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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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:56AM (#38597108)

    All it needs is one domino to fall.

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:01PM (#38597202)
      Spain is bankrupt. Putting them on an international trade blacklist is like refusing to serve homeless people in Harrod's.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Spain is only bankrupt if it can't provide all the necessities for its own people. If they can manage to self-sustain, all the blacklists in the world will have no effect on its economy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Germany has twice as external debt than Spain, same the UK, France... even the US has much more external debt than Spain proportionally, in case you think the US is not bankrupt. Spain's problem is a very high rate of unemployement, their debt is relatively small. Amazed of how easy is to be absolutely misinformed nowadays.

        • by rev0lt (1950662) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:59PM (#38599448)
          Actually, you are wrong. Spain has a GDP foreign debt of 284% and Germany has a GDP foreign debt of 176%. The US have 101%, and they are in much better finantial shape than many strong countries in EU.
          Spain also has a complex, almost non-regulated, mutualist banking system (Caixas), and very poor performance in the EU stress tests. The only reason Spain has no interest to the IMF/European Fund is because most of the foreign debt is held by Germany and the UK, and a rescue operation would imply much more money than what the European Fund had avaliable, and would cause a direct hit in both UK's and Germany's banking companies. I used as reference the following infographic: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15748696 [bbc.co.uk]
          • by Super_Z (756391) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @05:21PM (#38602932)

            Actually, you are wrong. Spain has a GDP foreign debt of 284% and Germany has a GDP foreign debt of 176%. The US have 101%, and they are in much better finantial shape than many strong countries in EU.

            The "Foreign debt to GDP" numbers reflects the relative size of the countries financial systems and should not be seen as liabilities as this debt is collateralized. The better numbers to compare for "financial shape" are the "Govt debt to GDP" levels, respectively 67%, 83% and 100%. Additionally one should look at the current account [wikipedia.org] for the countries in question. This shows a why Spain is in trouble even if its debt to GDP ratio is relatively small (67%).

    • by Asic Eng (193332) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:18PM (#38597536)

      I really don't get this - is SOPA so important to US interests that it would risk a trade war with an EU country? I get that it's in the interests of some media companies, but they are puny in comparison with other US industries. Don't these industries have lobbies, too?

      • by rickb928 (945187) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:25PM (#38597698) Homepage Journal

        1. SOPA is so important to U.S. corporate interests that they are exerting enormous pressure on our Legislature.

        2. Our Legislature, being so dependent on corporate insider trading, is willing to do their will.

        3. Our Executive branch, being utterly bereft of ethical standards, is willing to threaten Spain with actual economic damages for no more reason than to support U.S. corporate interests, which uktimately serve to enrich the Legislature (and other insiders) to the disadvantage of the general population.

        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.

        • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:46PM (#38598156)

          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.

          This is just ridiculous. First of all, what about the existing law is supposed to be so ambiguous? New laws almost always produce more ambiguity because there has to be a period of years before the courts have a chance to write decisions interpreting them where any number of the new provisions remain uncertain. This is especially true of SOPA because parts of it are so obviously subject to a constitutional challenge, which means companies won't know whether they have to follow them until it goes to court -- which is the worst kind of uncertainty; the kind that leads to expensive protracted litigation.

          In addition to that, if SOPA will have no negative effects on them, why have they all come out against it [techcrunch.com]? Why are they running full page ads in the New York Times [boingboing.net]?

          I think you'll find that the US Trade Representative's positions are set not based on what US companies want, but rather based on what US companies that do the most lobbying want. The RIAA and MPAA have long been prolific in their employment of lobbyists; tech companies less so until very recently and even there they lack the sort of experience necessary to be as effective as would be expected from their size and economic importance. One can hope that they get it right before it's too late, but I prefer to hope that Americans come to their senses and make it a defense to murder that the victim was an entertainment/fossil fuel/defense/telecommunications industry lobbyist.

          • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:57PM (#38598362)
            My friend, you are sorely mistaken if you think that money is the only card on the table in the SOPA debate. If it was only about money, Google and Facebook would lobby the **AA's into oblivion, as their pockets are so much deeper that it wouldn't even be a contest. SOPA is not even about copyright; it's about control. By writing such an overly broad rule, the government assures that all sites on the web are in violation of the law at all times. While the vast majority of sites would be assumed to be acting in good faith to prevent infringement, anyone who steps out of line can immediately be wiped out with no due process. Wikileaks and the Occupy movement have showed the Congress critters that an unregulated Internet will eventually bring all of their greed and corruption into the light of day, and that people will only tolerate it for so long. They NEED something like SOPA to reign it back and, so that they can continue fucking the people without worry of being taken to task for it.
          • by theskipper (461997) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:08PM (#38598584)

            Exactly. Let's not forget how Allison Halataei and Lauren Pastarnak whored themselves out to the RIAA/MPAA straight out of Lamar Smith's office. No waiting period to dispel any appearance of impropriety. They know it doesn't matter, just follow the money because the corruption is so ingrained.

            http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70149.html [politico.com]

          • by steelfood (895457) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @03:09PM (#38600606)

            I've been reading more about SOPA recently, and the list of opponents is actually relatively small. Most of them are internet-based service companies, without tangible products. Google's the biggest of the bunch, followed by Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo, and AOL. Everyone else is tiny--miniscule even--compared to the list of SOPA supporters.

