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Spain's Proposed Internet Law Sparks Protest, Change 103

Posted by timothy
from the passion-of-gen-y dept.
[rvr] writes "Last Monday, the Spanish Government published the latest draft for the Sustainable Economy Act, which would enable a Commission dependent of the Ministry of Culture to take down websites without a court order, in cases of Intellectual Property piracy. On Wednesday, using Google Wave, a group of journalists, bloggers, professionals and creators composed and issued a Manifesto in Defense of Fundamental Rights on the Internet, stating that 'Copyright should not be placed above citizens' fundamental rights to privacy, security, presumption of innocence, effective judicial protection and freedom of expression.' Quickly, more than 50,000 blogs and sites re-published the manifesto. On Thursday morning, the Ministry of Culture Ángeles González Sinde (former president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) organized a meeting with a group of Internet experts and signers of the Manifesto. The meeting was narrated in real time via Twitter and concluded without any agreement. On Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister's staff had a private meeting with the Ministry of Culture and some party members (who also expressed their opposition to the draft). Finally, Spain Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced in a press meeting that the text will be changed and a court order will continue to be a requirement, but [the government] still will search for ways to fight Internet piracy."
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Spain's Proposed Internet Law Sparks Protest, Change

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  • by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak@@@eircom...net> on Friday December 04, 2009 @05:57AM (#30322144) Homepage Journal

    Spain is now added to the growing list of countries attempting to put the free internet genie back in the bottle. Many scoff at such attempts and repeat tired old platitudes from the early 1990s about how the internet routes around censorship, etc. But what they forget is that in the last 10, and particularly in the last 5 years, the internet has changed. Drastically. An unfree web is closer now than at any time in the history of the network.

    Several developments have lead us to this point. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, was the development of the Great Firewall of China. The apparatus designed, developed and implemented by the Chinese communist party has conclusively proven that the internet can be controlled, filtered and censored on a massive scale. The technologies developed for its implementation, largely by western companies, are now being sold back to western governments with much the same task in mind. While the wall is not airtight, it does offer the governments the level of control they once enjoyed over traditional media like books and newspapers. As a mass medium, the internet can be successfully centered.

    Secondly, the internet has become more centralised. Despite the hype behind Web 2.0, the majority of new internet technologies and sites are controlled by a smaller number of huge companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. What's your hompage right now, and how do you find your way to sites? This is in stark contrast to the very early days of the web, or even the 1990s, where there were no search engines, and the only meeting places were on irc. People now store most, if not all, of their private information on the servers, the "clouds", of big companies, so all that is needed to gain large awareness on the net is control of this relatively small number of private interests.

    Thirdly, the vast majority of internet users are now technically unsavvy. Combined with the increasing complexity of website and protocols, this means that the network has become and ever more inscrutable blackbox, and most users will be unaware of any censorship efforts or implementations; that is, where they are not completely apathetic. Whereas in the past, netziens were more likely to spot, and indeed protest at censorship, nowadays most users simply will not care as long as their webmail and social networking accounts are unaffected. Governments can site this apathy as justification, and indeed have.

    The Web has changed. We're going to see more and more Governments implementing acts like these. It's in the interests of all big players to shape the internet into a controllable mass medium and that's why they're going to keep pushing these laws, worldwide, until they achieve that goal. In ten years times, earlier times will be looked back on as anarchy by all but a few idealists, who will be looked on as hippies or cranks.

    My advice is to learn how to use a typewriter.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So what is this? A struggle between good and evil? I hear a lot of folks talking about (including me) how the internet is becoming less free. How we place all of our information in trust on corporate servers. And this seems not to be of a national issue but something that effects everyone in all countries.

      So what's the solution to this? Isn't the only solution to shift the evolution of technology from corporations back to the people (hackers?).

      I believe this is an issue of management and leadership. Maybe t

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday December 04, 2009 @09:30AM (#30322926) Journal

        Revoke the copy right. It isn't a right; it's a privilege which has been abused. Revoke that privilege.

