The head of three well-known sites with links to pirate content has been sentenced to serve 21 months’ imprisonment by the court of Valencia in Spain.

The websites divxonline, estrenosonline and seriesonline have been among the first tom be closed down and fined by the Spanish authorities. According to the newspaper El Pais, the head of the sites will have also to pay €12 a day during 21 months in order to avoid a longer period in prison.

The sentence has sparked a big debate in Spain, as the current copyright law is not clear when it comes to websites with only links to pirate copies, but without the audiovisual content itself.

Apparently, the main reason for the unprecedented sentence was that the sites were publicly generating income: hitherto, owners of such services avoided prosecution by claiming that sharing without profit could not be illegal.