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CRIME OF PIRACY IN THE CRIMINAL CODE

We know different types of piracy, but in this text, we will focus on crimes related to intellectual property. The legal asset that is intended to protect is the intellectual property of the authors, which is a personal and patrimonial right. What we currently know as piracy or the crime of piracy is not classified as such. However, the contemporary meaning of this crime is regulated, specifically in article 270 of the Penal Code.

Articles 271 and 272 are dedicated to addressing the special circumstances of the crime and the civil liability derived from it. But depending on different factors, the legal consequences of the crime of piracy may be very different. Next, we will try to approach the crime itself, the different variants of it, and the sanctions and legal consequences that may derive from it.

TYPES OF PIRACY

First, we will focus on what we are going to call the generic crime of piracy, regulated in article 270.1 of the Penal Code. The conduct of someone who, seeking to obtain a monetary benefit, economically exploits a literary, artistic or scientific work or performance is classified as a crime. In addition, this must be carried out without the authorization of the owner.

The second paragraph of Article 270 is dedicated to conducts carried out by service providers of the information society. This precept focuses on those who “actively and not neutrally facilitate” access to pirated works. Specifically, it focuses on those that offer “ordered and classified lists of links to the works and content referred to above.”

In other words, this article punishes the style of economic exploitation of pirated content platforms such as MegaUpload. Hire a hacker hire an iphone hacker

The main problem that accompanies this crime is its practical application. On many occasions, the servers that host these files and web pages are located in third countries. As a result, it is difficult for the authorities to access such files or simply to obtain cooperation from the law enforcement agencies of the foreign country. Even more so when the owners of the web pages themselves choose countries that are opaque or with low democratic quality.

Next, article 270.4, punishes the itinerant sale of material that infringes intellectual property rights. However, as we will see, it contains specificities that can lessen the burden of the punishment that may be imposed, taking into account the circumstances of the culprit.

Article 270.5 contains four specific cases that are punished with the penalties of the previous articles, if applicable. In the first place, the export or storage of the works expressed in the first two sections of the article is prohibited.

Second, the intentional importation of these products is also punished. The facilitation of these behaviors is also prohibited by eliminating or suppressing the technological measures that the owners have adopted to prevent, precisely, these acts.

Third, in a very similar way to the above, circumvention of the aforementioned technological measures is also sanctioned.

Finally, article 270.6 punishes the possession or manufacture of any means designed “to facilitate the unauthorized suppression or neutralization of any technical device that has been used to protect” this type of work.

PENALTIES FOR CRIMES OF PIRACY

The penalties for piracy crimes vary depending on the type of crime that is committed.

The generic crime of piracy is punishable by imprisonment from six months to four years and a fine from twelve to twenty-four months. This sanction extends to the second section, relative to the sanctions imposed on content platforms.

The crime of street vending is punishable by imprisonment from six months to two years. However, depending on the circumstances of the culprit and the small amount of the economic benefit, this penalty may vary. If these requirements are met, and the circumstances of the first section are not met, the judge may impose the penalty of a fine of one to six months or work for the benefit of the community from thirty-one to sixty days.

In relation to the penalties in section five, “they will be punished with the penalties provided in the previous sections, in their respective cases.” That is, depending on the circumstances, one or the other will prevail. To end article 270, the penalties established for the cases subsumed in the sixth section will be from six months to three years in prison.

Next, it is worth mentioning article 271, which we can call an aggravated type of piracy. Our Penal Code imposes a higher penalty on those who carry out the acts of article 270 concurring with any of the circumstances that we will expose below:

the special significance of the economic benefit obtained or the special gravity of the facts taking into account the circumstances of the case.
belonging to an organization whose purpose is piracy or that minors are used in carrying out these crimes.

In these cases, a prison sentence of two to six years, a fine of eighteen to thirty-six months will be imposed. It may also include the special disqualification for the exercise of the profession related to the crime committed.

Finally, article 272 establishes that civil liability will be governed by the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law. But in addition, it gives the Judge the possibility to order the publication of a conviction in an official newspaper.

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