        Replace it with a *temporary* monopolistic *license* granted to the original author for 14 years. When that 14 years is up, the author will either have to get off his fat ass & write a new book/song/movie, or else get a job at Walmart like the rest of us normal citizens do.

        For corporate "authors" this means they will no longer be able to sell $40 boxsets of old movies (example: Gone with the Wind) that were created by now-dead people. The corporations will have to innovate or die (as it should be).

        • I rofled when you said, "job at Walmart like the rest of us normal citizens do." If that's normal for you, you might want to try going to school and working on a real career!
          • Actually I have an office job. Although I get paid about 5 times more than a Walmart employee, it's still a job. I can't sit on my butt and collect royalties off my creations like authors can.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386)

      or even the 1990s, where there were no search engines

      Humph, not exactly. I was using Alta Vista and Lycos in the late 1990s, and they were not the first web search engines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_search_engine [wikipedia.org]. And before any on that list there was Gopher, which was a hypertext prelude to the web http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopher_(protocol) [wikipedia.org], and I was using non-web internet search engines such as WAIS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide_area_information_server [wikipedia.org] in the 1980s, before the web existed. Earlier, it was a pain finding information on interne

    • he said (Score:5, Insightful)

      by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Friday December 04, 2009 @07:18AM (#30322396) Homepage Journal

      on the internet

      (smirk)

      what they do in china or iran has no bearing on the internet in liberal western countries, because there is no assumption of the basic rights you take for granted here. example #1, being this very story you wrote your comment under: people protest in spain, and have the right to do so, and affect feedback on their government via a vote and their free expression. this has an effect on the policy of the spanish government. how can i say this: read the fucking story, spanish people en masse are making a difference. there is no such feedback in china: the technocrats in beijing dictate, and their will is done. someday, this status quo will be overturned, simply because the agenda of the common man and the agenda of the ruling class, if decoupled as in a nondemocracy, will come to revolution and societal breakdown inevitably, as we see beginning in iran this june

      but nevermind my optimism, lets get back to your gloomy pantywaist pessimism about the state of the world: why are you even writing this on slashdot? why aren't you hard at work on your typewriter, tinfoil on head, boxes of crackers and ammo in your cave? because of the value of the internet to project your thoughts, 1,000,000x better than that of a typewriter, that's why. a value you cherish, as i do, and, unlike you, who has resigned yourself to liberal western countries controlling you as much as totalitarian ones for some paranoid schizophrenic reason, i, and many others like me, will fight for this value of the internet we cherish. and others like me, unlike you, know that our government listens to us via our vote and our words. yes, dorothy, it actually does, all fashionable cynical cowardly opinion to the contrary be retarded

      i know that i matter. that you believe you don't matter is your own intellectual failure, not mine, and your resignation to your self-imposed helplessness is a resignation that only affects your sorry ass, and has no bearing on my rights and abilities as a free man of a liberal western democracy, which i fully comprehend, appreciate, enjoy, and practice. if my society fails into fascism, it will be no fault of mine, but by the unfortunate proliferation of weak spineless pessimistic fools like yourself who have already given up before any battle has even been fought

      otherwise, if you want to continue to cite vast conspiratorial forces that control you and a stranglehold by multinational corporations on your government, then what the hell are you even protesting about if you have already given up on your society so thoroughly? your government is not as darkly compromised as you portray it, because if it were, you wouldn't even be here on slashdot complaining about it, because you would be certain it wouldn't make any difference

      oh, but you do write words... so therefore you do, in some perhaps subconscious way, believe you can still make a difference. so since there is a shadow of doubt in your mind about the thoroughness of your slavery, that you might actually retain some self-determination in your life and your government, then the next step in your intellectual growth would be to realize you actually matter in your western democracy, that the principles you care about actually matter and have a good chance, and that you should get out there and actually agitate for the change you believe in, like every other truly free man. claim your status as a free man, and stop fucking whining about doomed we all are. because your problem, unlike most of us, is that your lack of freedom is imposed on yourself by your own failed point of view, not by any government. learned helplessness: its a degenerate psychological state, not a valid ideology

      instead of hiding in your basement and writing whiny missives on slashdot about how we're all doomed, why don't you stop being so fucking pathetic, claim yourself as a free man, stop being spooked by shadows, grow a fucking backbone, and fight in the framework of your society which values liberal notions of various freedoms, and actually fucking fight for fucking once about what actually fucking matters in this world?

