Spanish Government proposes new legislation against file-sharing

By EDRi · January 13, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Spanische Regierung beschlie├čt neues Gesetz gegen Filesharer |]

The Spanish Government passed on 8 January 2010 the Law for Sustainable
Economy which includes the creation of an Intellectual Property Commission
(IPC) that will be in charge with filing complaints with a judge in cases of
alleged illegal downloading.

The legislation will give the authorities the possibility to shut down
file-sharing sites within a few days from the complained filed by IPC. The
court is to decide within four days from the complaint whether a certain
site is infringing the law or not. Until now the procedure to shut down
sites considered in breach of copyright law lasted for more than a year.

The legislation has met serious criticism and opposition lately from the
public and freedom activists. In a Manifesto on the rights of Internet users
at the beginning of December 2009, a group of journalists, bloggers,
professionals and creators stated that: “Copyright should not be placed
above citizens’ fundamental rights to privacy, security, presumption of
innocence, effective judicial protection and freedom of expression.”

Many of the opponents believe the legislation was forced by a strong lobby
from the entertainment industry and the pressure from the US, without real
consideration of the implications and impact on the Internet users.

The only good change in the new legislation is that the sites cannot be shut
down without a judicial decision as it was initially proposed.

On 9 January a group of activists, experts and bloggers met in Madrid to discuss the action to be taken in order to defend civil rights on the Internet. One of the results of the meeting was the organisation of a larger campaign under a new alliance to defend Internet liberties called Red SOStenible. The new alliance was launched on 13 January 2010.

The new plan of the Government against P2P “doesn’t wash” (only in Spanish,

Spain Fast Tracks P2P Site Shutdowns (8.01.2010)

Spain passes anti-piracy law (8.01.2010)

Campaign Red Sostenible (13.01.2010)

Government rectification does not please the Red activists (only in Spanish,