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Spain To Clamp Down On File Sharers

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the caving-to-peer-pressure dept.

Piracy 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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Comments from RSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332330)

My RSS reader is showing the comment box, for me to type something in. This is bizarre.

Re:Comments from RSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332374)

Since we mention bizarre things, I swear that my windows7 network icon in the system tray showed "not connected" today (until I reset the modem), while I was still surfing the internet and torrents still running fine in the torrent application. I thought that was weird. I took the time to check at least once that I was not imagining this. Never seen this behaviour before.

Re:Comments from RSS? (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36335228)

Well, it has happened a lot to me that the "net" was down (HTTP only) but torrents and eDonkey files were working normally (both up and downloads). Solution: restart the router.

Re:Comments from RSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332410)

Speaking of bizarre stuff, I got a 503 error while trying to open up slashdot.org the whole afternoon.

Re:Comments from RSS? (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333122)

I have too.

Re:Comments from RSS? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333490)

So it's not just here in Spain that this page wouldn't load earlier? That's good to know...

Re:Comments from RSS? (2)

webhat (558203) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332416)

My RSS reader is showing the comment box, for me to type something in. This is bizarre.

Not very bizarre /. has two feeds, one with comments and one without.

Re:Comments from RSS? (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332574)

The bizarre part isn't that there are comments. It's that, instead of displaying other people's comments, it gave me the box to type, preview, and submit my own (and it worked, for first post). It has never been that way before today. And that's not to mention the fact that the actual website was erroring out at the time.

They'll never expect (2)

Quato (132194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332402)

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.
[The Inquisition exits]
Chapman: I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!

Cool story, bro (1)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332440)

In other news, I've heard of other illegal activities that don't magically become legal when done on the Internet.

Re:Cool story, bro (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332662)

Except those activities are legal according to Spanish law. Read this comment, my ill-informed friend: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2209976&cid=36332594

Re:Cool story, bro (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332798)

Just because something hasn't been explicitly prohibited in a statute that's on the books doesn't mean it's lawful or even "legal". For example, a variety of obviously unlawful computer crimes weren't expressly addressed by a statute before the CFAA was enacted. The concepts of "legality" and "lawfulness", while distinct from one another, don't countenance the idea that one should set out to do things that are obviously wrong (and should be, or will be illegal) but which have not yet been explicitly named in a statute making them unlawful.

Moral of the story, kiddo, is that IP theft doesn't magically become legal when done on the Internet. Unique factual situations and clever ways of sidestepping existing laws have proliferated on the internet, allowing people to engage in unlawful activity without getting punished for it. This has given people the mistaken impression that the activity is lawful, but it's not -- the only difference is the existence of the clever evasion scheme.

If somebody makes a money-laundering website that conveniently exploits loopholes in existing finance laws, that website is unlawful, too, and if it's found that it's not technically illegal, a law will be made to make it illegal. That is just how things work.

  Love, LT

Re:Cool story, bro (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332874)

Read the linked comment. Read the Spanish IP law. Learn about concepts such as "private copy", and "blank media levy" and what they entail according to Spanish laws. Then, when you know what you're talking about, come back and we can start having a meaningful discussion on the topic.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333018)

I read the comment. Of course, you'll excuse me for not blindly accepting the legal conclusions of a hinted-at-but-not-actually-made-anywhere argument, courtesy of the /. brain trust, and instead concluding that the Spanish government knows what it is doing and will sort out any legal/constitutional challenges – on their actual merits – if the bill passes.

In the meantime, if you actually wish to have a "meaningful discussion" on this legal topic, you might start by actually stating an actual legal argument, rather than merely hinting that you have one and that it is unambiguously correct.

Best.

LT

Re:Cool story, bro (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333390)

No one is telling you to blindly accept anything. But at least make the effort to become slightly less ill-informed (actually, I want to say "ignorant", but you may take offense if I do). For starters, start by learning that the bill already passed, which it shouldn't have as it violates the Constitution. Also realize that legal/constitutional challenges can't be sorted out AFTER the bill passes, because the bill would be illegal until they're sorted out. And while you're at it, take into account that sorting out constitutional challenges requires modifying the Constitution, which according to the Spanish laws requires the government to dissolve, have elections, and then the newly elected government must proceed with a referendum to decide if the Constitution is actually modified.

As for starting an actual legal argument (which I partially have, or maybe you thought that me referring to what the Spanish laws say and what the judges have ruled was just a load of BS? Surely it can't be that I am -prepare to be surprised- both Spanish and knowledgeable about this particular topic, as are the many lawyers that have stated the same things I have?), frankly I see no reason to do so until you can prove that you know what you're talking about, which so far you've failed to do. As I said, read the Spanish IP law, learn about "private copy" and "blank media levy" and what they entail, learn about what the judges have ruled so far in related cases, and then I'll gladly start that legal argument. Otherwise, it's like Einstein trying to argue about physics with me (that meaning that I barely know the basics when it comes to that field, never went further than high-school level physics).

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333554)

If you were half the Spanish IP lawyer you claim to be, you could have given a useful synopsis of your legal argument in half the page space you just plastered with sarcasm. And if you were the most intelligent Spanish IP Superlawyer in the world, and I were the biggest idiot able to breathe and walk upright, the Einstein analogy would still be pretty silly and overwrought.

I also can't be bothered to do the research that would prove your point, or even reveal your basic position. This, as I'm sure you're aware, is customary.

Offhand, I'm assuming a "blank media levy" is a surtax on blank media that goes to pay IP owners to offset the damages they will predictably suffer when the blank media are used for infringement. Offhand, I'm also assuming that a "private copy" is a lawfully owned and lawfully created backup copy. Am I wrong on these details? Will all this come together into an argument that, e.g., Roja Directa is a legal service used largely (or perhaps exclusively) for legal purposes? Or perhaps some kind of useful explanation of how or why this law supposedly violates the Spanish constitution?

I can only wonder and wait, since the arguments are apparently too powerful to be seen or heard by others.

Re:Cool story, bro (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333882)

Your reading comprehension is even worse than your understanding of the topic, apparently. Where exactly did I claim to be a lawyer, oh wise one?

As for the synopsis: article 31.2 of the Spanish Intellectual Property law. That "synopsed" enough for ya, bro? But yeah, you're right, this is Slashdot, where nobody gives a rat's tail if someone makes factually wrong statements and people never bother to check if what they say is right, which leads to things like this conversation between you and me, which could have been avoided if you didn't insist on talking about things that you know nothing about.

Also, your second assumption is wrong indeed. A "private copy" is not necessarily a backup, since the maker of the copy is not required to be the owner of the source of the copy (i.e I can make a copy of stuff I don't own). That doesn't mean that I can't make copies of stuff I own, I can and it's also considered a private copy. Note that the concept of "private copy" does not apply to software, though: in the case of software, you MUST be the owner of the source of the copy, and you don't have to pay the levy (theoretically, in practice you pay it even when the law explicitly states that you shouldn't; in fact, this has prompted a decision by the European Court that mandates that Spain changes the current levy system to one in which those that don't have to pay according to the law are not forced to pay).

Regarding Roja Directa... They merely tell you where someone else is streaming a certain content. How is that illegal (under Spanish laws, don't try to be smart by referencing laws that exclusively apply elsewhere).

Finally, about the violation of the Constitution... I thought you had read the comment I linked to earlier? It's already sufficiently explained in it.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333936)

So in other words, you don't know what you're talking about, aren't a lawyer, and are so sure your position is crap that you're afraid to even state what it is? That being the case, it's understandable that you've now emitted pages of blustery rhetoric without so much as making a single point that may be discussed or debated.

Again, pardon me if I side with the Spanish gov't on its own laws and constitution over some fucking twit on Slashdot who simply demands to be regarded as right but can't be bothered to explain WHY (or what, exactly, he's arguing) and doesn't actually have the credentials or ability to make that argument in the first place.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336264)

No, in other words, I know what I'm talking about despite not being a lawyer (since when does one need to be a lawyer to be knowledgeable about laws?), and have stated my position clearly, and explained why I'm right (but I'll explain it again for people like you that don't have half a functioning braincell: article 31.2 of the Spanish IP law, all court rulings so far, and the opinions of all lawyers that are not paid by the Spanish equivalent to the RIAA and MPAA say that I'm right). Also, if you're siding with the Spanish Government you are not siding with the Spanish Constitution, because THAT BILL VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION, as previously explained (and in case you missed that too, it's because the Constitution mandates that a judge oversees all the process, whereas the bill forbids it).

So in short, it'd be in your best interest to stop trolling. The only thing you'll accomplish if you don't is showing slashdot readers how stupid people can be on the Internet.

Re:Cool story, bro (1)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36338338)

Lol clueless twit. This is why most people need to be a lawyer to not sound like an idiot when talking about the law. "I'm right" is not a position; "Law X says I'm right" is not an argument; "I'm right because certain lawyers say I'm right -- other lawyers say I'm wrong, but they are WRONG!" is also not an argument. "Bill X violates the constitution" is not an argument in any way; it's ALMOST a position (one of which you need to have before making an argument in defense of one) but doesn't quite make the grade because it's hopelessly non-specific. Saying "the Constitution mandates X, whereas the bill forbids it" is not, by itself, an argument that Bill X is unconstitutional; and even if it were, simply saying something doesn't make it so. You have to PROVE it by "showing your work".

In short, you have done every dumbass thing that uninformed dumbasses do when talking about the law. Failing to stake a position; failing to make an argument; purporting to reject arguments you haven't even bothered to read or understand, based on the identity of the people making them (that's called an "ad hominem fallacy" FYI); simply naming laws and asserting that they conclusively prove you're right (without saying HOW or WHY or identifying relevant language OR EVEN providing a proper citation to the law that can be used to verify what you're saying; among many others too numerous to list.

Again, you'll have to pardon me if I think the Spanish government has a better handle on the constitutionality of the law – when all you are offering to "rebut" that is the hopelessly general, unsupported, un-cited CONCLUSIONS of law (note: not arguments) which you prefer. Simply saying you're right and the government is wrong doesn't cut it. And if the unconstitutionality of the bill were beyond question, you can rest assured either that the parliament wouldn't be presenting it, or that it will be struck down quickly. It's either already been declared unconstitutional, or its constitutionality is open to argument. When the highest court of the jurisdiction (that will be the highest court in spain, FYI) has conclusively pronounced on the subject, then the matter will be settled. Until then, there are only arguments. That could be a problem, since you don't seem to like making legal arguments, or at any rate you don't even have a basic idea of what a legal argument looks like and thus have a corresponding lack of competence on the subject.

Keep talking, kid. I can keep this up forever. However I recommend you do some research and start making sense if you expect your viewpoint to be taken seriously.

Hint: INCLUDE the research with CITATIONS as part of your argument and EXPLAIN HOW THE CITED MATERIAL SUPPORTS YOUR ARGUMENT. If someone has said something that proves you're right, don't just say it; PROVE IT. That way, you'll either have shown you're right, or the person you're spewing rhetoric at will see the flaw in your argument and point it out to you. If you simply say "nuh uh I'm right" the audience can neither conclude that you're right NOR conclude that you're wrong, but they can certainly conclude you're a blathering idiot who likes to hear himself talk.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36341140)

I had a long reply, but Slashdot ate it, so you get the abridged version now:

I've already pointed out which parts of the law prove that I'm right (article 31.2 of the IP law[1] for the legality of the activities of filesharing sites and sites that link to streams and article 20.5 of the Constitution[2] for Sinde's bill being against the Constitution; that last one I didn't mention in comments directed at you, though, so you're right at least on that, it's my fault for thinking that you have enough braincells to keep up with the other sub-branches of this conversation), and I trusted that you were intelligent enough to find and read them yourself. Clearly, you're not.

I've also already explained my position, but you seem unable to comprehend it. I'm not directly providing citations or research (although I'm telling you where to look if you want to find it, apparently to no avail since you seem to prefer being spoon-fed and want me to take your hand and guide your every step) because all of it is in Spanish, and I'm assuming you don't know the language (no, online translators and similar tools don't cut it for complex legal texts). If you do, or if you'll accept my own translations, I'll gladly provide such citations and research.

So, in short, just because you don't understand my arguments, can't debunk them, or can't be bothered to use a search engine after being told what to look for, it doesn't mean I'm wrong or haven't proved anything. The same applies to me "failing to stake a position", my position has been clearly stated, staked and explained, it's not my fault that you're unable to grasp it.

P.S: your claim that the bill wouldn't have passed if it violated the constitution is laughable, and proof that either you're the most naive person in this world, or you don't know anything about politics (specially Spanish politics) or what it takes for the Spanish Constitutional Court to make a ruling on something (both have been explained in the comment below this one, so if you really have no clue about it, it's only your fault for failing to read what other people say).

[1] Which states that, subject to the payment of a levy on blank media and other related devices, it is legal to make copies of already released works protected by the same IP law (with the exception of software), as long as the copies are for private use and no profit is made. Therefore, sites that merely tell you where you can find a source for making such copies (i.e. they merely host links, not the content) are legal, because they're not distributing content, but merely helping to locate it. If that was illegal, then Google would be illegal too. Now, it's certainly debatable if the actions of the actual people that upload the actual content are against the law, since it could theoretically be considered "unauthorized distribution", but that's unrelated to the legality of the activities of the sites that link to the content (or in some cases, to files that certain programs can use to access the content) or the legality of the actions of the people that obtain the content through the use of such sites and programs.

[2] Which states, among other things, that in order to seize a publication (a website, a magazine, a TV program, etc) a judge must issue an order, which normally requires that the judge decides that the publication is infringing the law. The bill, on the other hand, states, by means of a modification made to the law that regulates the procedure for Administrative Requests (i.e. requests made by the Government or by organisms related to it, such as a Comission of a Ministry) in order to obtain a judge's order, that in the specific cases that Sinde's bill deals with, the judge must merely issue a ruling regarding whether seizing the publication affects freedom of speech. This was done in order to bypass the judges, because so far they've ruled on about a dozen cases (namely, all cases in which it wasn't obvious from the start that the defendant wasn't violating the law and therefore weren't dismissed) that the activities of filesharing sites are legal.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343210)

You're fucktarded and have zero clue how the law operates. Each post reveals more evidence of that fact. Your painfully wrong and misguided views on the way the law works and the way you think it should work are both going to bring you great frustration when they consistently fail to reflect reality. If you want to continue this conversation, find one of those lawyers who is on your side and get them to explain your "position" and defend it. Their account/explanation will undoubtedly be free of the defects which reduce your own comments to the useless ramblings of someone who insists that others accept his conclusion without showing why it's correct. Otherwise I'm done rebutting this nonsense peppered with insults.

What your side MAY have, enthusiastic young idiot, is called a "colorable legal argument". ("Colorable" generally means "plausible" or "believeable".) However, your comments have not revealed one and the outlook does not appear especially favorable.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36343740)

You have done nothing but insult me, say that I'm wrong, and fail to present any arguments to prove that I'm wrong. Furthermore, youu have ignored all my arguments, and answered none of the questions I asked in order to better present to you "research" and "citations" that further prove that I'm right, then proceeded to attack me for not presenting said "research" and "citations". I, on the other hand, have sufficiently explained my position, directed you to the specific laws (and articles from those laws, which I have even translated for you) that prove my point, and entertained your trolling for far too long. I think I'm the one who's done "rebutting this nonsense peppered with insults".

P.S: re-reading your previous comments, your assumption on the meaning of "blank media levy" was also incorrect, somehow amongst the gargantuan amounts of idiocy you spewed in that comment I missed that particular bit. Just FYI, its aim is not to compensate for losses due to infringing actions, because "private copying" is not infringement. Also, if it was created to compensate for infringement, it'd be illegal. It's against the law to allow illegal actions in exchange for imposing a tax. Infringement is prosecuted, proven, and compensated after a trial on court. Not allowed in exchange for indiscriminate payments that must be made regardless of whether the ones paying actually commit the infringement.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36395128)

You're an idiot.

I hope this information helps you out a bit as you struggle through life.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36398684)

Oh, I should also add that you should be concerned for your safety and freedoms; if your government is willing to do something that is so obviously unconstitutional that there isn't even an argument on the other side, it won't be long before tanks are rolling through the streets of Madrid and armed SWAT teams will be going door to door to check your "papers".

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36417162)

Oh, I should also add that you should be concerned for your safety and freedoms; if your government is willing to do something that is so obviously unconstitutional that there isn't even an argument on the other side, it won't be long before tanks are rolling through the streets of Madrid and armed SWAT teams will be going door to door to check your "papers".

Keep showing the world (well, the Slashdot readers, actually) how much of a cock-gargling retard you are. It's actually pretty funny.

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36335828)

"For starters, start by learning that the bill already passed, which it shouldn't have as it violates the Constitution."

Certainly, it shouldn't have been passed: it certainly seems to violate our Constitution. But "shouldn't" doesn't equate to "wouldn't". And, please, remember that the Constitutional Court can't work 'motu proprio': it has to be called by either a Congress group or by appealance after trial. Obviously the party in government and sponsor of Sinde's law wouldn't do, and the main oposition party, which regarding to IP laws shows by its facts being in the same boat, didn't do either.

"Also realize that legal/constitutional challenges can't be sorted out AFTER the bill passes"

Bullshit. In fact, a bill can't be challenged BEFORE it passes. The Constitutional judges can be asked for their opinion prior to a bill to be passed but CAN'T make an officiall claim till after it has been effectively approved, just like any other tribunal can't make a claim for a fact that still didn't happen.

"take into account that sorting out constitutional challenges requires modifying the Constitution"

What did you smoke? Sorting out constitutional challenges as sorting out challenges to anything else, requires changing ANY of the two parties in the challenge, in this case either the constitution... or the law, which in the last 35 years has been the preferred way (i.e: this law is declared inconstitutional: you either change or derogate the law).

"which according to the Spanish laws requires the government to dissolve, have elections, and then the newly elected government must proceed with a referendum to decide if the Constitution is actually modified."

Which is another stupidity that shows your absolute lack of knowledge of the Spanish legal system. What you need is a majority in Congress of two thirds, for most of the Constitution, or an absolute majority for some other parts of it (some argue there's a hole in the Constitution since the very article that states the two thirds majority is one of those that can be changed with "just" absolute majority). No government dissolution nor popular referendum needed.

"maybe you thought that me referring to what the Spanish laws say and what the judges have ruled was just a load of BS? "

Not only is blatant absolute bullshit but you didn't mentioned ANY judge rulement.

"as are the many lawyers that have stated the same things I have?"

Not single one that I know of.

"As I said, read the Spanish IP law, learn about "private copy" and "blank media levy" and what they entail"

They say basically that you can copy everything you want unless for profit or for public redistribution.

"learn about what the judges have ruled so far in related cases"

Basically that you can copy everything you want unless is for profit or for public redistribution and that the "blank media levy" is vastly abused (as high courts from at least Valencia, that I know of, have stated).

Re:Cool story, bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336602)

I know that "shouldn't" is not the same as "wouldn't", thank you very much. In fact, I never said they're the same thing.

Now, if you knew how to read and think at the same time, you'd have realized that if there's a constitutional challenge and it is sorted out after the bill passes, that bill IS ILLEGAL until challenges are sorted out. Therefore, the Government responsible for passing it commited a crime in passing a law that goes against the Constitution. Either way, what I meant, as anyone with basic reading skills could tell you, is that such challenges should be shorted BEFORE the bill passes (i.e. the bill shouldn't pass until it does no longer violate the Constitution).

As for the requirements to modify the Constitution (the "modifying the Constitution vs. modifying the law" issue has been cleared in the previous paragraph, your lack of reading skills made you miss it but I was making the assumption that the Government won't want to change the anti-constitutional bill, 'cause as you said, if they wanted to change it they would have already called the Constitutional Court)... You clearly know nothing about it. Not all changes to the Constitution require a referendum, that's correct. But some do. I'll let you discover which ones. Tip: Read Article 168 of the Constitution and take into account that the bill violates Article 20.5, which is part of Title I, Chapter II, Section I. ;)

As for judge rulings... I've mentioned them. In the comment I linked to in my first reply to this branch. Are you even bothering to read stuff?

And finally, lawyers... I doubt that you don't know a single one that says that filesharing is legal (Bravo, de la Cueva, Almeida, etc. are pretty well nown), so I'll assume that you haven't understood what I was stating, as evidenced by the many errors I already adressed in the preceding paragraphs.

In short, you've done a magnificent job of proving that you are an ignorant twat. Next time, remember that it's better to shut up than to try to give lessons on a certain topic to people that clearly know more than you about it.

Re:Cool story, bro (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36335360)

Just because something hasn't been explicitly prohibited in a statute that's on the books doesn't mean it's lawful or even "legal".

Really? There's no statute that's explicitly prohibiting you from breathing, but that doesn't mean your behaviour is lawful or even "legal". Stop breathing this instant, you leech on the nation's atmosphere, you!

Is not illegal (4, Insightful)

suy (1908306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332444)

(...)the Spanish domain name, formerly a hub of illegal sports content (...)

Is a Spanish-focused site, and in Spain, file sharing is not proved in court to be illegal (some argue that it is, some that don't, but certainly no judge has pronounced the word "guilty" to a file sharer). But the summary is even more wrong. Quoting Roja Directa's blog [rojadirecta.es] :

Not only does Rojadirecta not transmit the aforementioned content, but it does not directly transmit any other type of audio or video content. Rojadirecta is simply an index of sporting events available on the Internet and not a provider of audio and video content.

Don't know about the US, but this is certainly not illegal in Spain. That's why the government has introduced Sinde's bill. Sinde's bill allows a civil commission (yes, bypassing courts!) to seize websites that link to content. I wonder if they will try to shut down Google or Bing.

Re:Is not illegal (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36334060)

It may not be illegal in Spain, but the US doesn't care about local laws. The bullies of the world think everyone has to do things their way. There's a reason so much of the world hates the US, and their belligerant public policies are a huge chunk of it.

The sports industry in the US is even more vicious about takedowns than the MPAA or RIAA. They just don't make a big public deal of it the way the latter two do -- they just squash sites as quickly as they can.

Police chief: downloading content from eMule = OK (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36335220)

Police chief says downloading content from eMule is no problem
http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_13688.shtml [typicallyspanish.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk7j_Pe1itg [youtube.com] 2:48 - 3:12 (Spanish)

‘You can download whatever you want from eMule. Just DON'T SELL IT.’
--Jorge Martín, Head of the Security Group of the Judicial Police Technology Investigation Brigade (BIT)

Downloads have always been legal in Spain as long as you don't do it for profit (e.g. Selling downloaded bootleg copies of X-Men on the street = NO. Downloading and sharing (for free) X-Men = YES). Pro-Copyright groups, such as SGAE and PROMUSICAE, keep spinning as fast as they can that downloads are illegal/alegal in Spain, which is a blatant lie. Not true. False. And they know it. Time after time judges have acquitted file-sharers & file-sharing sites webmasters. Hell, the judges even understood how torrent links work. Double hell! Spain's chief attorney issued a memo to all courts warning them that file-sharing links and P2P are absolutely legal in Spain. SGAE suffered such appalling, brutal defeats in the courts (some of the judges' comments are specially harsh on them) that they had to change strategy: lobby to get the law changed. That was just what the US wanted too! So all aboard the lobby boat! And that's just what has happened, as the relevant Wikileaks papers show: US Embassy lobbied to get the law changed. And that's, my friends, why in Spain they are going to put up with the "Sinde Act". Because downloads were (are still) LEGAL and the only way around that was to make new laws.

TL;DR: FACT: Donwloads in Spain are LEGAL (so far). Pro-Copyright SPIN 1: Downloads in Span are A-legal. Pro-Copyright SPIN 2: Downloads in Spain are I-llegal but there are loopholes. Pro-Copyright SPIN 3: Downloads in Spain are I-llegal but police won't enforce the law because they consider them petty offenses/Spain is lawless/... FACT: Both domestic pro-Copyright groups and US Gov. lobbied to get the laws changed since they couldn't win in court. FACT: Wikileaks papers show how the US Embassy lobbied to get the law changed and how easily and readily the local authorities bent.

There are tons of info on this topic, but mostly in Spanish. However, at Torrentfreak they have some posts on these issues.

Didn't see this coming, but then again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336418)

Nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.
--
codk

Re:Is not illegal (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347234)

yea, afaik the laws in Spain were pretty democratic when it came to this, furthermore, if it's about closing down businesses without the need for proper trial, i'm afraid it won't stick with Europe, one thing i gotta give our overhippies is they seem to be pretty resilient when it comes to protecting peoples freedom, probably cos most of them are still human themselves somewhere.

Wrong icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332478)

Would the monarchy/empire icon be more fitting than the Jolly Roger, as most of the civilized world does not (yet) share the US' views on so-called intellectual property and copyright?

And people wonder why (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332508)

so many people hate the USofA.

Re:And people wonder why (0)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332702)

Yet so, so many people seem to love the work of our artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians. Now, if they'd only agree to pay for it, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Hey, I know: How about the Spanish Government makes it legal for Spaniards to pirate Spanish-produced movies and music exclusively? Sure, there'd be considerably less worthwhile stuff to purloin, but think of the boost to Julio Iglesias' career!

Re:And people wonder why (4, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332856)

I have no trouble artists or producers. You know, people that actually do the work to create content. People with ideas that follow up, work hard, strive and labor through the development process to create something that is worthy and has value.

The people that I don't want to pay are the executives; the ones who pay for lobbyists to dictate draconian civil penalties and censorship of the internet; the ones who force ridiculous DRM which effective shuts out third parties and alternative platforms like Linux; the ones who artificially inflate prices and wonder why developing countries think it's a lot more sensible to pirate instead -- and then crush them with sanctions and the like; the ones who have destroyed creativity by true artists who are independent who seek alternative outlets to get their music heard; the ones who install rootkits on their computer (as if it's theirs to own and not yours); the ones who abuse the legal system to sue people in cases where they did nothing wrong but can't fight anyways because it would be many times more expensive than settling, or because it would be too humiliating and/or time-consuming to fight; and the ones who, as we see here, have bought out the American government and are using it to take over the world.

I have no sympathy for the executives of MAFIAA labels, or their equally corrupt lawyers who have done this to us -- real people. I'll do anything I can to avoid giving them my money. I'll support the artists though.

Re:And people wonder why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333042)

Well isn't that big of you. You have no problem with the artists and producers, so long as they remain unorganized and powerless to enforce their rights. And may I point out that widespread use of DRM and such came AFTER rampant piracy?

Re:And people wonder why (3, Insightful)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333144)

Artists make a lot more without the hundreds of thieves in the middle - look at the stats for Radiohead's famous pay-what-you-want album. Antipiracy measures have always existed. DRM only came when the technology was up to it. Stop talking out of your ass, shill.

Re:And people wonder why (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36335158)

Radiohead is a crappy example, and for some reason is the only one people ever bring up. Radiohead did, in fact, use the label route to get famous. They used all the marketing that labels provide. They used the money that labels provide. Then they ditched the label and made a big deal of saying 'see we don't need them'. Now let's see someone achieve the success of that Radiohead album WITHOUT using the labels first.

Also, one album doesn't prove anything at all. How many people that paid for that album did so just because it was novel, or just because they wanted to skew the stats to show that it could work? When many people with many albums over a long period of time show that it can be sustained, then you will have a point. Until then, you have nothing.

Re:And people wonder why (1)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336094)

Radiohead is a bad example, but that doesn't mean you're correct. You don't need a major record label to become famous.

REM did it back in the 80's. The Arcade Fire has done it. They've been indie their whole career and their latest album debuted at #1 in the US, UK, Australia, and Ireland. Death Cab for Cutie did it although they eventually went major. Panic! At the Disco have had some really popular albums and major radio play without being on a major. The Offspring sold 12 million copies of Smash back in the 90's, and that was released on an indie label. The White Stripes got popular on an indie label, White Blood Cells sold 500,000 copies and that was recorded and released for Sympathy Records. The Arctic Monkeys in the UK went 4x platinum with their debut album on an indie.

There's a million more bands than that. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Nowadays if you're into rock, hip-hop, or anything other than top 40 or country then a lot of your favorite bands are probably not on a major label. Independent record labels are kicking ass, and it's really commonplace for a band to become famous well before they sign onto a major label, if they ever actually do so.

Re:And people wonder why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36335002)

And might I point out that despite decades of "rampant piracy", people still manage to lay down cold hard cash for music, books, film, and video games. Enough, in fact, to finance legions of lawyers and congress critters to further demolish any pretense of democracy, as well as toss a few coins to the poor starving artists. The grandparent is spot on.

Might I also point out that artistic creation survived for millennia before copyright, drm, or any of that other bullshit you seem to admire so much.

Re:And people wonder why (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332870)

Yet so, so many people seem to love the work of our artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians. Now, if they'd only agree to pay for it, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Sorry, doesn't work that way. The problem is that the music/film industry can't make a product that's worth purchasing, so they resort to bullying and coercion. And they've acted so antisocial towards their customers that I hope every time I pirate music or film I'm contributing to their demise. Anything that can be done to bleed them of money they didn't earn and don't deserve is justified

Re:And people wonder why (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333098)

That makes perfect sense. They can't make a product worth purchasing, but you will spend endless hours whining about laws that prevent you from stealing stuff (that purportedly you don't even want). If you don't want them to exist (which is fine), why do you want their product? Just pretend they don't exist, and don't use any of their product, at all, by any means. You are perfectly free to get all of your entertainment from YouTube, etc, with no need to pirate anything, so why are you pirating?

Bullying and coercion? I can't remember ever being bullied or coerced by the RIAA or MPAA. I don't recall ever being forced to purchase a single movie or song. Care to provide an example of how you are being bullied and coerced?

Re:And people wonder why (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36335292)

Nowadays, storage is cheap. Selling CDs doesn't make (much) sense. Song files are really easy to store and copy. They are ALMOST worthless. No need to buy CDs. You get an mp3 player and a computer and the music will always be with you. The important stuff is the music in the files, the talent they contain. Record labels see now that their world is crumbling under their feet. And they want to keep doing business as usual and even control what the user can('t) do with the music once they've purchased it. Well, now it's more like a software license: you don't own DRM music, you lease/rent it while their owners (the record labels, not the artists) can do whatever they want to it.

Well, it has been said countless times: Record labels should change gear or perish. It could be better for the artists since now they can skip proxies and sell their music very cheap and still make a profit. And, of course, concerts, merchandise, special editions...

Re:And people wonder why (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333028)

I used to pay for any games, movies and most music I liked. Then, they decided to make viewing and playing said things more of a hassle, requiring complex tools to store the files on my hd. This "protection" required a new disc format, and prices were heightened. New software to prevent me from just playing my own games from my own hd was developed, taking money and development time out of other areas of importance like bugfixes and gameplay. Of course, the money to pay for a license, and for the programmers' time to implement it, had to come from somewhere. My wallet, among those of thousands of others.

In the meantime, an alternative cropped up. It did have a small chance of contracting some computer malware, just like the original offers, but this one had many kinds of media available for free! And I wouldn't even have to spend time and effort ripping it to my hd, because someone else had already gone through that effort for me. Even the protection malware was disabled for me!

While the original offer increased its prices and went through a phase where malware was abundant, said problems did not manage to touch the alternative. Any viruses and most of the lesser-quality wares were quickly eradicated, and it remained available to anyone for free.

Sure, I understood that the developers needed the money too, so whenever I found a game or music album I -really- liked, I'd make sure to buy a copy. Yet the copies remained untouched, as I could always find a safer version to play online. And soon, the temptation to support the developers and artists started to falter. The only games I've bought in the last half year have been from places I've never had trouble with so far. Steam, Blizzard's web store, various natively-Linux games (You'll be hard-pressed to find a game that runs on Linux yet still implements a form of DRM), and free, donation-based games like Dwarf Fortress and Shores of Hazeron (The latter doesn't so much accept donations in money, but they're happy to accept any art and models of a decent quality, it seems)

Re:And people wonder why (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333162)

Hey, I know: How about you actually make the effort to learn about the laws in Spain, and stop calling absolutely legal activies "piracy", and realize that it is already legal for Spaniards to make copies of Spanish movies and music (and books; it's also irrelevant where the work was produced), that we pay for making those copies even if we don't actually make them (if authors from the USA are not receiving their share, ask the Spanish equivalent of the RIAA, they're the ones keeping the money), and many more things that you clearly don't know? The sad thing is that your ignorance does not stop you from making statements that are factually wrong. Ah, well, freedom of speech, I guess...

Re:And people wonder why (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333452)

We did pay for it so why do we have to pay for it again? Cry me a river. Produce something of quality and I will gladly give you my money. Produce sh1t and trust me your record sales will go down and no it's not the Internet. Only idiots believe that.

Re:And people wonder why (3, Insightful)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36334542)

Yet so, so many people seem to love the work of our artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians. Now, if they'd only agree to pay for it, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I thought multinational companies are the ones benefitting, not the US public - I could be wrong but for example:

Sony Corporation ( Son Kabushiki Gaisha) (TYO: 6758, NYSE: SNE), commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate with US$77.20 billion (FY2010).
Sir Howard Stringer (born February 19, 1942) a Welsh-born business man is chairman, president and CEO of Sony Corporation.

These multinational companies are in most countries, have artists, writers, producers, directors, and musicians on their books that are not from the US (some are excellent at their jobs) - I suspect most of their "product" isn't from the U.S. but I could be wrong (doubt it though).
As to the "love the work", I can only speak for my self:
A lot of the "work" I love enough that if it were free I'd watch / listen to (free to air tv, radio, free concerts etc and if legal in my country, downloads).
Some I'd watch / listen to if I were paid.
Some I'd refuse to watch / listen to even if I were paid.
A few I would (and do) pay for gladly.
I hope everyone does likewise.

Re:And people wonder why (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36334886)

Adhere to the law. No penalties, absolutely no penalties until proven guilty. Guilt upon accusation is just the creative 'idiocy' of US lawyers. Simple, want to protect your content then don't release, shove it were the sun don't shine and no one will copy it. When it comes to making dangerous attacks upon the principles of law, with the likes of guilt and penalty upon accusation and the defendant must pay to regain their rights with no cost recovery, the shove you content.

Go ahead stop making it like you keep threatening to. No more movies, no more TV series, no more music. Go sit and sulk in a corner holding your breath, you wont be missed. It is up to the public to decide what you content is worth, not you, get over it.

Re:And people wonder why (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332738)

I have been hatin on the USofA since 2002 as a citizen who served 8 years in the military. The USofA really needs to take its nose and shove it up its own arse and sniff because there are no roses there.

You know what would solve all this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332538)

A new spanish inquisition! what a show!

The war against... a tiny soccer website. (2)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332548)

I find humurous that a country has to "attack" other country to force this one country to change laws, and other similar stuff, to shutdown a website that seems to host TV from soccer games.. you know, what VHS was invented for. Oh, terrible!, some spanish people is saving a boring soccer game and sharing it on the internets!.. TERRIBLE!.

Re:The war against... a tiny soccer website. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332608)

Sports is but the precedent. What they are really after is stronger protection related to all kind of IP export from USA to the world.

This would allow a small office to rake in worldwide license fees each time one of their "IP" are being used.

Re:The war against... a tiny soccer website. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333534)

since it's community driven there's little they can do about it, messaging techniques are versatile enough nowadays. and so in the future if you have 9999x9999 pixel 60hz videocalls for a flat fee for very cheaply, then anyone can host a warez site with months of entertainment downloadable in minutes, to anyone else. and that call has privacy or not.. but ppft do they really pirate copy football matches? that's like hunting for the ultimate bold and the beautiful dump.

Re:The war against... a tiny soccer website. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333758)

i think it is more live stream then recordings...

Re:The war against... a tiny soccer website. (1)

surveyork (1505897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36335330)

I think it's a widely known fact that IP is one of the main exports of the US, so they fight fiercely to get US IP secured from piracy. Along the way, some other foreign IPs might get some protection too, so all the big fish are happy. That's also the reason the RIAA files suits that won't provide them with any cash, but will set precedents of millions of dollars of fines and/or prison. Chilling effect -> people stop pirating.

Re:The war against... a tiny soccer website. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36336504)

Widely known, not so sure. Widely suspected however. It is one of the more plausible reasons for why the US government, no matter who is in charge, have leaned on just about everyone to get more draconian IP laws.

I do wonder if there are proper numbers as to the percentage of US exports that is non-physical, and how big an amount of dollars that covers.

Legal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332584)

I wonder how legal this can be?!
- ICANN is a corporation and thus open to be sued by Spanish government... even if acting on behalf of US government.
- The US government doesn't have jurisdiction in Spain (for the servers) and the domain name doesn't pose an infringement.
- There's no legal process.
- ".com" is not ".us" thus open to challenge in international law.
- If you people take your "product" to US they are importing it , sounds like the US suing Cuba for their citizens buying there cigars and taking them to US soil...

Re:Legal? (0)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36332846)

Hey, .com, .us, .anything is all US. Start your own DNS.

Actually... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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).

I must be reading it wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36332720)

"A bill that would allow Spain's authorities to close down illegal websites with limited judicial oversight... a pithy warning against Internet piracy, courtesy of the US authorities... A banner with the seals of the US Department of Justice, plus two other bureaucracies... in accordance with US copyright law..."

They're worried about THIS? (4, Insightful)

SnowHog (1944314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333020)

You would think Spain would be concerned with more pressing matters right now...like their 20% unemployment rate, the tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, and the likely collapse of their financial system.

Re:They're worried about THIS? (3, Interesting)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333190)

That was my first thought, and it inevitably led to my second thought: what has the US been threatening or promising in relation to the current spanish problems that allowed them to push this through?

Re:They're worried about THIS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36333540)

You would think Spain would be concerned with more pressing matters right now...like their 20% unemployment rate, the tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, and the likely collapse of their financial system.

Yup. Excellent thinking. Good time to push these unpopular business-driven rules through... who cares about a meat hook being stuck in your thigh when you are too busy drowning? So when people complain, just say they have to complain about something else first. Masterful!

Re:They're worried about THIS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36337104)

Spain has now a serious problem of unemployement, mainly amoung youngsters. No likely collapse of their financial system tho, Spanish banking system is one of the most solid ones in the world, which is part of the problem because they are overly conservative and never loan money if they are not absolutely sure they are going to recover it with interests: small business and enterpreneurs never get support, seen as too risky investments.
And no, people is not worried about this, they are pissed because whenever you buy any digital medium: a blank CD, memory for your computer, a pen-drive, they make you pay a tax that goes directly to the assotiation of authors SGAE, assuming that you are going to use the storaging space to keep copyrighted stuff you are going to download for free, which is a big WTF, and plain stealing. So: they make this bill to close a website that offers links where you can download movies or music for free, why? I have already fucking paid for such contents anyway, even if I never download anything at all (which happens to be my case, for instance). Believe me, you'd be pissed too.

is it time for WW3? (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333720)

Seriously the US and its Corporations are removing peoples rights left and right. Except for weapons and 300mil consumer what the hell does the IS have to offer the world anymore? There's a billion consumers in China and India more then plenty do supply the world with cash flow. Lets develop the third world countries and be done with the US.

Re:is it time for WW3? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36334390)

you have reality all wrong, my friend.

its not a US vs world thing; its world vs world. corporations - big ones - are multinational. in fact, they often avoid taxes here since they are 'located' on some small island (etc). I would not call that many multi's 'american companies'. sony, for example; is that an american company?

I agree with you that multi's are, by nature, not ethical or moral. they are out of control and something has to be done. but you paint with way too broad a brush.

Re:is it time for WW3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36335246)

Also, don't confuse the Federal government for the U.S. They are their own country since Lincoln's war. That was when it was decided that no state could ever leave the union to escape their tyranny.

You all should start creating a replacement for the Internet since the governments now can control it easily, and your modern way of sharing information.

Be the change.

hypocrites (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333788)

"Spain’s creative industries generate about €62 billion in annual added value for Spain’s €1 trillion economy. They also employ 1.2 million, in a country with five million unemployed, just over 21% of the working-age population."

If they would like to foster their creative industries they would limit the copyright, if not abandon it altogether. Where all the neo-liberals that we all known and love for free market, free trade, liberalization of the markets etc. if it comes to copyright law?

In the only instance where market liberalization should be really done (in the "I.P." market) they push for more government protection, but in every other market where it doesn't make sense and it harms the economy (labor market, financial market) they all push for less government intervention. Such hypocrite assholes.

Re:hypocrites (1)

Bill Hayden (649193) | more than 3 years ago | (#36333942)

That's because "they" are making money hand over fist in those markets, and that fact partially depend on you being forced to buy things, in this case digital items that have no intrinsic value and can be copied for nothing. If the free market were allowed to be truly free, those digital items would fall in price to a level where they represent the convenience cost, i.e. you are not really paying for the item any more, just the convenience of getting it when you want it. There is obviously too much vested money for the powers-that-be to allow that to happen, however, so here we are.

Re:hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36334508)

If they would like to foster their creative industries they would limit the copyright, if not abandon it altogether.

I do not agree, there should be a limited free-of-charge copyright, say 8-10 years. After that, there should be a possibility for a one-time extension of the copyright for another 8-10 years, for a fee. This fee is the Intellectual Property Tax for the 16-20 years of "protection" and pays for the whole copyright system. Also note that this should include ANY and ALL rights to simplify the system. Since the public has never been compensated when copyright was extended, there is no need for compensation when this gets reversed.

As I've said many times before: the current copyright terms are not primarily to 'protect' those few antique works that are still sold commercially (as it's always made out to be); the main reason is to prevent a unbelievably large collection of cultural works to become available for free-as-in-beer for everyone. This will directly compete with the "works" that are for sale today. This is something that "cannot happen".

This is a good thing (2)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 3 years ago | (#36334942)

Government attempts at censorship only make those sites more popular in accordance with the Streisand Effect. I suggest using the MafiaaFire Redirector [mozilla.org] Addon for Firefox. Since the US Government starting seizing domains I've found some excellent torrents sites I never before knew existed. Roja Directa is still up. You can access it here http://www.rojadirecta.es [rojadirecta.es] I for one am thankful my government is clueless as to how the Internet works.
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