      wake the fuck up, chicken little

      • Re:he said (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Xeriar (456730) on Friday December 04, 2009 @09:13AM (#30322834) Homepage

        i know that i matter. that you believe you don't matter is your own intellectual failure, not mine, and your resignation to your self-imposed helplessness is a resignation that only affects your sorry ass, and has no bearing on my rights and abilities as a free man of a liberal western democracy, which i fully comprehend, appreciate, enjoy, and practice. if my society fails into fascism, it will be no fault of mine, but by the unfortunate proliferation of weak spineless pessimistic fools like yourself who have already given up before any battle has even been fought

        I would offer a correction. -You- don't matter. Your friends, connections, and the relationships you have built matters quite a lot. The article demonstrates that rather well - a lot of attention was generated very quickly. Never fight alone. More of the world is with you than you think.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          A lot of the world is also *against* you as I discovered after I walked in a Tea Party protest. I thought it was common sense - The current national debt is $120,000 per home, projected to be $200,000 by 2016, and yet the Congress is still spending money like mad. It needs to stop.

          But no. Instead I was called an "astroturfer" which is wrong because I don't get paid. Then I was labeled a "racist" but that's also not true; and frankly insulting. Even if Hillary was president or McCain president, I'd stil

          • by OzoneLad (899155)

            A lot of the world is also *against* you as I discovered after I walked in a Tea Party protest. I thought it was common sense - The current national debt is $120,000 per home, projected to be $200,000 by 2016, and yet the Congress is still spending money like mad. It needs to stop.

            But no. Instead I was called an "astroturfer" which is wrong because I don't get paid. Then I was labeled a "racist" but that's also not true; and frankly insulting. Even if Hillary was president or McCain president, I'd still protest because I see us spending ourselves into a hole that we'll never escape. Common sense position? Apparently not; some Americans want the debt to climb to ~$200,000 per home.

            "More of the world is with you than you think," is only half the story. A lot of the world is against you, and they want MORE government control, not less They want censorship. They want the Patriot Act. They want more spending.

            Oh yes. *Now* the debt is a problem. Where the hell were the Tea Party people when the US was entering into a grossly expensive and unnecessary war while cutting taxes? That. there, is why the Tea Party people are being called astroturfers: because they seem to have sprung up from nowhere to protest budgetary policies as if the debt was the current administration's fault.

            Here's an idea for you: Stop trying to make the world better for your corporations at gunpoint, and take care of your population. If y

            • by Machtyn (759119)
              Are you stating that the world is *not* better off without Saddam's Iraq? I'm sure the tortured Iraqis would say that, at least, Iraq is better off.

              In any case, Tea Parties are against raising taxes and placing unnecessary burdens on the people. It has nothing to do with war efforts. To state that the Tea Parties are composed of those who agreed with the war in Afghanistan and (the) Iraq is to sell the Tea Party attendants short. There are many at these gatherings from all types of backgrounds.

              To
            • Military strength is very important in terms of global influence. The debt has become a huge problem now because of the grossly expensive + irresponsible + unnecessary + unhelpful trillions of dollars lost in bailouts. Here's an idea for you: Stop trying to control entire institutions through a broken and inefficient government power when the free market solves the problem more efficiently and more quickly. Investing in military spendings gives a huge return in value right back to our country, and it really
            • >>>Where the hell were the Tea Party people when the US was entering into a grossly expensive and unnecessary war while cutting taxes?

