Spain Finally Defeats Piracy

from the problem-solved dept

The legality of sharing copyrighted files over P2P networks notiwithstanding, there are clearly beneficial and legal uses to said networks. But Spain has apparently decided to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, as they've introduced draconian legislation to crack down on all filesharing (via Slashdot). But it gets worse; instead of going after those breaking the law, they're placing criminal liability on the ISPs, if they're seen as facilitating file trading (which probably means not automatically blocking any network that could be used as such). Of course, this won't work because it places the burden on a party that's unable to stop the activity. And if all this isn't enough of a subsidy to the entertainment companies, they're also adding a tax on blank CDs, the revenue from which will go to media coffers. If there's a silver lining to this, Spain should be a nice case study on the effects of such regulation. If it utterly fails there, as it probably will, it may be hard to get similar legislation passed elsewhere -- either that or the entertainment industry will just call for even stiffer penalties.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    WhosYourDaddy, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:10am

    Hmmmm, sounds fishy

     

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  2.  
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    Aaron deOliveira (profile), Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:25am

    The law also introduces a small tax to be levied on all blank media --- from a blank CD to mobile phones and even a memory stick. Computer hard disks and ADSL lines have been left out of the legislation despite their widespread use for illegally copying music and films. The money collected will be paid back to the owner of the copyright.

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but the owner of which copyright? Is the Spanish government going to hold the money in trust until someone is busted and then seek out all the labels, artists, other involved parties and pay them out of this pot. It'll be interesting to see how easily money flows out of a governments coffers if it's keeping the interest on it.

     

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  3.  
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    Aaron deOliveira (profile), Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:30am

    On a funny note, will Spaniards be able to get Insurance for File Sharing?

     

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  4.  
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    anonymous coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:36am

    I guess its easier to buy off a Spanish politician than a US Congressman? Wow, I have to admit I'm surprised.

     

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  5.  
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    Chronno S. trigger, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:42am

    define "file sharing program"

    Actually that’s all I want to know right now. What qualifies as a file sharing program? What about FTP or maybe that send file function in most IMs?

     

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  6.  
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    discojohnson, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:51am

    Re: define "file sharing program"

    ding ding ding ding! ambiguous language, for example, is what lets people get held _indefinately_ for crimes against the US. the "spirit" of the law means nothing in the world anymore.

     

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  7.  
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    Techie, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:51am

    For chronno

     

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  8.  
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    techie, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:56am

    Also see here for comparison

     

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  9.  
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    techie, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:57am

    Also see here for comparison

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:31pm

    Are they taking pointers from China?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    Except that if you read it correctly, it says "unauthorized" downloading, as was pointed out in the many comments by the Slashdot community. This doesn't make illegal the downloading of authorized material, such as a Linux distribution.

     

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  12.  
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    Sean, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:49pm

    LOL

    LOL. That is all.

    That's my two cents.

     

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  13.  
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    Dizzley, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:50pm

    Digg has this flagged as "inaccurate"

    The article says the law tries to distinguish "unauthorised" P2P of an item from "authorised". That is: if you did not agree that your stuff could be distributed by P2P.

    That of course leads to a million other questions.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike Mixer, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:53pm

    The thieving Spanish

    All this law does is legalize theft. I'm not talking about
    legalizing downloads because you paid at the store,
    I'm talking about millions in collected taxes with no clear recipient. In America it is illegal for a government
    to levy a tax without stating what the procedes will be used for. That's why a similar law was not tried here. Who decides which copyright holders are to be reimbursed? I have a feeling that somehow this will all end up being a 50/50 spliit between lawyers and politicians with artists and entertainers getting what the government thinks they deserve, A tax on all the supposed royalties they are given in the law but not in reality.

