Ever since it became clear that running a P2P links site is not a crime in Spain, music anti-piracy group SGAE have threatened civil action. Yesterday the admin of two P2P sites had a home visit by members of SGAE, who took advantage of the admin’s legal naivety and conducted a search of his property without a suitable warrant.
Allow us to introduce computer science student, Juan Jose Carrasco Colonel. The 26 year-old resident of Bonar, Spain, lives with his parents and brother. He also ran two eD2k file-sharing link sites – Elitemula and Etmusica – which were recently shuttered after a court order was served on the site’s host.
Yesterday things took a turn for the sinister. At around 12:00 noon and after a sleepless night, Juan heard a knock at his door and upon answering it he saw five people standing there who gave no other explanation who they were, other than they were from the court. They gave Juan documentation that he didn’t fully comprehend and gave him the impression that they had a warrant to enter his home and make an inspection of his computers and hard drives.
It appears they came looking for the stats from Elitemula and Etmusica which reflect the downloads of music made via links on those sites between September and December 2007.
Juan explains, “They entered my house and I called them to show them where the computers were in the house. I showed them my personal laptop, but they insisted on seeing them all, including my brother’s.”
This wasn’t enough for the unexpected visitors who proceeded to enter every room in the house and even opened up some cardboard boxes in Juan’s bedroom which merely contained personal family belongings.
“A man who identified himself as a ‘computer expert’ reviewed the contents of my personal computers and then tried to access my brother’s computer,” Juan explained. However, since the laptop was password protected the ‘expert’ prompted Juan to provide the password, which he couldn’t since he didn’t know it. After a telephone call to Juan’s brother which understandably worried him, he handed over the password which allowed the ‘expert’ to make a detailed investigation of the laptop. They went on to examine several other hard drives.
After the five individuals had been inside for two hours, Juan finally managed to get lawyer David Bravo on the telephone who, along with Javier de la Cueva, recently defended P2P developer Pablo Soto. David asked Juan to read out the order which supposedly allowed these individuals to enter his home and search it.
Over the telephone, David Bravo confirmed that the text of the order did not authorize entry to Juan’s house or examination of hardware held there. Understandably concerned, Juan asked David to demand that the five people in his home identify themselves.
The first man was a lawyer for Spanish music rights/anti-piracy group SGAE, the second a SGAE computer expert, another a clerk and others unidentified.
At this point David Bravo told Juan to order the individuals out of his home and demanded that they leave all of his property intact. After a long conversation where the SGAE lawyer tried to convince that seizure of hard drives was allowed, David Bravo urged him to leave Juan’s home immediately.
David Bravo gave Juan instructions on how to proceed and offered to appear before the courts as a witness to what had happened. Javier de la Cueva, David’s partner, told TorrentFreak that he will be representing Juan.
In the end the five left Juan’s house and left the hard drives behind, although Juan voluntarily allowed them to take a laptop.
As soon as we have more on this story we will publish an update.