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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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  • 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).

  • Re:Cool story, bro (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 03, 2011 @02:48PM (#36332662)

    Except those activities are legal according to Spanish law. Read this comment, my ill-informed friend:

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser