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Piracy Government Your Rights Online

Spain To Clamp Down On File Sharers 76

pbahra writes "A bill that would allow Spain's authorities to close down illegal websites with limited judicial oversight has caused anger among the country's Internet users. The law, known as Sinde's bill (after the current culture minister Ángeles González-Sinde) is designed to close the loophole that sharing sites such as Roja Directa have exploited. If you go to the website today, you will find a pithy warning against Internet piracy, courtesy of the US authorities. The US has exerted considerable pressure on Spain over what it sees as Madrid's failure to tackle Internet piracy. A banner with the seals of the US Department of Justice, plus two other bureaucracies, informs Internet users that the Spanish domain name, formerly a hub of illegal sports content, has been seized in accordance with US copyright law. But if you do a search, it takes very little to realize that Roja Directa is alive and kicking."
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Spain To Clamp Down On File Sharers

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  • NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four* *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.
    [The Inquisition exits]
    Chapman: I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!
  • Is not illegal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suy ( 1908306 ) on Friday June 03, 2011 @02:28PM (#36332444) Homepage

    (...)the Spanish domain name, formerly a hub of illegal sports content (...)

    Is a Spanish-focused site, and in Spain, file sharing is not proved in court to be illegal (some argue that it is, some that don't, but certainly no judge has pronounced the word "guilty" to a file sharer). But the summary is even more wrong. Quoting Roja Directa's blog []:

    Not only does Rojadirecta not transmit the aforementioned content, but it does not directly transmit any other type of audio or video content. Rojadirecta is simply an index of sporting events available on the Internet and not a provider of audio and video content.

    Don't know about the US, but this is certainly not illegal in Spain. That's why the government has introduced Sinde's bill. Sinde's bill allows a civil commission (yes, bypassing courts!) to seize websites that link to content. I wonder if they will try to shut down Google or Bing.

    • by msobkow ( 48369 )

      It may not be illegal in Spain, but the US doesn't care about local laws. The bullies of the world think everyone has to do things their way. There's a reason so much of the world hates the US, and their belligerant public policies are a huge chunk of it.

      The sports industry in the US is even more vicious about takedowns than the MPAA or RIAA. They just don't make a big public deal of it the way the latter two do -- they just squash sites as quickly as they can.

    • Police chief says downloading content from eMule is no problem [] [] 2:48 - 3:12 (Spanish)

      ‘You can download whatever you want from eMule. Just DON'T SELL IT.’
      --Jorge Martín, Head of the Security Group of the Judicial Police Technology Investigation Brigade (BIT)

      Downloads have always been legal in Spain as long as you don't do it for profit (e.g. Selling downloaded bootleg copies of X-
    • yea, afaik the laws in Spain were pretty democratic when it came to this, furthermore, if it's about closing down businesses without the need for proper trial, i'm afraid it won't stick with Europe, one thing i gotta give our overhippies is they seem to be pretty resilient when it comes to protecting peoples freedom, probably cos most of them are still human themselves somewhere.
  • so many people hate the USofA.

    • Yet so, so many people seem to love the work of our artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians. Now, if they'd only agree to pay for it, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

      Hey, I know: How about the Spanish Government makes it legal for Spaniards to pirate Spanish-produced movies and music exclusively? Sure, there'd be considerably less worthwhile stuff to purloin, but think of the boost to Julio Iglesias' career!

      • by elashish14 ( 1302231 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (4clacforp)> on Friday June 03, 2011 @03:14PM (#36332856)

        I have no trouble artists or producers. You know, people that actually do the work to create content. People with ideas that follow up, work hard, strive and labor through the development process to create something that is worthy and has value.

        The people that I don't want to pay are the executives; the ones who pay for lobbyists to dictate draconian civil penalties and censorship of the internet; the ones who force ridiculous DRM which effective shuts out third parties and alternative platforms like Linux; the ones who artificially inflate prices and wonder why developing countries think it's a lot more sensible to pirate instead -- and then crush them with sanctions and the like; the ones who have destroyed creativity by true artists who are independent who seek alternative outlets to get their music heard; the ones who install rootkits on their computer (as if it's theirs to own and not yours); the ones who abuse the legal system to sue people in cases where they did nothing wrong but can't fight anyways because it would be many times more expensive than settling, or because it would be too humiliating and/or time-consuming to fight; and the ones who, as we see here, have bought out the American government and are using it to take over the world.