              STRAWMAN argument. You presume we didn't rally during Bush's term, but you assume wrong. FIRST off, there's a huge difference between a war that cost ~100 billion a year, and the Congress spending ~2000 billion in less than a year's time:

              - I was against the war from 9/12 onward, but nobody listened to me (at that point pro-war was near-unanimous in Congress). I

          • but i completely support your right to get out there and agitate for your cause, because i respect you as a free man: i see that you are well-meaning and intend well and you honestly and with a forthright nature go out there and represent your concerns, even in the face of withering resistance. this makes you whole and true

            as opposed to the grandfather poster, who is a slave behind bars in his mind of his own making, scared into cowering subservience to phantom forces that exist in such overwhelming strengt

            • >>>*though your overwhelming particular concern: debt levels, is only a tenth of the economic story and the proper economic agenda, as i see it in my mind...

              I'm sorry but I don't see how we can survive with $200,000 (in 2016 according to the CBO) hanging over every U.S. home. That level of debt exceeds the value of the house itself (which is $150,000 on average). In essence we'll be upside-down in debt.

              When Bush arrived the debt was $9 trillion; he increased it to 11.

              When Obama finishes his eight

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Well you could help by running a TOR node. I do, do you?

    • by Kjella (173770) on Friday December 04, 2009 @07:26AM (#30322424) Homepage

      I agree with most you said about the masses, though I'm not sure I'd go that far. But I disagree that it's time to "learn to use a typewriter", the free and technically savvy parts of the Internet is doing just fine. Why would we go anywhere as long as everything can be tunnelled on top of the existing one?

      Also, I'm not sure if you misunderstand cause and effect. The repeated attempts to create "borders" on the Internet is exactly because people have understood how easy it is to circumvent them. Can't do $something in $country? Put it online on a server outside their juridiction, don't have a presence in that country and you can ignore those laws with impunity. How many times have YouTube been in the press because they have clips that aren't legal in their country of origin, but legal under US law? And for everything not illegal in Sweden, check the Pirate Bay (and for most of the rest too).

      The only thing they can even touch is the stuff where they, against most reason, has managed to create one "world law" already. Like for example child pornography which is almost universally defined as under 18, even though in most of the world you can legally have sex with a 17 year old. Look at something like suprnova, it was huge and now it's gone but the world routed around it like nothing happened.

      With each computer becoming more and more powerful, the less you need to find thousands of peers in a centralized solution. Everyone that's read about six degrees of Kevin Bacon knows we could do just fine with a F2F network - friend to friend. With enough bandwidth I'd happily "pipe" information from one friend to the other, without them ever knowing each other. Even if they could crush the central solutions, it'd be like chopping the tip off an iceberg, more would just rise to the surface.

      • by openfrog (897716)

        I agree with you on the idea of not ceding to pessimism as the parent does.

        However, another point needs to be made about the parent:

        Looking at things from a different angle, you can analyze the present claim grabbing behavior of copyright lobbies to the behavior of companies in unregulated new markets, like railroad, telegraph, etc. Unregulated wild wests where the market can't play its role and where you get monopolies, intimidation, arrested innovation, economic stagnation, government corruption, etc. Qui

    • by cpghost (719344)

      Secondly, the internet has become more centralised. Despite the hype behind Web 2.0, the majority of new internet technologies and sites are controlled by a smaller number of huge companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.

      That's not what I'm worried about, as nothing prevent people from choosing alternatives for hosting their stuff, including putting it on their own local servers/routers @home.

      The real issue, IMHO, is the centralized nature of the IP infrastructure herself, i.e. the tiered Interne

      • >>>using nothing more than a POTS land line. No need for backbones nor ISP middlemen who could be coerced by law to implement all kinds of restrictive or surveillance measures.

        Not quite true. Back in the BBS days my local telephone company (Bell; now Verizon) tried to charge me a "modem surcharge" or else have my phone disconnected. There has always been a middleman.

    • My advice is to learn how to use a typewriter.

      The Lives of Others shows how typewriters can be controlled by the government too through restricting sales and "fingerprinting" them. The problem has always been government corruption--the internet cannot save us from ourselves.

    • >>>the majority of new internet technologies and sites are controlled by a smaller number of huge companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. What's your hompage right now, and how do you find your way to sites?

      My home page is blank.

    • by Tuareg (1693988)
      I am from Spain and almost 50 by now. I bought my fist personal computer (an Amstrad) back in the mid 80s, and I use internet everyday since the beginning of the 90s. I'm afraid I am not yet "technically savvy" (I have devoted my professional life to law and humanities). Probably it is my problem, but I think it is starting to be the technically savvy's problem as well. For a person not very keen on technical issues, but worried about privacy or security, there has only been two main roads open: Mac (my op
  • Duh. (Score:5, Informative)

    by marcansoft (727665) <hector @ m a r c a n s o f t.com> on Friday December 04, 2009 @06:00AM (#30322150) Homepage

    A few notes for those not aware of how things have been going around here lately (I'm Spanish):

    • The current Spanish government is in bed with the local equivalent of the MAFIAA (the SGAE).
    • Downloading copyrighted audio/video works is legal in spain, as long as no profit is made (this does not apply to software). Whether uploading is legal or not (or how illegal it is) is somewhat debated. There have been plenty of people "turning themselves" in for downloading, with no arrests made.
    • To offset the legal downloads, just about everything relevant to copying has a levy on it, including writable optical media (the levies there are ridiculous), but also the writers, hard drives, USB sticks, MP3 players, cellphones, printers, scanners, photocopiers, etc. For example, you're paying the SGAE €12 for each hard drive, except for those bundled as master drives on new systems. These profits are then theoretically distributed by the SGAE to artists in highly controversial ways.
    • Nonetheless, there is constant FUD claiming that "pirating" music and movies is illegal and will get you jailed (there are some pretty ridiculous advertising campaigns by the SGAE)

    The SGAE is nothing new, they're the usual corrupt mafia-like organization that you'd expect. They're just trying to screw over both consumers and artists as much as they can. They'd love to have it both ways (making downloads illegal and keeping the levies).

    Funny tidbit: the SGAE used to claim that Linux was a shareware version of UNIX on their glossary page. They later "fixed" it by lifting a paragraph from Wikipedia, in violation of the GFDL.

    • by c0p0n (770852)

      Downloading copyrighted audio/video works is legal in spain, as long as no profit is made

      That's not quite true. It's not exactly legal nor illegal, in any case there are no enforceable consequences on doing so. Unfortunately our government is so weak loads of interest groups have lots of leverage on it, including SGAE yes but also independentist political parties. The ministers are notoriously incompetent, especially the newly appointed culture ministry. Worth noting the minister is a movie director and has many ties on different pressure groups linked in one way or another to the SGAE.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by marcansoft (727665)

        If something isn't illegal then it's legal. Some people call it the "right to a private copy", but this is questionable - there's no such "right" spelled out. Instead, the law simply sets up the illegality of copies sold for a profit. So it's not a right or guaranteed to be legal by the law, but it's legal.

    • >>>The SGAE is nothing new, they're the usual corrupt mafia-like organization that you'd expect. They're just trying to screw over both consumers and artists as much as they can. They'd love to have it both ways (making downloads illegal and keeping the levies).
      >>>

      I've said it before and I'll say it again:

      The world would be a better place if the CEOs of SGAE, RIAA, MPAA, CRIA, and so on were executed by a mob of citizens. I guarantee you'd have a hard time finding a new CEO to replace the

    • by GooberToo (74388)

      Nonetheless, there is constant FUD claiming that "pirating" music and movies is illegal and will get you jailed (there are some pretty ridiculous advertising campaigns by the SGAE)

      I'd say it cuts both ways. Every time this subject comes up the only real FUD I constantly read is how evil people are for wanting to be compensated for their work. They then turn around and complain about not being fairly compensated by their employer. Pot, kettle, pirates. Go figure.

      Ultimately, piracy translates into loss of income for someone. And contrary to pirate's popular myth, its not always multinational, multi billion dollar companies. Many photographers, artists, writers, and developers are as sm

      • by [rvr] (93881)
        "And contrary to pirate's popular myth, its not always multinational, multi billion dollar companies. Many photographers, artists, writers, and developers are as small as one man shops".

        In the later case, their main problem is not piracy, but amateurs and copyleft/CC authors who freely distribute their creations on the net. In the days of digital cameras, blogs, e-books and social networks, almost *everybody is an author*, who compete for attention.

  • I couldn't imagine such a thing happening where I live (Denmark). I hadn't seen it coming in Spain, but this is awesome. Makes me believe in a sane legal system - albeit a futile world view - maybe I oughta move to Spain?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Beriaru (954082)
      Dont!
      We're sailing fast to fiscal bankruptcy. You don't want to stay near Spain when the situation explodes.
      The future for Spain is very uncertain, but oscillates between Somalization and Police State.
  • Wellcome to China. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tei (520358) on Friday December 04, 2009 @06:14AM (#30322188) Journal

    "JesusEncinar "Vais a hacer que internet en España sea como China?" pregunta @iescolar. Responden: "Ya lo es""

    The blogger ask if "You guys will make internet work in Spain like in China?".
    The ministry representant "It already work like that".

    note: to be honest, I don't see evil on some pages bloqued (terrorist stuff), so theres some blocking on the spanish ISP. But china works on a more serius "lets filter internet based on a bias" stuff. Comparing China with Spain is madness.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04, 2009 @06:24AM (#30322222)

      The point is (I'm also in Spain), that the proposal states that if a website hosts illegal contents...:

      - If the server of that website is in Spain, it will be asked to remove the contents. If it refuses to do it, it will be taken down without a court or a judge involved
      - If the server is abroad (here comes the fun part), the Anti-Piracy comission will ask THE SPANISH ISPs (Telefonica, Ono, etc) to BLOCK ACCESS to that website

      This easily means that people from spain would not be able to access sites such as megaupload or rapidshare. This means that the Internet seen from Spain would be different when seen from another country.

      And this definitely smells like China's firewall.

      (sorry for poor english)

      • >>>- If the server is abroad, the Anti-Piracy comission will ask THE SPANISH ISPs to BLOCK ACCESS

        And then the blocked websites will bring a lawsuit against Spain (Rapidshare v. Spain) in an EU court for violations of the Lisbon Treaty and Charter of Rights. The EU justices will rule against Spain's law and strike it down. At least that's how it would work here in the US

    • by gerddie (173963)

      note: to be honest, I don't see evil on some pages blocked (terrorist stuff),

      The problem is, who defines what is terrorist stuff? When I write that Zapatero should go to hell? (Not that the PP would be any better) If you start blocking one page, the call for more is imminent, and it's even worse because it's not public what is blocked and why, so one can not check if they reason why its blocked is true. Besides, someone who wants to find the information will find it (VPN, proxies in other countries ... you get the idea).

      so theres some blocking on the Spanish ISP.

      Indeed? Damn.

      • by Tei (520358)

        "The problem is, who defines what is terrorist stuff?"

        Judges. Thats the point of the angry people. Moving the ability to block pages from judges to burocrats is a dangerous move.

    • Comparing China with Spain is madness.

      Apparently the representative of the ministry doesn't think so.

  • by RotateLeftByte (797477) on Friday December 04, 2009 @07:02AM (#30322336)

    Domains registered in

        Andorra
        Gibraltar

    If this goes through.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by miguelactico (1637151)
      It may occur, but it will be a temporally solution. Did you hear about how OSCE forced the "fiscal paradises" to account? It will be also happen with countries oblivious to IP. The fight is within these countries, not outside.
    • Don't count on Gibraltar, I'm sure the UK government would apply significant pressure to them.

  • Stop saying piracy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Moronic journalists and rabid RIAA monkeys may like to use the word piracy, but it is the wrong word. We're talking about copyright infringement or theft.

    Piracy is what people with guns do which causes real harm to real people.

    I haven't heard of anyone sailing up to a ship full of data and demanding copies at gunpoint.

