Programmer sued by music industry for EUR 13m

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The programmer is being sued for a record amount of EUR 13 million for creating file-sharing technology that permits users to download music file.

10 June 2008

BARCELONA - A computer programmer and musician from Madrid is being sued by Promusicae, an association formed by companies from the music industry, for the record amount of EUR 13 million.

The case comes after Pablo Soto, also known as Manolito P2P, created file-sharing technology that permits users to download music files. Soto, 28, is accused of "unfair competition" by the association.

"I've been expecting it for a while," he says. "But it's still a surprise to be accused of being responsible for the use that others make of applications I have created."

More than 20 million people use the technology that Soto first wrote in the year 2000, which permits users to exchange audio files anonymously over the internet. His company, MP2P technologies, offers the programmes for free, making money from advertising, or from selling a premium version at EUR 14.95.

Inciting piracy
Antonio Guisasola, the president of Promusicae, said last week that "Soto creates and sells a tool that incites internet users to download protected material. [...] Ninety-nine percent of what is downloaded is protected by copyright law."

But Soto says that Promusicae "is attacking anyone who is trying to distribute content in a different way from the traditional model. All I am doing is giving people who write free music a system to distribute it."

[El Pais / Laia Reventos / Expatica]

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