            On the other hand, everybody from cosmetics to media support SOPA. Every industry that involves a tangible product has at least one company or lobbying group within it supporting SOPA.

            Tech giants like Microsoft and Apple are staying quiet, though I suspect the BSA's stated reservations are close to their official position. Collectively, they're neutral at best.

            But everyone else is in favor of SOPA. Everyone. Except the ones whom the government is supposed to represent.

        • 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 suutar (1860506)
            I think SarbOx may be a better comparison (or perhaps just a more widely known comparison)... I remember lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth at the expense of adjusting to Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, but not so many for DCMA.
  • Freedom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:56AM (#38597110)
    Blackmail: you're doing it right.
    • Re:Freedom (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SniperJoe (1984152) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:04PM (#38597272)
      Actually, this is more along the lines of extortion. "Nice country you've got here. It would be a shame if someone blacklisted it from trading with other countries..."
  • by Krneki (1192201) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @11:57AM (#38597136)
    Fuck off!
    • Re:Dear US of A (Score:5, Insightful)

      by toetagger (642315) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:01PM (#38597216)

      The questions is: Will the people living int he US finally elect a competent set of leaders, or will this worsening problem require an external solution? I guess another alternative would be a revolution? How many more years like this?

      • Re:Dear US of A (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:05PM (#38597292) Journal

        Problem is, we get the same garbage up to the point where we are given a choice, so the question is not so much which candidate is good, as which maggot is the least rancid.

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

        by jimmerz28 (1928616) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:06PM (#38597304)

        We can't elect anyone who is competent until we somehow fix the lobby-centric corporate buyout principal the political environment is built on here.

        People (like Obama) seem competent to voters and then turn around and act just like (or worse than) the previous administration due to their corporate entrenchment.

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

          by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:34PM (#38597902)

          Lobbying is basically people banding together and expressing their opinion with promises of campaign money. Im not sure how you intend to get rid of that without curtailing people's right to vote, or to speech, or to the press.

          • by jimmerz28 (1928616) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:59PM (#38598396)

            I'm not sure what people you mean? Do the majority of voters band together to contribute money to campaigns?

            No the majority uses (or fails to use) his/her vote. Don't you think the vote should constitute that? Why should the people have to explicitly pay to elect officials? Shouldn't that be part of how a democratic entity uses its funds?

            The ones contributing money (at least the large bulk of it) are rich individuals or corporations which is why we see such large disparities between what people want and what corporations want.

            Sometimes I wonder for how horrible it was how true Mutant Chronicles [imdb.com] corporate states will become.

          • by forkfail (228161)

            Here's how you get rid of it: you demonitize elections.

            This means that you force TV and the 'net to provide certain free services: specifically, access for candidates to air time and a certain amount of bandwidth for their websites. You force the ad placement companies to put political ads into their rotation. Then you make it illegal to give money to a candidate if you're a corporation, and cap individual contributions.

            Of course, the Roberts court basically made this practically impossible at this point

        • 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.
          • Yep I just wish the citizens of foreign nations would understand that. Short of a revolt democratic change is slow and uneventful.

            And I fear because of our sheer geographic size and population disbursement (in that groups who share the same ideas/ideals are geographically disconnected) we would really never get a good hold on a proper revolt.

        • by houghi (78078)

          They are politicians. What did you expect?
          Power corrupts: News at 11.

          Even if you are the best willed person and set up the best government (or even company). At a later date it will become corrupt and will look not at all the people, but at some of the people. So even if you start a 0% evil it will evolved towards 100% evil.

          Revolutions are there for a reason. They are there to do a reboot to 0% and the the whole process starts over again.

          I am not saying that a revolution is what would help. Not yet anyway,

      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        That's not a question, it's not like we get to actually choose who to vote for. It's like you coming over to my house for dinner and I offer you your choice of tripe or haggis. Which is the better choice?
      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Since the US appears to be writing laws for everyone now, can I ask when the rest of us will be permitted to vote in US elections?

    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      Fuck off!

      I think you meant: "Que te jodan!", or perhaps "Ándate a la chucha!" :o)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:02PM (#38597234)

    America will be the new China... everybody will hate your government, including the people who live there...

    • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:12PM (#38597402)
      Your "in about 20 years" is more like now. I live in the US am a US citizen and I'm fed up with the way my government governs. What's worse is about all I can do to stop it is storm the capital.
      • by PhxBlue (562201)
        The difference between the U.S. and China is that (for the time being) Americans are still allowed to talk about how they hate their government. Whether the system prevents them from doing anything is a different story, but we can at least talk.
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:02PM (#38597238)

    Why a large part of the world considers the USA to be a big bully?

    And yes .. mod me to hell for that.

    • by SniperJoe (1984152) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:07PM (#38597334)
      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.
      • 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.

        • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot AT ideasmatter DOT org> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:27PM (#38597758) Journal

          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.

          Yep. Not to mention all of the banana republics in South America, who had their approximately-democratic governments violently toppled by the CIA acting on behalf of American produce companies.

          America has never been The Good Guy, it has just been a typical state out to get ahead at any cost... any cost, that is, short of allowing its citizens to discover that it is not The Good Guy.

          That's why the diplomatic cable leaks are such a Big Deal, and the reason why Bradley Manning will get no popular sympathy. His revelations cause American citizens to feel cognitive dissonance ("We aren't the Good Guy? Really?")... and people deeply hate those who cause them cognitive dissonance.

          I'm an American citizen and I feel ashamed about the degree to which my country has fallen to regulatory capture.

      • If you only threatened countries to do things that are good for their populations, those populations wouldn't think you are a bully, and would laugh every time their media or government claims so.

        The reality is that rarely the US gets involved on the internals of another country to make its people better. But they get involved daily in things that makes other country's people worse.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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.
      • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:31PM (#38597844) Homepage

        I'm really hoping that Google, Facebook, etc. pursue the "nuclear option" that has been discussed. It will kill SOPA almost instantly, making SOPA politically untouchable. It will also serve as a wakeup call to politicians that they were meant to serve the people, not lobbyists.

        At this point, we'll have serious egg on our face for implying that another country is a "bad country" because their politicians didn't want to commit political suicide.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      USA only seems like a bigger bully because it has bigger economic muscles. You can see France and Germany throwing their economic weight around to the detriment of smaller EU neighbors. You see China throwing its economic weight around to the detriment of the SEA neighbors. You see Russia throwing its economic weight around to the detriment of its former satellites. Yet these other bullies are rarely the focus of internet moralists, many of whom live in or are more affected by their proximity to those count

      • Or maybe their internet moralists are just not writing in English very much and so don't get picked up as readily in the US/Canada/UK
  • I think its time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:04PM (#38597268) Homepage

    to overthrow the US gov and burn down Hollywood. The two greatest threats to freedom since Hitler. Fuck em.....

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:53PM (#38598296)

      NDAA says you are a thread to the country, citizen or not, and can now be detained indefinitely. And no one is going to be able to counter the massive firepower, including automated drones, to make this happen.

      Maybe 11 years ago it might have been remotely possible, but the republic is here to stay until people start starving in the streets (no citizens to tax) or another country takes over violently.

      • by jvkjvk (102057)

        Nope.

        The government would have to outsource the military action to another country.

        They have the tech, but not the Will of enough people behind them to have predators shooting at people in downtown Peoria.

  • Fuck America ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:06PM (#38597308)

    I am so fucking tired of hearing how America is bullying the world into being forced into implementing legislation that is utterly flawed and is only there to serve the interests of the *AAs.

    America can go fuck themselves if this is the best they've got.

    Things like fair use are legal rights in other countries, but the USA is working to be sure that we all have the same lowest common denominator -- them.

    I think someone should start passing laws holding the US accountable for the financial melt-down they caused, and for charging them for the implementation of the laws they've been ramming down everyone else's throats.

    America has become a bunch of pathetic, whining cowards who are only worried about copyright, and making sure they can buy cheap oil.

    • by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:15PM (#38597490) Journal
      We, the People, DO NOT WANT THIS. Politicians and businessmen do. We are as powerless as you concerning these matters.
      • Well, not AS powerless. But we'd have to group together, in VERY large groups, to do anything about it.

        • by yabos (719499)
          Part of the US politician's plans is making the public lazy and complacent. It's working. In general, the USA population is getting dumber, lazier and fatter. Good luck getting all those dumb lazy people to get up off the couch and do anything about their failing country. You all know it's the truth
      • Re:Fuck America ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by aintnostranger (1811098) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:35PM (#38597932)
        Powerless? You are not. Come back and tell me that after you get a big chunk of population marching on the streets and getting shot for it. In Syria people are powerless. So the government officials you guys elected don't act like they should?? Mass protest / strike till they are out of office. Until you try such things and fail you ARE NOT POWERLESS.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:05PM (#38599570)

          No, you're right. The people are not being shot in the streets in America. They are having chemical weapons, banned under the Geneva convention, deployed against them at peaceful protests. That's much better.

