Spanish gaming programmer faces prison sentence

By EDRi · September 21, 2005

A Spanish gaming programmer may face up to one year prison charges for
developing a video-game which makes fun of religious practices. ‘Matanza
Cofrade’ is a video-game, a first person shooter Doom-like game in which
the player shoots participants to the famous Holy Week procession. The participants are zombies and in the background, images of several
religious brotherhoods from Sevilla are shown.

This game was supposed to be offered as a present with a CD of the Spanish
Rock band “Narco” in November 2002, but when the brotherhoods heard about
it, they started a lawsuit against it. In the end, the game was removed
from the CD.

In a legal movement that it is becoming a classic when facing issues of
freedom of expression, the programmer has been accused by the attorney of
both offending religious feelings and of misuse of intellectual property,
since the programmer didn’t have permission to use images from the

The court will hear the case on 29 September. The public prosecutor asks
for one year in prison for the intellectual property charge and ten months
for offending religious feelings.

(Contribution by David Casacuberta, EDRI-member CPSR-Spain)