Spanish police arrest illegal uploader

Man caught uploading "Agora," "Planet 51"

MADRID -- Spanish police have arrested the first person accused of uploading freshly released films, still in theaters, demonstrating the Spanish government's new resolve to fight pirates at the first stages of the process.

According to Spanish police, the man used the WiFi Internet of his neighbors to upload films onto his website, which was financed in part by the servers where he stored the illegal copies and by advertising on the site itself.

The man arrested in central Spain was caught uploading Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora" and the just-released animation hit "Planet 51," among others.

The arrest followed a formal complaint filed by Producers Rights Management Entity EGEDA and is the first time an uploader has been arrested.

Spain recently set up an anti-pirating body that bridges various government ministries to address the illegal downloading of movies and music, which has placed Spain as the world's leading illegal downloader. Some 20% of worldwide illegal downloads come from Spain.

The past few weeks have been marked by public debate over the government's right to shut down pirating websites. In a statement, EGEDA argued in favor of shutting down pirate websites that facilitate illegal downloads.

"Pirated websites are not media nor do they create industry," EGEDA said. "They don't participate in the economy of the market. They don't generate wealth or employment. They don't pay taxes. They don't play fair."