     

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  15.  
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    Franssu, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:54pm

    Spain is not the only country where this stupid tax on blank media exists. France had one for many, many years. It began with the audio tape cassette.
    Now there's even a tax on hard disks and flash-based devices (making the iPods outrageously expensive there). All this goes to the Sacem, the french RIAA, which has all the stupidity and greed of its american counterpart.
    But to try to criminalize P2P is a world first, and definitely really, really stoopid.

     

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  16.  
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    Wolfger, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    next week...

    What happens when all the ISPs shut down all internet access to comply with anti-filesharing laws?

     

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  17.  
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    Franssu, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    What baffles me the most in both cases (France and Spain) is that with this tax, states are doing the job of getting money for private interests. Un-fracking-believable.

     

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  18.  
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    btilson, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    you know what i think?

    F*** Spain!

     

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  19.  
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    Get a brain..., Jun 29th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    About taxes

    The taxes you are talking about are collected and used by the "Society of authors". The members of this society are the authors (singers, actors, directors...). They collect the money. They distribute the money. Usually producing new authors works. It is a way to collect money from ilegal copies. The problem now is that many of these copies are Legal, for instance, a copy of your photos. Which is certainly stupid. But the idea is good... it is an indirect "Robin Hood system".

    The states are not saving the money.

    You knew that US is still getting money from your phone calls via taxes because the "Spanish war" in Philipines and Cuba? As far as I know you were still paying for that in each phone bill. That's to be smart :P

    You can not control the sharing, but you can tax the media where to save it. Which is ilegal. That is the real problem with this tax. Even if you burn your girls friend photos you pay the tax to this society of "authors".

    It is incredible what a group of monkeys can write.

     

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  20.  
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    Ulle, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 5:45pm

    what if

    Seems to me that all the ISP's in spain need to get together, pick a day and completely shut down for 24 hrs. That might bring a little pressure on the Spanish government to rethink their idiotic ideas

     

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  21.  
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    Wire Cramped, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 5:47pm

    BAN VPN's!!!!

    I know how to track people doing things on the internet. I know I can track them when they are doing DUMB ass shit like P2P to share files which is the equivalent to shouting "HEY I am stealing here" and then wonder why all this crap about taxes and leagality comes up.

    End it all with this. VPN ok so I VPN to my friend Tom and use 256bit encryption. I share a file with him and then disconnect. While the VPN is in effect the "smart governemental people" have to crack my VPN tunnel and see that I am doing something ileagal or not.

    IF they could i would increase the strength of the encryption so they cant anymore I can always win this game. Now how do they know what I am doing in the tunnel? BAN VPN!!! thats next!

     

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  22.  
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    liedele, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 5:54pm

    Suggestion to help Spain.

    to help implement this perhaps Spanish ISP's should block all ports but 80 and limit all downloads to less than a meg.
    :)

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2006 @ 9:42am

    Re: BAN VPN's!!!!

    They don't need to ban VPN, just neuter it and remove its security. That's what Britian is doing by requiring that everyone make their encryption keys available to the government.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2006 @ 9:46am

    ...they're also adding a tax on blank CDs, the revenue from which will go to media coffers.
    Hey, I've written lots of stuff! Where are my checks? I'm getting ripped off!

     

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  25.  
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    Wire Cramped, Jun 30th, 2006 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: BAN VPN's!!!!

    Yeah here is my key (the one you think I use) and I continue with my other unknnown one. To think that you could crack it and see me is impossible for any governement using all their power. Well when they do crack it anyway I am long gone.

    So VPN's are still key to privacy. Screw any one gvernment trying to crack down it has to be a world wide thing and that will never happen EVER.

    VPN's win again.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2006 @ 11:08pm

    Funny. You know, when this fails in Spain, the USA will try it anyway just because they think they can do it better. Gee, I can't wait.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2006 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    Cheaper, I suppose.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2006 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: BAN VPN's!!!!

    Yeah here is my key (the one you think I use) and I continue with my other unknnown one.
    And then you go to prison. Kind of puts a hamper on your VPN usage then, doesn't it?

     

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