    We on Slashdot at least ought to know the difference.

  • Generalissimo Fransisco Franco is still dead...WAIT A MINUTE!! HE'S BEGUN STIRRING!!!
  • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Friday December 04, 2009 @07:32AM (#30322434) Homepage

    But did anyone else read that as "but [the government] still will search for ways to fight Internet privacy"?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everything in the timeline is correct, but there's an important update [muycomputer.com].

    Spain's President, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has guaranteed that "nothing is going to be closed" in Internet. "No webpage, no blog", in a recent press conference in the Palacio de la Moncloa. "If (the draft for the Sustainable Economy Act) has been interpreted as if there is a chance to close the sites on the Internet, I say from now on: under no circumstances will be this possible".

    The report in english, translated b [google.com]

    • by Meumeu (848638)

      Spain's President, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero,

      Spain's president? seriously?

    • Of what worth is his word?

      Never trust a law to not permit something if it doesn't forbid it. If it grants someone the power to do something, even if they have no intention of using it, they will use it eventually.

  • removing judges... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04, 2009 @07:41AM (#30322462)

    The sad thing is.. some journalists are now saying internet users are basically zealots because we are still angry when the government has already said that the law isn't intended for harming users or bloggers, only those who make profit in their pages with p2p links...

    Of course, they have said that, but the text in the law doesn't specify that, and that's the only thing that matters. The law explicitly allows for a comission to shut down any page they consider violating copyright.. isn't that the main argument of the scientology church in the USA for their censorship? and in this case is even worse, because at least the Scientology needs a judge for that. It doesn't matter what they say, it's what is written in the law that matters.

    Also, the SGAE has been suing users and webmasters for years and at the moment they have lost all p2p cases, because the judges consider sharing links is completely legal. There has been just one case where the acussed admitted guilty as an agreement with SGAE, because they told him they just wanted something like a win for the press, and asked him for about 100 euros. He could have won, but he was just a student and didn't want to mess with the shitty legal system.

    Few weeks ago SGAE ordered to close a site that shared music e-links. The judge closed it without even tell anything to the webmaster, who was notified only when he saw his page blocked. The webmaster protested and now the judge has ordered to re-open the page and to fine SGAE for all processal costs and an aditional fine for "bad faith".

    So, they want to make a committee for closing sites the judges don't want to close...

    (sorry if my english is pretty bad... in spain we are pretty bad learning other languages)

    • It's alright. As a citizen of the US, I, too, have problems understanding and learning English, so I sympathize with your plight.
  • I realized that Spanish goverment is using the same principle as Chewabacca defense [southparkstudios.com] on laws, we are having a lot of these Chewbacca laws [google.es] in last years .
    It's high risk political practice, even some electors dead by head implosion...
  • Last time the gov of Spain had "issues" they needed to solve with less "lawyers" the Spanish Interior Ministry funded the G.A.L.(Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación).
    A death squad to go after ETA.
    Ignore the 3rd letter from your ISP and you might have Portuguese or French mercenaries at your door.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupos_Antiterroristas_de_Liberaci [wikipedia.org]ón
  • a Commission dependent of the Ministry of Culture to take down websites without a court order, in cases of Intellectual Property piracy.

    Quickly, more than 50,000 blogs and sites re-published the manifesto

    Such a waste of potential irony.

  • a sort of Spanish Inquisition!

  • Quickly, more than 50,000 blogs and sites re-published the manifesto. On Thursday morning, the Ministry of Culture Ángeles González Sinde (former president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) organized a meeting with a group of Internet experts and signers of the Manifesto. The meeting was narrated in real time via Twitter and concluded without any agreement. On Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister's staff had a private meeting with the Ministry of Culture and some party members (who also expressed their opposition to the draft). Finally, Spain Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced in a press meeting that the text will be changed and a court order will continue to be a requirement

    My congratulations to Spaniards: your country seems to be a genuine, properly functional democracy. Please keep it that way - it's a dying breed these days!

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