          Speaking as someone who was pepper-sprayed, beaten, and detained for a legal, peaceful demonstration, I'd say we've got a few problems here.

  • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:06PM (#38597324)
    First I'm an American, I live in the US always have. I'm am just fed up with my government. How in the hell can they be so disconnected, and how in the hell do they expect to impose their will on other nations. Fucking hell isn't that what the initial settlers came over here to get away from?
    • No. The initial settlers came over to get away from the oppression of their own religious ideals, but ended up oppressing the ideals of the nation they were settling. It's the same throughout history.
  • by tekrat (242117) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:09PM (#38597354) Homepage Journal

    I find it so ironic that the USA is threatening a country that essentially found this side of the planet (admittedly, there were already people living here, but those indigenous populations are usually ignored by history books).

    Secondly, exactly what items from Spain will stop being in Walmart if a trade embargo goes into place? And with "globalization", all Spain has to do is ship via a third party in a preferred trading partner status, like China or Canada.

    And lastly, America is a failing empire. Apart from having a big military that they are borrowing heavily from the Chinese to pay for, they are no longer a threat. Rome lasted much, much longer, and was managed far better than the USA. A shame really.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:12PM (#38597398)

    Dear United States of America,

    We acknowledge your concerns over the political decisions of a sovereign state and, politely, refer you to the reply given in Arkell v. Pressdram.

    Spain

  • 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)

    • http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/09/07/canada-to-u-s-please-blacklist-us/ [macleans.ca] and it wasn't really publicized in the media that the serfs read just some tech columns here and there. Oh, what came of it this near treason actions......nothing.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:02PM (#38598448)

      Spaniard here. Totally true history.

      More outrageous details: they carefully worded the law so that there are two judges involved in the process of closing a web page. And all they do is checking the paperwork is correctly done, not if the page should be closed or not!! Go figure... any web page the commission says is against someone's intellectual property will be closed in a hat's drop, and only after a pair of years fighting in the courts it will be ruled if the web page should come back or not. A pair of years, literally!! That's way too much for someone's starting a new bussiness on the net. This law is just a workarround since the judges in Spain where issuing "not guilty" to every filesharing case, since in spanish law filesharing was legal as long as you wasn't making money in the process.

      And worst of all, there are so many fires in Spain right now, there's literally not enough people to fight back, because they are fighting back too many problems at the same time! Did you know Spain's health care system was universal and free as in beer (read paid through taxes), and they are trying to turn it into USA style private health care system? And that's just the iceberg tip...

  • by C_Kode (102755) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:17PM (#38597516) Journal

    They need to stop occupying parks and what not and start occupying the front yards and offices of the politicians that are trying to impose SOPA.

    These guys are dirty and are obviously getting money in their bank accounts for doing this.

    The media needs to expose these guys by putting their face all over the news papers, magazines, blogs, TV, etc. Expose these political criminals and get them the hell out of office.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      From the meetings I've seen, they could be genuinely clueless and taking the word of someone who has enough money to take them out to lunch. Anti-SOPA people don't have connected lobbyists. Plus, the pols are proud of their ignorance and sneered at the experts who said this was a bad thing.

      Politicians are always dirty, this is no exception. And they need to be shamed every time they do something stupid. But blaming it on straight up bribery is missing important points about the many ways Congress is dys

  • As a comercial embargo is an act of war, the replaced headline would be acurate. Remember that the US is still discussing if it should embargo Iran... Now compare to the decision about Spain.

    It seems like Spain needs a nuclear program.

  • by pla (258480) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:21PM (#38597590) Journal
    For everyone normally making fun of the tinfoil hat crowd, we have here nothing short of concrete proof of a vast (global?) intergovernmental conspiracy by the oligarchy to fuck... us... all.

    We've discussed the technical merits (or lack thereof) of SOPA here on Slashdot numerous times, and always, the inescapable conclusion came out that we simply had Luddites and idiots for leaders. Now, we have a better, more accurate answer. Our leaders may still count as idiots, but they fully realize just how deliberately-bad a law they've crafted in SOPA.

    Can you hear the drums in the distance, getting ever closer, Washington?
  • by eagee (1308589) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @12:36PM (#38597950)
    We're the insensitive clods :-(. I find this so embarrassing - SOPA has like 15% public support and we're pushing it on other countries? *sigh* The worst part is that even though we can vote in new politicians, our electorate is completely broken; and I have no idea how to fix that...
  • 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:Why Spain? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @01:32PM (#38598966) Journal

      If piracy had disappeared altogether, though, Spanish album sales would still be at an all-time low. Unemployment is over 20% and salaries for everyone else have gone down, so it's hardly surprising that spending on non-essentials is at an all time low. In particuar, unemployment amongst the young (who are probably the people who buy the most albums) is around 40%. Piracy has very little to do with it.

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