Spain is one of a few countries that actually has had pretty sane copyright laws lately. Unlike other places, it has generally felt that private, non-commercial copying of content is legal, and has also rejected the idea of placing liability on third parties. And, despite claims to the contrary from the legacy entertainment industry, there’s still great content coming out of Spain (I keep getting great, new music from Spanish bands which, yes, I do pay for). However, it’s been interesting to watch the big Spanish music collection agency SGAE, flail around in this environment. In its effort to go after some file sharing sites, it actually pretended two of its employees worked for the courts, and “raided” the homes of people who worked on file sharing programs. As you can imagine, that’s a big no-no, and SGAE was fined. It also tried to take legal action against a competing upstart group, that was pushing for more open/copyleft/Creative Commons licensing of music.
And now comes the news that the head of SGAE, Teddy Bautista, is being sought on corruption charges (Google translation from the original Spanish), as a part of a massive investigation into corruption (original Spanish) in the very setup of SGAE.
Maybe, instead of trying to use questionable legal means to attack everyone else, SGAE should have been focusing on getting its own house in order.