Spanish Sinde law brings about the first website take down requests
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Deutsch: Erste Sperrverfügungen nach dem spanischen Sinde-Gesetz stehen an
The Spanish Minister of Culture has stated that in only one month since the Spanish anti-piracy law (known as Sinde Law) has been passed, the Commission for Intellectual Property (CIP) has received more than 300 complaints against websites allegedly infringing copyrights, including 79 site takedown requests.
The law that was passed on 1 March 2012, after Spain was threatened of being included on US trade blacklist, allows for the blocking of allegedly infringing sites based on reports from copyright holders.
The CIP which will investigate all the received complaints has the power to dismiss claims or to initiate further action, including the removal of allegedly infringing links, court-ordered closure or ISP blockade of entire websites.
The administrative process is as follows: the CIP, after having received a complaint, takes 20 days to establish whether there is a case of copyright infringement and the Central Court of Administrative Matters has to reach an agreement with the website in question to solve the issue bureaucratically that is by the removal of the content under dispute.
The site has 48h to remove the respective content and in case it does not comply, the Commission may ask a legal intervention which ultimately may lead to the voluntary removal of the content or the forced intervention of an ISP to take down the site.
Out of the entire number of complaints, it is not yet clear how many are the result of a hacktivist sabotage campaign launched on the day the Sinde law came into effect. The group Hackivistas encouraged sites to link to an “infringing” song by Eme Navarro, an outspoken critic of the law who reported the sites to the Commission to overload it with requests.
“The aim of this action is testing this law and being the first ones who use it in order to show the absurdity and the censorship that it will bring,” stated the hacktivists. Another purpose of the action was to find out how the procedure works. “Nobody knows how they will shut down websites. We suspect that they will ask Spanish companies hosting the websites to shut them down, and that Spanish service providers will block websites that are hosted outside of Spain. They will also censor foreign websites, so anyone in the world can join us. We want to check what happens in every case,” the hacktivist added.
Also the group Anonymous launch in January an initiative called “Marzo Negro” (the Black March) urging Spanish Internet users to stop buying or downloading any cultural work, in order to make a statement that no pressure will be accepted from any industry that favours a law censuring the Internet. Although the Ministry of Culture has stated that no punitive action has yet been taken regarding the 300 complaints, theoretically the process between a complaint and the shutdown of a site can take a month up to maximum three months, meaning that April could see the first website closures. The Ministry of Culture may impose a maximum penalty of up to 300 000 euro to the sites that do not comply with the legislation.
Almost 80 requests for web closing down the first month of Sinde Law
(only in Spanish, 1.04.2012)
Spanish ‘SOPA’: 79 Site Takedown Requests in First Month (4.04.2012)
Artist and Hacktivists Sabotage Spanish Anti-Piracy Law (1.03.2012)
Culture Ministry has received 292 requests since the entry into force of the
Sinde Law(only in Spanish, 2.04.2012)
The “Black March” has started (only in Spanish, 2.03.2012)
EDRi-gram: The US pressure on Spain to censor the Internet has paid off