        I have no sympathy for the executives of MAFIAA labels, or their equally corrupt lawyers who have done this to us -- real people. I'll do anything I can to avoid giving them my money. I'll support the artists though.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yet so, so many people seem to love the work of our artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians. Now, if they'd only agree to pay for it, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

        Sorry, doesn't work that way. The problem is that the music/film industry can't make a product that's worth purchasing, so they resort to bullying and coercion. And they've acted so antisocial towards their customers that I hope every time I pirate music or film I'm contributing to their demise. Anything that can be don

        • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

          That makes perfect sense. They can't make a product worth purchasing, but you will spend endless hours whining about laws that prevent you from stealing stuff (that purportedly you don't even want). If you don't want them to exist (which is fine), why do you want their product? Just pretend they don't exist, and don't use any of their product, at all, by any means. You are perfectly free to get all of your entertainment from YouTube, etc, with no need to pirate anything, so why are you pirating?


        • Nowadays, storage is cheap. Selling CDs doesn't make (much) sense. Song files are really easy to store and copy. They are ALMOST worthless. No need to buy CDs. You get an mp3 player and a computer and the music will always be with you. The important stuff is the music in the files, the talent they contain. Record labels see now that their world is crumbling under their feet. And they want to keep doing business as usual and even control what the user can('t) do with the music once they've purchased it. Well
      • I used to pay for any games, movies and most music I liked. Then, they decided to make viewing and playing said things more of a hassle, requiring complex tools to store the files on my hd. This "protection" required a new disc format, and prices were heightened. New software to prevent me from just playing my own games from my own hd was developed, taking money and development time out of other areas of importance like bugfixes and gameplay. Of course, the money to pay for a license, and for the programmer

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Hey, I know: How about you actually make the effort to learn about the laws in Spain, and stop calling absolutely legal activies "piracy", and realize that it is already legal for Spaniards to make copies of Spanish movies and music (and books; it's also irrelevant where the work was produced), that we pay for making those copies even if we don't actually make them (if authors from the USA are not receiving their share, ask the Spanish equivalent of the RIAA, they're the ones keeping the money), and many mo

      • by MeNeXT ( 200840 )

        We did pay for it so why do we have to pay for it again? Cry me a river. Produce something of quality and I will gladly give you my money. Produce sh1t and trust me your record sales will go down and no it's not the Internet. Only idiots believe that.

      • by blind monkey 3 ( 773904 ) on Friday June 03, 2011 @07:48PM (#36334542)

        Yet so, so many people seem to love the work of our artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians. Now, if they'd only agree to pay for it, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

        I thought multinational companies are the ones benefitting, not the US public - I could be wrong but for example:

        Sony Corporation ( Son Kabushiki Gaisha) (TYO: 6758, NYSE: SNE), commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate with US$77.20 billion (FY2010).
        Sir Howard Stringer (born February 19, 1942) a Welsh-born business man is chairman, president and CEO of Sony Corporation.

        These multinational companies are in most countries, have artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians on their books that are not from the US (some are excellent at their jobs) - I suspect most of their "product" isn't from the U.S. but I could be wrong (doubt it though).
        As to the "love the work", I can only speak for my self:
        A lot of the "work" I love enough that if it were free I'd watch / listen to (free to air tv, radio, free concerts etc and if legal in my country, downloads).
        Some I'd watch / listen to if I were paid.
        Some I'd refuse to watch / listen to even if I were paid.
        A few I would (and do) pay for gladly.
        I hope everyone does likewise.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Adhere to the law. No penalties, absolutely no penalties until proven guilty. Guilt upon accusation is just the creative 'idiocy' of US lawyers. Simple, want to protect your content then don't release, shove it were the sun don't shine and no one will copy it. When it comes to making dangerous attacks upon the principles of law, with the likes of guilt and penalty upon accusation and the defendant must pay to regain their rights with no cost recovery, the shove you content.

        Go ahead stop making it like yo

  • by Tei ( 520358 ) on Friday June 03, 2011 @02:37PM (#36332548) Journal

    I find humurous that a country has to "attack" other country to force this one country to change laws, and other similar stuff, to shutdown a website that seems to host TV from soccer games.. you know, what VHS was invented for. Oh, terrible!, some spanish people is saving a boring soccer game and sharing it on the internets!.. TERRIBLE!.

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      Sports is but the precedent. What they are really after is stronger protection related to all kind of IP export from USA to the world.

