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US Pressure Backfires as Site Blocking is Voted Down in Spain

US Pressure Backfires as Site Blocking is Voted Down in Spain

There’s been a major development in Spain recently. The Ley de Economia Sostenible (Sustainable Economy Act) in Spain now no longer has the highly controversial provision of mandating ISPs to block websites suspected of facilitating copyright infringing activities. While the war is not over yet over the so-called “Sinde Act”, it seems to be a victory for civil rights groups.

We recently reported on the exposure of international pressure from the United States to push through a highly controversial law in Spain thanks to the Wikileaks Cablegate story. The cable showed that the United States industry representatives threatened to put Spain on a priority watch-list if their demands were not met on the copyright front – one of those demands being a highly controversial three strikes law modeled after France’s infamous HADOPI law. Now, it seems, the pressure from the US may have backfired somewhat because the provision in the Sustainable Economy Act that would mandate ISPs to block websites should they get a call from the Culture Ministry has been voted down (Google Translation).

The Sustainable Economy Act became nicknamed the Sinde Act by some Spanish observers after Filmmaker Ángeles González-Sinde, the culture minister of Spain. Her appointment was controversial because some suggest that she has a conflict of interest due to her past life as a filmmaker.

Still, the war over the Sinde Act is not over. As we reported last year, there are other controversial aspects of the law including mandating ISPs to divulge customer information without a court order among other things.

What remains in the bill after the removal of the site blocking provision is now moving to the Senate and will be debated on next year.

The Asociación de Internautas (Association of Internet users), a vocal critic of the Sinde Law, commented on the latest event (Google translation), “The will of the people have finished the pressures imposed on lobbyists, embassies and foreign governments on our representatives.”

The Association of Internet Users viewed the Sinde law as an “invasion” on to Spanish democracy and, more recently, a direct and open attack on Spanish citizens from foreign interests. They described the moment this part of the law was struck down as a celebration with virtual fireworks while Twitter “exploded” with the news of the “happy ending”.

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Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson is perhaps one of the more well-known file-sharing and technology news writers around. A journalist in the field since 2005, his work has had semi-regular appearances on social news websites and even occasional appearances on major news outlets as well. Drew founded freezenet.ca and still contributes to ZeroPaid. Twitter | Google Plus
mmmmmmm, spain
mmmmmmm, spain

another reason spain is the greatest, most beautiful country ever. sangria, mojitos, spanish girls AND intelligent internet policies? where do i renounce us citizenship? im moving.... oh and dont forget tapas, mmmm, patatas bravas and chorizo. seriously, if uv never been to spain, buy urself a one way ticket. ur welcome ;)

Manuel
Manuel

Jim, do you know that the box office in Spain is quite average? We love movies from USA. I don't think the companies will leave. Wait a minute what does that exactly means? In fact Hollywood does not have much employees in Spain, so who cares? I think we can make more money allowing sites with links and making them pay to the state. Maybe we should include some tax on number of transmited megabytes.

Scary Devil Monastery
Scary Devil Monastery

Ah. What you mean is that Hollywood moves out and gets outcompeted completely in Spain by just about everyone who is happy to adopt a functional business model for the 21th century?Well, I'm sure no one can prevent someone going bankrupt because of flagrant stupidity. Meanwhile I rejoice in spain being the one country in the EU which appears to show some backbone whereas the rest of the EU countries keep getting railroaded by their ever more irate citizenry.Piracy is rampant everywhere, Jim, and it keeps on growing despite every effort to curb it. Non-commercial filesharing is something the world will have to live with. You have no other options there.

Jim
Jim

Well I guess Spain can say goodbye to Hollywood companies then. Piracy is rampant over there and if things do not change, the market will simply die. Bad news for creators, government and consumers!

To Jim
To Jim

I don't think so. We'l get decent cinema and culture without having to take the Hollywood junk, and remakes. I hope this will take the Western world to a cultural Renaissance, now in the hands of gringo corporations.



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