Spain has finally taken a strong stand against piracy with the administrator of a P2P file sharing site being sentenced to six months in jail and fined $6,500 (Euros 4,900) in a court case in Logrono, Spain.

Adrian Gomez Llorente is the first person to be convicted in Spain for gaining money from copyright infringement on his site The case was brought to court originally by two complainants, the Spanish Association of Publishers and Distributors Entertainment Software (ADESE) and the Spanish Videographic Union (UVE), who deemed the site, which had 17,300 members, to be operating illegally.

Non commercial file sharing sites are actually legal in Spain, but the judge in this case agreed with the complainants that Llorente was making a profit through advertising on his site with the likes of Impresiones Web, Google Adsense, Canalmail and Correodirect and from a premium SMS service.

The site itself didn’t actually host any questionable content, but provided links to pirated movies, videos and games on third-party sites.The bold decision will be welcomed by the local film industry and especially the newly appointed minister of culture for Spain, Angeles Gonzalez Sinde, who has spoken out publicly against illegal downloading and file sharing of films for many years in her roles as a film-maker and president of the film academy in Spain.

Spain is one of the world’s worst offenders of film piracy and is on the International Intellectual Property Alliance watchlist for offenders.

Last year, there were a staggering 350 million illegal downloads in Spain, compared with 240 million in 2007, according to recent figures provided by the Motion Picture Association.’The culture in Spain is one of everything is free. There is no sense of criminality and no threat of impunity,’ Gerardo Herrero, head of local production outfit Tornasol Films told ScreenDaily. The hope is that this case will set a precedent in Spain and more cases will be brought against the owners of sites either providing illegal content or gaining money from file sharing.