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Madrid judges liken file sharing to lending books

The Provincial Court of Madrid has thrown out a case against file-sharing forum, having decided that no offences had been committed.

After nearly five years of legal wrangling and the arrest of four men accused of running the site, the court decided that, since the site did not host the copyrighted files and, since it made no profit through infringing any copyright, no crime had been committed.

In a ruling for common sense, Judges Ocariz, Gutierrez and Campillo said; "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 analogue 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."

Back in 2005, following complaints from copyright avengers EGEDA and Columbia Tristar, Spain's Intellectual Property Crime Squad raided locations in Seville, Malaga and Madrid making the four arrests and closing down the site - its servers were located in San Diego in the United States. had only been launched the previous year, but was claimed to have received more than 11 million visits. It made its money from advertising.

Following the ruling this week - which cannot be appealed - Defending lawyer, Carlos Sanchez Almeida, said: "The judges have taken a stand for freedom on the Internet."

TorrentFreak has more here.