In 2015, authorities in Spain launched an investigation into pirate site Descargasmix.com and around 15 associated domains. At the time the sites were considered to be the most important platforms targeting Spanish-speaking audiences. Two men, alleged to be the sites’ operators will go on trial in 2021, with prosecutors demanding six-year prison sentences and damages in excess of six million euros.
According to Spanish authorities, the group was the most important site network serving the Spanish-speaking community and caused significant damages to intellectual property rights holders seeking to exploit the same market.
Investigation Carried Out By Three Groups
The investigation into the Descargasmix group was carried out by three entities – the Federation for the Protection of Intellectual Property (FAP), the Association for the Management of Intellectual Rights) (AGEDI), and the Spanish Reproduction Rights Center (CEDRO).
The groups discovered multiple international links, which included those in Germany, the United States, France, and Argentina. Three people were also identified in Spain, including the platform’s most important uploader, an administrator, plus another key figure.
After the initial phases of the investigation were complete, police and judicial authorities in Spain and Argentina worked together and in early May 2018, two raids were carried out in Spain (Seville and Valdemoro) and another in Argentina (Buenos Aires)
Police reports at the time said that the piracy network had been dismantled after the key figures had been detained. This included a person detained in Seville, said to be the founder and administrator of the network. It was alleged he worked virtually around the clock, generating revenue via advertising, cyberlocker subscriptions, and the mining of cryptocurrencies via scripts installed on visitors’ machines.
Defendants ‘CB’ and ‘AF’
After arresting the suspects more than two years ago, the Seville Court has now scheduled a trial for two of the defendants to take place during July 2021. The men are charged by the Seville Prosecutor’s Office with intellectual property crimes and are demanding particularly harsh sentences.
Diario De Sevilla, which has identified one of the men by the initials ‘CB’, says the individual is alleged to have been the developer of Descargasmix.com since 2009.
Under his control, the site reportedly allowed users to share all kinds of content, from music and movies to TV shows and literary content, via cyberlockers and to a lesser extent torrent networks. Sporting events were reportedly also made available via the platform.
‘CB’ is said to have been the operator until 2015, at which point control was handed over to an Argentine citizen identified as ‘FH’, who is under investigation in his own country.
The second Spanish defendant, identified by the initials ‘AF’ and reportedly a resident of Valdemoro, reportedly assisted with the administrative functions of the Descargasmix group of sites until at least 2012. Along with ‘CB’, he reportedly obtained pirated content from other download sites and private trackers.
Spanish Prosecutor Seeking Harsh Punishments
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, both defendants benefited financially from the operations of Descargasmix, including via advertising and cyberlocker affiliate schemes.
Between 2010 and 2015, ‘CB’ reportedly made more than 118,000 euros while ‘AF’ received around 22,000 euros between 2011 and 2016. Additionally, it’s claimed that the defendants made money by hosting scripts that used visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrency.
As a result, it’s estimated that the pair caused more than 6.3 million euros in damages, an amount the Prosecutor’s Office will try to recover during the trial next year. In addition, the authorities are also seeking six-year prison sentences for the men.
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