Spain: New draft law to increase copyright infringements penalties

By EDRi · March 27, 2013

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Deutsch: [Urheberrecht in Spanien: Neuer Vorstoß für höhere Strafen |]

The Spanish Council of Ministers approved on 22 March 2013 the draft
reform of the Intellectual Property Law, also known as Lassalle law,
which is meant to punish more harshly some breaches of intellectual
property rights.

According to the draft law, the websites infringing copyright on a
large-scale will face fines of up to 300 000 Euro. The law will also
oblige payment processors and advertisers not to deal with those websites.

If the bill is passed, the websites will be required to remove wide
ranges of infringing content on request, for a particular artist or
rightholder, not on a one-by-one case as the status is now. P2P
downloads will also be banned by limiting the right to private copy.

Already after in January 2012 the US had threatened Spain to add the
country on a black list, Spain introduced the so-called Sinde Law meant
to offer alleged greater protections for rightsholders which included a
provision to close infringing sites but such measures have not yet been

The Lassalle law is strongly criticized by a large range or
organisations – from the Association of Internet Users to the
Association for the administration of the audiovisual producers’
copyrights (Asociación de Gestión de Derechos de los Productores
Audiovisuales – EGEDA). One of the main concerns expressed is the
intention to increase the powers of the Copyright Commission to deal
with copyright infringement, allowing it to force companies to remove
their advertising from alleged illicit sites and payment processors to
withdraw their services from infringing sites.

Another issue is the ambiguity of the text in defining “the file-sharing
sites”. The text refers to those sites which “have as main activity that
of facilitating in a specific and massive manner the localisation of
works and performances that are offered without authorisation”. Yet,
Google and other such search engines could be excluded from this
definition, if they takedown the infringing content.

The status of the private copy will also be dramatically changed.
Presently, the downloads of Internet users are covered by a levy on
blank media. The new draft stipulates that the right to private copying
will only cover legally obtained media, which implies that file-sharers
could be prosecuted for their downloads from unauthorized sources.
Furthermore, even though the blank media levy will be removed, the
compensation will still be paid to rightsholders.

The draft law will be now be submitted to the Autonomous Communities for

The Internet clamours against the reform of the Intellectual property
law (only in Spanish, 23.03.2013)

The fines against webs will illegal content will reach 300.000 euro
(only in Spanish, 22.03.2013)

Spain to Crackdown on Pirate Sites and Outlaw File-Sharing (22.03.2013)

The Intellectual Property law will allow going after linking webs (only
in Spanish, 22.03.2013)

EDRi-gram: Spanish Sinde law brings about the first website take down
requests (11.04.2013)