New anti-piracy system close to being passed in Spain

By | Published on Tuesday 21 December 2010

As previously reported, Spain has also been developing new laws to make it easier for content owners to shut down websites that enable copyright infringement, and it is thought said laws could get the green light this week.

Ahead of that vote a number of websites likely to be affected by the new laws, including Seriespepito, Seriesyonkis, Divxtotal, Mydescarga, Cinetube, took their services offline on Sunday in protest. They refer to the proposed new system as the Sinde Law, and posted a message on their home pages at the weekend that said if the new laws are passed: “This page will disappear. Internet will be one more television, serving the powers that be. For freedom of expression in the web. No to censorship. No to the Sinde Law. And no to the closure of websites”.

Political types have been trying to placate the web and consumer lobbies by proposing a mediation service which could negotiate between accused websites and the country’s Committee For Intellectual Property, which will charged with the task of taking action against infringers.

But given many of the sites opposing the new legislation are out and out copyright infringers it’s not clear what would be mediated exactly. True, Spanish copyright law is notorious for providing online piracy operations with loopholes to exploit, though the whole point of the so called Sinde Law is to demonstrate to the content industries at home and abroad that Spain is getting to grips with the rampant copyright infringement that takes place there.

Talking of which, there is a Wikileaks element to this story which possibly gives the anti-copyright lobby in Spain more political weight, in that one set of the Wiki-leaked diplomatic cables from the US shows the pressure America has been putting on Spain to sort out its copyright laws. Those who oppose the Sinde Law in Spain are likely to say that those who support it are just kowtowing to the Americans. Though it seems unlikely that will actually stop the new anti-piracy system from becoming law.