      This would allow a small office to rake in worldwide license fees each time one of their "IP" are being used.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )
        since it's community driven there's little they can do about it, messaging techniques are versatile enough nowadays. and so in the future if you have 9999x9999 pixel 60hz videocalls for a flat fee for very cheaply, then anyone can host a warez site with months of entertainment downloadable in minutes, to anyone else. and that call has privacy or not.. but ppft do they really pirate copy football matches? that's like hunting for the ultimate bold and the beautiful dump.
      • I think it's a widely known fact that IP is one of the main exports of the US, so they fight fiercely to get US IP secured from piracy. Along the way, some other foreign IPs might get some protection too, so all the big fish are happy. That's also the reason the RIAA files suits that won't provide them with any cash, but will set precedents of millions of dollars of fines and/or prison. Chilling effect -> people stop pirating.
        • by hitmark ( 640295 )

          Widely known, not so sure. Widely suspected however. It is one of the more plausible reasons for why the US government, no matter who is in charge, have leaned on just about everyone to get more draconian IP laws.

          I do wonder if there are proper numbers as to the percentage of US exports that is non-physical, and how big an amount of dollars that covers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how legal this can be?!
    - ICANN is a corporation and thus open to be sued by Spanish government... even if acting on behalf of US government.
    - The US government doesn't have jurisdiction in Spain (for the servers) and the domain name doesn't pose an infringement.
    - There's no legal process.
    - ".com" is not ".us" thus open to challenge in international law.
    - If you people take your "product" to US they are importing it , sounds like the US suing Cuba for their citizens buying there cigars and taking t

  • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 03, 2011 @02:41PM (#36332594)

    ... the bill would allow to close LEGAL websites. The Sinde's bill does not change what is legal or illegal (that would require modifications to the Intellectual Property law, which the bill does not include), and with the current laws what those websites do is legal, as evidenced by about a dozen cases in which judges ruled that there was no crime, versus zero cases in which the ruling was the opposite. Also the bill most likely goes against the Spanish Constitution, as it allows to close websites without a judge overseeing the process (whereas the Constitution mandates that a judge orders any interruption of a publication, such as closing a website, forbiding the distribution of a printed publication or the transmission of a radio or TV program, etc.): the judge is only asked whether closing the website affects freedom of speech, nothing more. Furthermore, the judge is explicitly forbidden from examining if there's a justification for closing the website (i.e. if there's anything illegal going on).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "A bill that would allow Spain's authorities to close down illegal websites with limited judicial oversight... a pithy warning against Internet piracy, courtesy of the US authorities... A banner with the seals of the US Department of Justice, plus two other bureaucracies... in accordance with US copyright law..."

  • by SnowHog ( 1944314 ) on Friday June 03, 2011 @03:38PM (#36333020)
    You would think Spain would be concerned with more pressing matters right their 20% unemployment rate, the tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, and the likely collapse of their financial system.
  • Seriously the US and its Corporations are removing peoples rights left and right. Except for weapons and 300mil consumer what the hell does the IS have to offer the world anymore? There's a billion consumers in China and India more then plenty do supply the world with cash flow. Lets develop the third world countries and be done with the US.

    • you have reality all wrong, my friend.

      its not a US vs world thing; its world vs world. corporations - big ones - are multinational. in fact, they often avoid taxes here since they are 'located' on some small island (etc). I would not call that many multi's 'american companies'. sony, for example; is that an american company?

      I agree with you that multi's are, by nature, not ethical or moral. they are out of control and something has to be done. but you paint with way too broad a brush.

  • "Spain’s creative industries generate about €62 billion in annual added value for Spain’s €1 trillion economy. They also employ 1.2 million, in a country with five million unemployed, just over 21% of the working-age population."

    If they would like to foster their creative industries they would limit the copyright, if not abandon it altogether. Where all the neo-liberals that we all known and love for free market, free trade, liberalization of the markets etc. if it comes to copyright l

    • That's because "they" are making money hand over fist in those markets, and that fact partially depend on you being forced to buy things, in this case digital items that have no intrinsic value and can be copied for nothing. If the free market were allowed to be truly free, those digital items would fall in price to a level where they represent the convenience cost, i.e. you are not really paying for the item any more, just the convenience of getting it when you want it. There is obviously too much vested
  • by troll -1 ( 956834 ) on Friday June 03, 2011 @09:00PM (#36334942)
    Government attempts at censorship only make those sites more popular in accordance with the Streisand Effect. I suggest using the MafiaaFire Redirector [] Addon for Firefox. Since the US Government starting seizing domains I've found some excellent torrents sites I never before knew existed. Roja Directa is still up. You can access it here [] I for one am thankful my government is clueless as to how the Internet works.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn