Cinetube.es indexes thousands of copyrighted videos and was mentioned in last month’s Megaupload indictment. It is also one of the top targets of the entertainment industry once Spain’s new antipiracy legislation, dubbed the Sinde Law, is enforced starting in March.
“The links in this web have been found in different video webs online (veoh.com , megavideo.com… ) and we don’t know if these” are legal, says the home page of Cinetube. Referring to the links it redirects traffic to, it says: “all content has been exclusively found in public Internet sites, which makes this content of free distribution. No law prohibits distribution of free content and thus this page doesn’t violate any law.”
The ruling gives legal ammunition to the movement fighting antipiracy laws and will be the most recent precedent when the piracy battle heads to the Supreme Court. Ultimately the question is whether judges or officials should decide when copyright is being infringed.
In the verdict, the judges say the accusation could not prove any crime was being committed by Cinetube and directly dropped the charges, citing a previous ruling from 2011 that also released P2P site Sharemula.com from copyright infringement. Sharemula shut down shortly after winning the case.
The judges in the Cinetube case argue that like in the Sharemula precedent, Spanish law specifically limits the liability of P2P sites, which “will not be responsible for the information to which their users are redirected to,” as long as they 1. have not been “effectively” notified about their illegal nature and 2. if they have, act accordingly to delete the link.