No Surprise: Wikileaks Leak Shows US Entertainment Industry Wrote Spain's New Copyright Law

from the but-of-course... dept

This won’t come as much of a surprise of course, but according to reports about some of the latest Wikileaks State Department cable leaks, it appears that Hollywood and US diplomats were behind the crafting of Spain’s newly proposed copyright law. You may recall, of course, that Spain actually has a fairly reasonable copyright law. It says personal, non-commercial, file sharing is okay, and does not seem to agree with the idea that you should blame third parties for actions of their users.


Of course, that’s resulted in Spain constantly being put on the “worst of the worst” lists by the entertainment industry and a media campaign by the industry about how awful Spain was when it came to copyright. How dare you have more reasonable copyright laws that don’t criminalize everyone! Of course, it didn’t take long for Spain to introduce new copyright laws that even local economists said would be bad for everyone.

So, of course it’s no surprise at all that the US entertainment industry and US diplomats had a huge role in shaping the new laws. In fact, when the reports came out, we even titled our post on the subject “Looks Like Entertainment Industry Lobbyists Got To The Spanish Government.” It’s just that, now, thanks to these cables, this information has even more evidence behind it, showing that the MPAA and US diplomats were heavily involved in getting Spain to change its copyright laws.

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Comments on “No Surprise: Wikileaks Leak Shows US Entertainment Industry Wrote Spain's New Copyright Law”

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39 Comments
Thomas (profile) says:

so interesting..

that the U.S. is now successfully forcing other countries to accept laws that damage the local economy. We have become simply a vehicle for the entertainment industry to force whatever laws they want onto other countries. Is this a new form of entertainment imperialism?

The U.S. was supposed to be in favor of individual freedom and civil rights, now we are in favor of neither.

At the same time, we castigate countres that censor internet sites that they don’t want while doing the same thing ourselves.

Yogi says:

The End

This is the beginning of the end for the US.

People and companies who aim for innovation in any field will be very careful doing business with US companies and alternatives to every service based in the US will spring up. The only question is will the US be able to manhandle the entire world? I doubt it.

Too bad – the US was a great idea while it lasted.

photomatt (profile) says:

Re: The End

Our form of government (US) is still a good idea. At least the way it was first conceived by our founders. Unfortunately it has degenerated from who has the support of the populace to who could afford the most votes. Not to say that we are selling votes but we are selling candidates. I believe with enough advertising you can get anyone elected. Makes sense, we are a nation of consumers.

But I do agree with you. I think, or hope sometimes, that our way of life is nearing an end. The tender is being laid down. Soon all we will need is a proper spark.

Or we fat & happy Americans will sit on our buts because we are complacent with the status quo. They will sell us the idea that “all is well” or “this is the way it has to be” for the (children/terrorists/common good). And we will accept it because we have been conditioned that way.

PaulT (profile) says:

…and did any of the proposals include measures to give Spanish residents access to the same choice, pricing and availability that residents of North America and other parts of Europe currently enjoy on legal services?

Didn’t think so.

I’ve just ordered a bunch of games, CDs and DVDs for Christmas – via the UK, as it’s far cheaper than buying in Spain (70% cheaper in a few cases). I also ditched a trial account on (AFAIK) Spain’s only Netflix-style service, whose streaming option includes a massive 43 titles. If only these idiots were interested in actually supplying demand…

Steve R. (profile) says:

Mostly Embarrassing

According to Bryan Suits KFI 640 Radio – DARK SECRET PLACE the major fallout of Wikileaks is really embarrassment rather than national security. Nothing like airing dirty laundry of “truths”, that in retrospect are obvious, such as source of Spanish copyright law.

Anyway KFI does eventually post Podcasts, but the December 5, 2010 podcast has not yet been posted. The podcast, when posted, discusses the bigger implications, I do not recall any mention of Spain. I also assume that it will soon be available, but only for a short period of time.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

“So here’s the new question: when the Spanish Congress votes on America’s copyright law this month, will they vote for their sovereignty, or act like a US puppet state? “

hephaestus – Raises hand and shouts ….Oh, Oh, Pick ME, Pick Me, I know!!! Puppet state.

We all know politicians world wide have gotten to the point where they are doing improper things in public view and getting away with it in a way that suggests they dont care. They are becoming more blatant in their improprieties, and in a strange way they seem to running around in a frantic and panicked manor.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Why blame the US???

This is not the fault of the US, its the fault of a bunch of greedy bastards in the US.

Why not blame the Spanish government for accepting large bribes from US lobbyists?

The internet has declared war on all the old gatekeepers and now they are fighting back against technology and human nature. I suspect that the IP rights people will end “infringement”, the same way that the Catholic Church ended premarital sex, and the US won its wars on Drugs and Terrorism.

Anonymous Coward says:

Comments here appear to suggest that because the commenters disagree with the US law, it is wrong for the US to use diplomatic means to move the law of a foreign nation in a direction more aligned with the US law. I wonder what the comments here would say if the US law happened to be one with which they agree?

Jason says:

Re: Re:

Isn’t it funny how the word ‘diplomatic’ is ALWAYS a euphemism.

If you’d said, “Comments here appear to suggest…it is wrong for the US to use Machiavellian means to move the law of a foreign nation in a direction more aligned with the US law,” well then you’d have instantly gotten a collective, “no shit, Sherlock.”

I think Darth Vader would probably also look better served up on fine china with a little pate foie gras.

iNtrigued (profile) says:

Now lets bring it down a notch

I find it interesting how many people jump at the opportunity to criticize the US, because as we all know, the US is the only country with faults. I guess there are a lot of people drinking the Hater-Aid.

Come on people, lets not condemn a whole country for the acts of a few individuals. A country should be judged on the will of its people and not the whims of politicians, diplomats, and/or industries.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: bring it down a notch - US apologist

Many many many people have been criticizing the US for a long time. The only difference is now they have the proof and your jumping up and down being an apologist.

You may believe the US is not that bad but history, modern policy, and and two endless wars speak otherwise.

You can look up how we have dealt with South America to see just how horrendous the US can be. Perhaps you can study Native American history for some insight into the things the US has done. Better yet you can see in modern times we have waged a class war against minorities through our war on drugs.

We now lockup more people percentage wise than any other country in the world. Everything is just fine though!

People who are living in the state of denial are the real problem. The US is acting just like a drug addict nowadays. Until the US can recognize its problems it will never change.

Anonymous Coward says:

The US has a long history of writing other countries’ laws. They even managed to write an amendment into the 1902 Cuban Constitution.

The Platt Amendment. Article III.
The Government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence…

The key here being “the preservation of Cuban independence”

Because as we all know, “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”

Darryl says:

of course -

by all means
certainly
definitely
indeed
indubitably
naturally
obviously
surely
undoubtedly
without a doubt

This won’t come as much of a surprise of course
Nothing fits because you assume something wont come as much surprise !! .. why ‘of course’..

(using boingboing as a source is not what I would call responsible or factual)..

You may recall, of course, that Spain actually has a fairly reasonable copyright law.

We MAY recall, OF COURSE !!! .. how does that work, why again is it ‘of course’. and if it was ‘of course’ why would it be “may recall”.

Of course, that’s resulted in Spain constantly being put on the “worst of the worst” lists

“of course” “constantly” “lists” please explain those terms.

Were they puton the ‘worst of the worst’ list for serial killers ?
Or the worst of the worst list for bank fraud ?

Were they put on the worst of the worst list for petty theft ?

Or the worst of the worst list for house breaking ?

No Mike, they were not,,, of course.. obviously

No Mike, certainly they were not obviously, or definitely or anything else.. they might of been put on a list for copyright breaches, that would be ONE SINGULAR list..

As for stating the entertainment industry is seeking to influence the laws regarding their product, why does that surprise you Mike.

Everyone does that, everyone looks after their own interests..

To say that the victoms of a specific crime should not have a say in the laws that determine their future, and their ability to continue to create content, they have every right to do that.. and every right to determine, or work with governments and law enforcement to ensure that result.

what are you saying Mike, that a group of people who are the focus of an illegal activity cannot have a say in their defense, and in the determination of laws and statutes to protect their assets, and their rights?

Are you saying that the entertainment industry has less rights that other groups ? ok, if that is the case, would you like to define the structure about who has the rights to contribute in determining how society works, and how people can live, work and trade on a fair basis ?

Who gets to make those decisions ? Would they just have to come and ask you Mike, is it OK for us to enact a specific law, that might benefit a certain group, if that group does not include you.. would that change your opinion about what is “right” and what is “wrong”?

Perhaps you might want to look at some industries that do not have that form of protection. The classic one is military technology..

You dont get to even know what they are doing until well after its done, and maybe not even then.
They is because there is no way to protect their IP by laws or rules… They only have secrecy..

If you take away copyright, you wont get access to more information, you will be access to far less information or content..

As well, it will no longer be viable for content creators to create content.. So you will have no new products being created.. you’re system of file sharing will fail, with no new content, all you can do is copy what you have forever…

Wont that be fun.. of course not
undubitably not
definitely not
indeed not……

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: of course -

“As for stating the entertainment industry is seeking to influence the laws regarding their product, why does that surprise you Mike.

Everyone does that, everyone looks after their own interests..”

I have a non-essential product that’s failing due to my own moronic and outdated business model. I’m not a citizen of your country, but I still wish to change the laws of your country to match my business model, even if it’s at the expense of the actual citizens of your country. Your life and rights will now be jeopardised because I want some more money.

You won’t mind, though, will you? You’re advocating that for the rest of the world, after all.

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