Spain Considers Making Digital Copyright Law Worse: Pleasing The US Again?

from the never-ending-story dept

We wrote a couple of weeks ago how some were arguing that Spain ought to go back on the "naughty" Special 301 list for failing to show any "positive developments" on the copyright front recently. By an interesting coincidence, the Spanish Internet Association has just published a leaked draft of proposals to make digital copyright law in Spain even harsher. Here's how the Web site ADSL Zone describes them (original in Spanish):

The new proposals have a clear intention: to amend the Criminal Code to allow criminal prosecutions of Websites that provide links. According to the leaked document it will be an offense to provide ordered listings and categorized links to protected content, developed for this purpose and involving an active and non-neutral maintenance and updating of those lists.
Interestingly, Google wouldn't be affected by the new law according to ADSL Zone, nor would "occasional links" be prosecuted. Of course, everything would then hinge on what "occasional" meant in this context.

There's also the following proposal:

Second, the paper seeks to limit the concept of private copying. This will require us to be in possession of the "original media". This is really incompatible with the current reality, since there are legal platforms like Spotify or iTunes where you do not have that "native support".
The concept of "original media" is meaningless in the digital realm, where files are copied many times as they traverse the Internet, or as people move them around on their storage media. How on earth would you prove that your digital copy was "original"?

Finally, there is a suggestion for making the copyright levy system not only worse, but in conflict with current EU plans to rationalize it:

no matter whether we copy or not, whether or not we have the "original media", the fee will be charged in any case.
In an age where storage media are becoming ubiquitous -- if Samsung's refrigerator is running Android, it must have storage -- such levies are anachronistic and harm innovation, so Spain's plans to push on with them is one more indicator that it's heading in the wrong direction. The big question, of course, is why it is doing this: is it simply the usual story of lobbyists' privileged access to government ministers who aren't interested in whether the new measures are fair or even effective? Or is this once more the heavy hand of America reaching across the water to put a little pressure on its Hispanic friends...?

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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:53am

    he big question, of course, is why it is doing this: is it simply the usual story of lobbyists' privileged access to government ministers who aren't interested in whether the new measures are fair or even effective? Or is this once more the heavy hand of America reaching across the water to put a little pressure on its Hispanic friends...?

    Both.

    I'm hoping the Spanish will put some fight against this idiocy. I wonder how they'd feel if Google managed to get a levy instated so they'd have to pay a levy every time Youtube played their content for fucking free. Or everytime Samsung devices were used to play their damned content. Morons.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 4:03am

    Ah, yes. Let's get the jobless Spanish youth to spend more non-existent money on non-essential music by making penalties against alleged infringement even more punishing and with less burden of proof! That'll work with absolutely no drawbacks or repercussions at all! Anyone who disagrees must be a filthy, filthy pirate!

     

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  3.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 4:28am

    *looks around*

    Hmmm... there's no decent online equivalent to Netflix or Hulu in Spain and the last one I'm aware of that tried to be set up had the subscription option removed due to licencing problems. Netflix have expressed a desire to open a Spanish site, but plans were put back due to licencing difficulties. The offline rental market is pretty much non-existent in most areas, the postal service is atrocious and makes a physical Netflix equivalent unworkable (you'd be lucky to get 2 discs in a month reliably). I see people buying pirated DVDs off street vendors every day, though. When and where legal physical media is available it's often much more expensive than elsewhere in Europe (a new videogame can be up to €90 compared to €40 if imported from the UK) to the point where even Spanish people I know often import rather than buy from Spain. This all in a country with massive youth unemployment - the people who are usually considered most likely to spend all their disposable income on entertainment.

    But yeah, we just need to attack the internet, that will totally work! In reality, the people I know who have stopped pirating recently did so because the combination of Spotify + VPN service + Netflix/iPlayer/Hulu I pushed on them services their needs totally. Of course, the morons in charge of the industry then don't realise that legally paid-for traffic is coming from Spain, so all their tiny mind can perceive is "we're losing sales! It must be piracy!".

    "it will be an offense to provide ordered listings and categorized links to protected content"

    So if a site just randomly posts links in no particular pattern it will be cool, right?

    "This will require us to be in possession of the "original media"."

    *sigh* So, not only would they be completely wrong-headed, they're also making it illegal to use legal services that don't conform to 1996 reality? I know these morons are stuck in that timeframe, but is it seriously that difficult to understand market realities before attempting to pass laws?

     

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  4.  
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    gorehound (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 4:58am

    USA & MAFIAA using their damn muscle to screw over another Nation's Citizens.
    A lot of young folk and older people are out of work and broke in Spain.
    So, the Authorities think they will force people to pay out money they don't have to begin with.They will threaten their Population with stronger Laws and Penalties.
    The Youth should rise up and show the Establishment just what they think.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:01am

    Re:

    "it will be an offense to provide ordered listings and categorized links to protected content"

    If that wording is a correct translation, they are trying to outlaw iTunes etc. Such sites carry protected content, that is under copyright to the labels.
    Are they trying to totally outlaw the Internet?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re:

    Is it too difficult to understand physical reality before posting comments?

    Spain is not the Coastal del Sol. It really is much bigger than that with most of it stuck in the 1930s. That is not just attitude but also infrastructure too.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:06am

    it's obvious that this has come about because of pressure from the USA. they started all this shit, where it is more important to lock someone up for committing file sharing than murder. the USA has sold it's soul to the entertainment industries, to the very people that have no desire to adapt, to move into the C21 or to please anyone other than themselves. how can a business that relies solely on customers for revenue and continuation, treat them so disgracefully? how can any country allow a movie and/or music company dictate what laws should be implemented, what measures the accused to take in defence and what punishments can be meted out? this is pure madness!!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Your refrigerator has a storage? You music-thieving, food-eating monster.

     

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  9.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, because I've never lived or been anywhere else in Spain and have no concept of what the rest of the country is like. I also have no friends elsewhere in the country. Dickhead.

    "That is not just attitude but also infrastructure too."

    Got a citation, or are you just talking out of your ass again? Most major cities have far better infrastructure than where I live, but still suffer the same problems.

     

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  10.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re:

    No, they're presumably trying to pass laws to appease the major corporations and are either technically clueless about the market or just haven't thought about unintended consequences. For politicians, either is possible, especially when being paid to only consider one side of the argument.

    "If that wording is a correct translation"

    The original is below, although it is just a report rather than the document itself. I'm not 100% fluent in Spanish, but that seems to be the correct translation unless I'm missing an important nuance somewhere.

    "Según el documento filtrado se considera delito facilitar listados ordenados y clasificados de enlaces a contenidos protegidos, desarrollando a tal efecto una labor activa y no neutral de mantenimiento y actualización de dichos listados"

     

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  11.  
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    Randy Zagar, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:36am

    So, do those Spaniards realize this outlaws the bibliography?

     

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  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:48am

    The law would specific acts with conscious organization...

    First: 'How on earth would you prove that your digital copy was "original"?' -- WELL, if it's the data of an obviously $100M movie being just given away to anyone who wishes to click on a link, then it AIN'T "original".

    "... be an offense to provide ordered listings and categorized links to protected content, developed for this purpose and involving an active and non-neutral maintenance and updating of those lists." -- This sounds like a start on showing actions by site owner plus knowledge of the contents = criminal intent to infringe a copyrighted work.

    And yet again, WHY do you guys complain when won't affect you 'cause you're not downloading any infringing content?

    You're now complaining about specific and knowing acts that clearly have sole purpose of facilitating infringement. You need to turn back from your sheer pro-piracy, anti-creator course, and at least start writing as though you're looking for legal solutions.

    "In an age where storage media are becoming ubiquitous -- if Samsung's refrigerator is running Android, it must have storage" -- This is NOT innovation, it's senseless weenie gadgetry. You kids don't even know the magic that makes refrigeration work, but if there's a computer stuck onto the front panel, it must be "cutting-edge", huh?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re:

    Spain has a conservative european government. The conservatives all across europe are "conservative" in its original sense and thus wants to do anything to protect the old world (and is this case industries) including the content industry. That is what is happening here. A european conservative government cannot see a future without the past. It is in the nature of politics to ignore reason and when the ideology clearly dictates a complete compliance with the older industries, it is a slam dunk of one-sided implementation incoming! Also helped along by US naughty status.

     

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  14.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:18am

    Re: The law would specific acts with conscious organization...

    That whole "reading comprehension" thing's proving too difficult for you again, huh?

     

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  15.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:21am

    Re: The law would specific acts with conscious organization...

    You kids don't even know the magic that makes refrigeration work, but if there's a computer stuck onto the front panel, it must be "cutting-edge", huh?

    Reading comprehension fail as always. He's telling that the storage in the fridge would be paying that ridiculous levy..

    ootb take your head out of your own arse, the lack of oxygen is not healthy.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A slight change, such as authorised links, could make that sort of law a nasty means of censorship. I.e. a blogger listing links to articles on the web to document corporate misconduct could be found guilty of breaking such a law. That is linking without explicit permission becomes an offence.
    Also, i would not be surprised if such a law was also intended to force Google into filtering its results.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:36am

    i bet this has been 'recommended' by the USA, seeing as how TPB has just moved to Spain and they still haven't managed to shut it down. they have managed to get various courts to give bias sentences from questionable information (wont say 'evidence'!) so as to get people, yet again, locked up and have their lives destroyed all over sharing some data. i haven't yet read or heard of anyone in the entertainment industries having their life destroyed because of file sharing. Dodd keeps trying to convince the world that hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost because of it, but never gives any facts to back up the bull shit statements!

     

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  18.  
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    Isaac the K, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:39am

    It looks like the lobbyists upped their firepower when TPB decided to go sailing with the Spanish armada...

    I'm guessing that officials in Norway are going to propose extending digital "rights" soon...

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 7:11am

    It's a contest to see who gets to beat Puerto Rico to officially being the 51st State. Whoever wins, everyone loses.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Wouldn't the world be a much nicer place if we all just ignored the US?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 8:02am

    Re: The law would specific acts with conscious organization...

    " WELL, if it's the data of an obviously $100M movie being just given away to anyone who wishes to click on a link, then it AIN'T "original"."

    The Avengers blu-ray comes with a digital copy I can load on an iPad/iPod/etc.
    How do I prove it wasn't posted on the Internet, boy?

     

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  22.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: The law would specific acts with conscious organization...

    What about Steam? With Steam, 99% of games don't have an "original media" unless they amend this to mean the hard drive you first download to...rendering Steam's platform of "Play anywhere" completely meaningless. What if a Spanish person downloads to their hard drive, Drive D, then creates a games folder on Drive E, and move all their games there?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    Re: The law would specific acts with conscious organization...

    Quote:
    The law would specific acts with conscious organization


    That is something nobody ever would be able to pin on you blue.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:23pm

    This on the cusp of tpb moving their servers over to spain, coinkendence, mmmm

     

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  25.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:44pm

    Re: The law would specific acts with conscious organization...

    You should notice that the majority of the discussion here is about ways this law can be abused so it impacts nonpirates, not about its effect on pirates. Since such abuse is inevitable, it is a worthy topic of discussion.

     

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  26.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 2:05am

    Since it's the weekend and I'm a little bored, I just wanted to make a short point I've noticed. I first posted my first hand response about how piracy in the area I live is blatantly caused - directly - by the regional and other windowing models the industry has adopted, and that the way to stop piracy in my experience is to give people a way to route around those blocks and let them pay for content. In response, the only challenge I've had against this assertion is one asshole who didn't address any of my points, but attacked me personally and implied that I have no idea how the country I've lived in for over 7 years works.

    In other words, there's no real challenge to my assertion that changing the business models is the only way to change the actions of "pirates" - and I can show it works. I invite other challenges from non-morons, but be prepared with facts - I am, so don't come unarmed.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 2:33am

    Re:

    But would the US let itself be ignored?

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    This just in...

    Thousands of Spanish websites collectively switch to
      tags instead of
        tags to avoid copyright infringement.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 5:42pm

    This just in...

    Thousands of Spanish websites collectively switch to <ul> tags instead of <ol> tags to avoid copyright infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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