website in Spain until 2015. Its managers were acquitted by the provincial court of Murcia in 2021; As of EliteDivX, after a few months. Both remained open for 14 years. It is not clear today that they were closed because Adivan did not want to reveal to this media whether he went on the TC emergency route. Yes, he took the necessary step to do so, which is to file a motion for annulment in both proceedings, which was denied.
The least important thing is to receive the punishment, the most important thing for them is to cause fear and suffering in connection with the punishment.
Carlos Sanchez Almeida
– Advocate for bajandoxvid.net, Series Yonkis and Elitedivx
“The entertainment industry uses the criminal process for piracy as propaganda,” denounces Carlos Sánchez Almeida, a lawyer in the three aforementioned cases. “The smallest thing is a conviction, the main thing for them is to cause fear and suffering on the bench. They do not facilitate the processes, it is important for them that the maximum number of accused are brought to justice. This is a systematic abuse of our administration of justice, which in this case does not work on Spanish authors, but on the Hollywood industry,” the lawyer told elDiario.es.
Other cases from the Link era are still open. The decision of the second instance (to be issued by the Provincial Court of Barcelona) is awaited by the managers of Series.ly, who were first acquitted by the Criminal Court No. 1 of Sabadell in October 2022. The judge’s argument is already known: contact was not a crime until 2015. Despite this, the producers appealed. because? “Because it doesn’t cost them anything,” replies David Bravo, their attorney.
Appeal is free. If they are right, so much the better. If not, they have at least put the accused in a quandary of anxiety and trial, which is already a punishment in itself.
– Intellectual property lawyer
“There is no penalty for private prosecution in the criminal justice process, except for recklessness, which I have never seen used, even in the most reckless cases,” he continues to talk to this media. “Anything that gets appealed is free for their attorneys on the payroll because there’s no consequence.” And if the flute also sounds and they agree with them, so much the better. If they don’t give it, at least they stopped the anxiety and the punishment, which is already a punishment in itself,” agrees the colleague. In this case, the private prosecutor’s office requests a 4-year prison term, a 20-month fine of 20 euros per day, and 195,735.35 euros in compensation.
The latest open process is the Pepito series, in which an investigating judge ordered the assets of two of its managers to be seized. The charge also calls for seven years in prison. The assets of three employees of the company they set up to manage the web pages, which was responsible for the aforementioned download portal and dozens of other clients, have also been seized, as they are being asked to pay more than one million euros in compensation. The police accuse them all of being members of a criminal organization.
Source: El Diario