Spanish Legislature Rejects Hollywood-Backed Copyright Law Changes

from the nice-try dept

We've discussed in the past how Spain actually has somewhat more reasonable copyright laws than other parts of the world. It says that personal, non-commercial copying is not against the law and also says that third parties should not be liable for copyright infringement done by their users. This seems perfectly reasonable but, of course, Hollywood hates it. For a while, they've pushed a media campaign claiming that Spain's copyright laws were destroying the entertainment industry. From a personal level, this is kind of amusing, because I think I bought (yes, bought) more music from new Spanish bands in the last year than from any other country outside of the US. And, of course, soon after the media campaign, suddenly Spain introduced a copyright reform package that seemed like a checklist of the entertainment industry's wishes. It surprised absolutely no one when one of the recent Wikileaks diplomatic cable leaks showed that US diplomats played a large role in pressuring the Spanish government to make these changes, at the behest of movie industry lobbyists.

But... it appears that with all this attention, some backlash has come about as well, and the Spanish legislative body surprised a lot of people and rejected the proposed changes(Google translation from the original Spanish). It was a narrow vote, but it sounds like this issue is dead until at least next year. Of course, in the interim, expect more ridiculous and unsubstantiated bellyaching about how entertainment in Spain is dying.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Enough campaign contributions and/or bribes will quickly change their minds I'm sure.

     

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  2.  
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    Jane, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:05pm

    *sigh*

    It would be nice to think that Australia was a sovereign nation with her own laws and policies, but I can see us caving in one way or another to corporate greed and stupidity when implementing the proposed National Broadband Network. At this stage, any government development of communications hardware is probably going to be subject to undue influence by US commercial interests at the expense of users and freedom of speech/press/communication.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    Funny how spain's copyright laws are closer the intent of the framers of the us constitution than actual us law.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re:

    Oh, and expect a bunch of legislators to be taken out for dinner all of a sudden.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re:

     

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  6.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 6:54pm

    Re: *sigh*

    Didn't Australia view copyright as somewhat biased against their nation? That at least is a start on the right path.

     

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  7.  
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    The Mad Hatter (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    In Canada, we are waiting with bated breath for the Wikileaks cables from Canada. We expect that we will see the exact same things as were in the Spanish cables.

    We'll see what happens.

     

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  8.  
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    Aerilus, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 7:35pm

    Moving to spain

    moving to spain who want to go in with me to charter a plane

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Moving to spain

    By the time you get there their politicians would have been bought already. This behavior on their part is only temporary, they're only demanding more money before they kotow to corporate interests.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:46pm

    Of course, in the interim, expect more ridiculous and unsubstantiated bellyaching about how entertainment in Spain is dying.

    Or Hollywood launching a couple of nukes at Spain. I'm pretty sure everyone involved is stupid enough to actually do something like that. Lieberman'd write a 10-page essay about what a good decision it was.

     

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  11.  
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    yabbadabbadooodo (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:20pm

    There's nothing admirable about Spain's approach to copyright, at least with regard to the web. Film piracy is rampant and no one thinks twice. No wonder there are no legit distribution companies working out of Spain. Why bother?

    for the record, here's some background on the state of affairs in Spain: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/business/global/17piracy.html

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:11pm

    Re:

    So...

    You link to an article where all the anti-piracy commentary is "the industry says it's losing BILLLIOOOONS of dollars" and "artists are whining that they can't tax more stuff", and you wonder why no one thinks twice?

    Next time you want to make a point, find an argument that doesn't consist of "the industry makes up numbers" and "artists complain".

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:20pm

    Re:

    For the record, nobody is owed a monopoly and there is nothing wrong with copying. The fact that Spain understands that our individual freedoms are more important than corporate profits, at least in this regard, is admirable. There is nothing admirable about U.S. copy protection laws, which takes away our inherit right to copy whatever we want, for 95 years, just to serve corporate interests.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re:

    (and which do absolutely nothing to promote the progress, only corporate profits at public expense).

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re:

    "Digital piracy resulted directly in Ä1.7 billion, or $2.2 billion, of lost revenue in 2008 for Spainís creative industries"

    These numbers are about as valid as the claim that 95+ year copy protection lengths somehow promote the progress. Nothing these people say can be trusted.

    I just wish that the RIAA et al would bankrupt, they cause much more harm than good (both to artists and to the general public) and deserve to go bankrupt for all the bad laws they are responsible for passing.

     

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  16.  
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    Jose_X, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:44pm

    That's a relief

    >> It was a narrow vote, but it sounds like this issue is dead until at least next year. Of course, in the interim, expect more ridiculous and unsubstantiated bellyaching about how entertainment in Spain is dying.

    Well, that's not too bad. 10 days of not having to worry is better than 9 or 8 or 7.

     

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  17.  
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    Jose_X, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:47pm

    Do consumers owe this victory to whistle-blowing and to a free press?

     

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  18.  
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    Yogi, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:55pm

    Re:

    Yeah, it's downright hilarious.

     

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  19.  
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    RandomGuy (profile), Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: *sigh*

    Yep. Whether that translates into any action remains to be seen. Given our government's track record, I remain cynical.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    "Film piracy is rampant"

    Why are people stealing film in Spain?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 7:15am

    Well that makes 1 (one) country not bought and paid for entirely by American Corporations. One country only from the EU so far that respects human rights over corporate rights. France folded, the UK folded, Germany is a lost cause and the rest of the EU is so damned confused they don't understand the difference between their ass and a hole in the ground. I wouldn't go there if you paid me! If I want my rights trampled on I can stay home in the United States.

     

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  22.  
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    joseph, Dec 23rd, 2010 @ 4:57am

    perhaps someone can tell me, if i go to a shop and pay my hard earned cash for a movie, music, game or software disk, have i actually bought that disk and it's contents or have i just rented it? if i have rented it, where does it say that on the packaging? if i have bought it, then i should be able to do what i like with it, including lending it to someone else, watching/listening (to) it with someone else, giving it to someone else and copying it as well. after all, the same companies that produce the disks also produce the software to view, listen to and copy those disks, as well as produce the blank media that allows the original disks to be copied to. the public are not only expected but actively encouraged to buy the software, media and players/burners that enable this to happen. so are those companies themselves not 'actively encouraging copyright infringement' of their own material? what happens in Spain should be allowed in every country!

     

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  23.  
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    manfred, Dec 23rd, 2010 @ 3:52pm

    would be interesting if there were more Wikileaks info released showing which other countries were 'encouraged' by the USA to alter their copyright/file sharing laws and what was going to happen if they didn't. no way are Sweden and Spain the only ones that were threatened with reprisals if they didn't conform!

     

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