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Tuesday 12 February 2013

Patricia Covarrubia

Argentina: online movies...file sharing?

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We read on an Argentinian newspaper that a Federal Court in Buenos Aires has ruled that Cuevana, an online movies platform, had been under judicial investigation after it received several claims for trade marks and copyright infringement. The action, leading to criminal actions as well, was brought by HBO. However, the appeal court upheld the decision of the trial judge, refusing to grant a temporal injunction to block the site.

The judges believed that the claimant has not established if Cuevana is a site indexing links or contents OR if it is an entity/person that has certain control over the site. In other words, by not explaining clearly to the court the function of this site, i.e. file sharing tech, the court did not have any other choice but to dismiss the action.

Indeed, we are aware of cases in which infringement relating to reproduction of copyright is not present i.e. the site is not reproducing the work as such (see for example the trial case of Pirate Bay in Sweden). If Cuevana operates like ‘BitTorrent’ not files are saved in the central server and it will only function as a library catalogue, thus no reproduction right infringed. The matter will be against the file sharers (surely millions of people). The big question here would be: is Cuevana providing an opportunity to users to infringe copyright? Moreover, what is the role of Internet Service Providers(ISP)?

This blog has previously reported on Cuevana in Argentina and also in Chile. Back in December 2011 we saw a District Court issuing an interim injunction ordering the Secretary of Communications and the National Communications Commission to block "access by any Internet user to the resources of the website known as Cuevana". In Chile, the following year ie 2012 we heard of the imprisonment of one of Cuevana’s administrator (investigation initiated by HBO for infringement of intellectual property right). Mr Alvarez (the defendant) was obligated to destroy audiovisual material, was banned access to the website either as a user or administrator AND it was ordered to make two talks regarding intellectual property rights..

Cuevana apears to have a life on its own...living its own soap opera!

Source La Nacion, Argentina.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia