Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spanish government adopts anti-internet piracy law

The Spanish government has adopted new legislation aimed at cracking down on websites illegally sharing digital content. Called the Sinde Law, after the former Spanish culture minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, rightholders can report websites hosting infringing content to a newly created government commission. The commission will examine the complaint and determine if further legal action against an infringing site or the ISPs providing infrastructure to it is necessary. If the commission decides in the affirmative, the case will be referred to a judge who would rule on whether or not to shut down the website within 10 days.

The law has been vigorously opposed in Spain, with bloggers, journalists and tech professionals staging a series of protests, including writing an anti-Sinde manifesto. The president of the Spanish Film Academy even resigned over the issue. Overseas, open internet activists have voiced concerns about the breadth and implications of the law.

Personally, I’m for open rights. The internet might be the closest thing we have to utopia. Quite simply, it is a free market of ideas. Once the government starts playing a coercive role, it will have a chilling effect on the online community. Ultimately, it is the internet users that lose out. Besides, one of the sites where I get my fix of classic basketball games is in Spanish; so that’s at least one thing I’ll lose out on.

Source: BBC News

Francis Paolo Tiopianco, Entry #3

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