Spain rejects Sinde Law

It looks like Wikileaks is making people think for once

Spain last night killed a controversial anti-P2P bill that would have made it easier to shut down websites that link to infringing content. The move was a blow to the ruling Socialist government, but it may be of even bigger concern to the US, which pushed, threatened, and cajoled Spain to clamp down on downloading. And Wikileaks can take a share of the credit for the defeat.

Known as the “Sinde law” (ley Sinde) after Spain’s current culture minister, the bill was actually an amendment to a much broader economic rescue package known as the Sustainable Economy Bill. The Sinde law would have set up a new government committee that could draw up lists of sites which largely link to infringing content. These sites would then go to a Madrid court, which would have four days to rule on whether they should be fully or partially blocked.

Spain has become notorious among rightsholders for its levels of online piracy. International music trade group IFPI said earlier this year that Spain “has one of the highest rates of illegal file-sharing in Europe” and that “sales by local artists in the top 50 have fallen by an estimated 65 percent between 2004 and 2009.”

That’s of real concern to local Spanish artists, but it’s also a big deal to Hollywood and the US music industry, which together supply plenty of the pirated fare. They’ve leaned on the US government, which has in turn leaned on Spain—and hard.

I’ve got a little list

Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have access to some of the cables sent from the US Embassy in Spain, and they show just how the US gets things done in other countries. Spanish daily El Pais reported on these cables at length and made them front-page news in Spain; for English-speaking readers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a helpful summary.



3 thoughts on “Spain rejects Sinde Law

  1. This “piracy” you speak of is what people actually refer to as “unauthorized copying”, as it is physically impossible to steal something that can be infinitely duplicated. Piracy implies removing a physical attribute from one's possession. But that's the RIAA for you, trying to make kids and grandmas into criminals.

    Also: the statistics that say “sales by local artists in the top 50 have fallen by an estimated 65 percent between 2004 and 2009.” are by nature flawed, as just because a listener doesn't buy an album or song — does not mean they would have made a purchase anyway.
    In fact, one reason people copy and download songs is because they can't afford it, they like it enough to recommend it, and they advertise it FOR the band itself. (market presence).

    Seems to me like you're just parroting the typical party line for anti-sharing paranoid corporate masters. This so called “Piracy” brings MORE bands into the spotlight and highlights the truly great from the truly marketed garbage I constantly hear on the radio.

  2. Hi Dann, thanks for the comment.

    “Seems to me like you're just parroting the typical party line for anti-sharing paranoid corporate masters.”

    I didn't write the article, it's from Arstechnica, I just wanted to share it, as I am an Englishman living in Spain, and I am proud of the Spanish government for stopping this stupid law in its tracks, while other countries are slowly getting bullied into censoring our online freedoms.

    As for the bands that are reportedly losing money, I know for a fact that the Spanish “artists” who are campaigning aren't worth buying anyway. They even formed a group to get an extra tax placed on blank CDs and Dvds which would then be shared between them. As you said, automatically accusing grandmas and innocents of being criminals.

    I now sit back and wait for more Wikileaks documents to continue to expose lies and hidden agendas.

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