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US Threatens Spain For Not Implementing SOPA-Like Law 508

Posted by timothy
from the inigo-montoya-on-high-alert dept.
SharkLaser writes "In a leaked letter sent to Spain's outgoing President, the US ambassador warned that if Spain didn't pass SOPA-like file-sharing site blocking law, Spain would risk being put into United States trade blocklist. United States government interference in Spain's intellectual property laws have been suspected for a long time, and now the recent leaks of diplomatic cables confirm this. Apart from the cables leaked earlier, now another cable dated December 12th says U.S. expresses 'deep concern' over the failure to implement SOPA-style censorship law in the country. 'The government has unfortunately failed to finish the job for political reasons, to the detriment of the reputation and economy of Spain,' read the letter. Racing against the clock in the final days of the government, Solomont had one last push. 'I encourage the Government of Spain to implement the Sinde Law immediately to safeguard the reputation of Spain as an innovative country that does what it says it will, and as a country that breeds confidence,' he wrote."
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US Threatens Spain For Not Implementing SOPA-Like Law

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  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:59AM (#38597178) Journal
    Fuck You, you miserable conscience free tool of the MPAA and the RIAA. May the fleas of a thousand badgers infest your brain, after all, you're not using it.
  • by Superken7 (893292) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:13PM (#38597440) Journal

    Actually, thanks to Wikileaks we now know that the head of PROMUSICAE (the RIAA-equivalent in Spain), Guisasola, secretly pushed for having Spain included in the infamous 301 List. http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=10MADRID179 [cablesearch.org]
    After Spain was finally included in that list, he claimed that being included in that list was "a national dishonor", and used this argument in order to push for Ley Sinde, the aforementioned SOPA-like law.

    Only a few days ago, this law was finally passed. Most Internet users are against this law because it does not change which sites become illegal - it merely changes the *referee*. As a result, judges have been replaced by a commission whose members are privately selected by private lobbying parties (aka spain's RIAA). This might sound like something outrageous, but sadly this is exactly what has happened.
    If this was not bad enough, keep in mind that this occurs right after *years* of judges ruling *in favor* of those websites that they want to take down (no hosting sites, just linking sites)

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:15PM (#38597474)

    Being a big bully is one thing. It's one thing if we're a big bully on things like human rights. What's more distressing to me is that we're basically allowing the media companies to push the US into being a big bully for things that even our own citizens think is ridiculous.

    Before the media companies there were other commercial interests that pushed the US government to do their bidding. Go back to 1893 and you'll find that sugar interests were responsible for Hawaii being taken over by the US. And that is just one example.

  • Re:Freedom (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:22PM (#38597628)

    Don't you think the RIAA lawsuits have done something to this effect?

    There's actual tangible value in piracy, it's not just a convenience feature of the internet. Robbing banks is illegal and they have spent hundreds of millions in securing them in that industry, but guess what I hear on the news a few months ago? Yep, bank STILL got robbed.

    I imagine a serious increase in wifi hacking and a lot of misdirected finger pointing.

  • by aintnostranger (1811098) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:31PM (#38597838)
    For a good example of that look at US "foreign policy" on Latin America on the 20th century. We've been a playground of tactics, social and not so social experiments, etc... School of americas used some of the French guys that had tortured people in Algeria as teachers for latin american army officers. Those army officers went on to run the dictatorships that kidnapped/killed thousands. It seems US citizens are now questioning the basic goodness of their government. We stopped believing in it decades ago.
  • Why Spain? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:01PM (#38598430)

    The Economist covered the reasons some weeks ago [economist.com], starting at the sixth paragraph.

    Basically, music sales ( real and online ) in Spain are at an all-time low. 10 million albums sold in 2010 in a country of 50 million people.

    If there is any country in which the big media conglomerates feel they have lost, it is Spain. Little wonder they're pressuring to have Spain "punished".

  • Re:Dear US of A (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:01PM (#38598442)
    With the amount of money that it takes to be a viable candidate for the office of the president of the United States, you can be sure that anyone you see on the ballot was bought and payed for long before you had any say in the matter. Couple this with the corporate collusion in media ownership to take care of 'outliers' (not that I agree with everything he says, but look at the time Ron Paul was given in debates in relation to his poll numbers), and you have a system where we really don't get a choice at all.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:02PM (#38598450) Homepage

    4. There are virtually NO U.S. corporations that would not benefit from the enactment of SOPA, in some way. Virtually none would suffer any damages from enactment of SOPA. Even Internet-based corporations would benefit from having clear rules to follow. Ambiguity is not always profitable.

    3.5% of the US GDP is media, in the broadest sense. The other 96.5% benefits from an unrestricted Internet. "Having clear rules to follow" means having to hire people and build systems to enact those rules.

    SOPA will be as costly to US corporations as the DMCA was. it's a giant extra bit of friction that only helps a tiny corner of the economy. Either you know nothing about economics or you are a shill.

  • by dthx1138 (833363) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:02PM (#38598466)

    It would be fun to see U.S. threaten China about blacklisting them. Oh, wait, they can't because U.S. is so dependent on China that it would hurt U.S. more than it would hurt China.

    Surprise, China is already on the Priority Watch List in the "Special 301" report: http://www.ustr.gov/webfm_send/2849 [ustr.gov]

    Other nations you may have heard of that are already on this list include: Canada, India, Israel, and Pakistan. Being named in this list, as the ambassador suggested might happen to Spain, does not mean that the U.S. is starting some kind of trade blockade or economic war with Spain.

    Does the Sinde law sound bad? Yes. But the ultimate responsibility and/or blame lies with the Spanish government. Insinuating that the only reason the law was created and passed is that the U.S. threatened Spain with an act of war is silly hyperbole.

  • Re:Fuck America ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by englishknnigits (1568303) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:32PM (#38598958)
    Yeah, America should learn to be fiscally responsible and not cause financial melt downs like Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. They should be free and open like China. They should have a compassionate government that respects individual freedom like governments in the Middle East. They should not worry about natural resources so much like Russia. Oh wait, every country in the world does this shit, the US just has more power so it can get away with doing more of it. Give the US power/wealth to any other country in the world and they will be just as bad or worse. I'm not justifying anything the US is doing but they aren't much different than 99% of the other countries in the world. This "holier than thou" attitude you have is exactly what you are condemning in the US.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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