Spanish Gov't Simply Reinstates US-Driven Copyright Bill, Despite It Being Voted Down
from the funny-how-that-works dept
We’ve talked at length about the copyright situation in Spain, where the law has a rather reasonable take on things: noting that personal, non-commercial copying is not particularly harmful and that it makes no sense to impose secondary liability on software companies that make file sharing tools/search engines with legitimate uses. This is actually a pretty reasonable stance, but of course Hollywood freaked out and demanded changes — and with the help of US diplomatic pressure demanding that Spain rewrite its copyright laws to make Hollywood happy — those new laws were introduced (even as economists noted that it would be “useless and ineffective.”
However, after one of the State Department cable leaks revealed how much US pressure was behind this law, even Spanish politicians started running for cover, and rejected the part of a larger bill that included these copyright changes. Of course, we immediately heard rumors that it would be coming back pretty quickly, and indeed, it’s only been a few weeks, and it appears that Spanish politicians just did an end-run around the legislature’s rejection of the amendment. Rather than drop the matter, the Spanish Senate just “revised” the legislation to include the amendment.
Perhaps someone familiar with Spanish law (and politics) can chime in to explain how this works. In the US, even if something like that happened it would have to go back to the legislature to approve down the road. Is that not the case in Spain? Either way, apparently a lot of people are not at all happy with this, and are protesting the efforts. In the meantime, of course, all this is doing is teaching yet another generation that copyright laws are simply tools of big companies and powerful countries to push around others. It certainly doesn’t create any greater respect for the law.