Four music labels – Warner, Universal, EMI and Sony BMG – and Spain’s music industry body are suing Spanish peer-to-peer pioneer Pablo Soto Bravo for unfair competition.
The plaintiffs seek USD20m in damages from Soto Bravo, who operates music-sharing sites Manolito and Piolet, as well as P2P technology firms Optisoft and MP2P. The lawsuit was filed in Madrid by the labels’ Spanish offices and the the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)’s Spanish branch, Productores De Musica En Espana (Promusicae).
“Rather than embracing technology, they have chosen a path that will ultimately lead to their own demise, as evidenced by the label’s consistent decline over the past decade,” says Soto Bravo. “Litigation is in itself not a valid business model for them, however, it has been a dogged and futile pursuit of theirs since the advent of P2P.” The technology pioneer protests that peer-to-peer sharing is just a communication tool, and therefore should be considered as neither good nor bad.
Soto also says: “Promusicae tried to proceed with civil suits against users of P2P networks in Spain and, after being halted by the Court of Justice of the EU, it has now decided to go against a neutral communication tool such as P2P technology.”