Hacktivist Judo: Musician Exploits New Spanish Law To Overwhelm System With Legitimate Infringement Complaints
from the you-want-infringement?-we'll-show-you-infringement dept
As Techdirt reported earlier this year, Spain’s Sinde Law, designed to combat file sharing by blocking sites with allegedly infringing material, has an extremely complex history. It finally went into effect on 1 March, and was immediately met with a clever denial of service attack from a Spanish group with the self-explanatory name “Hackivistas”. As TorrentFreak explains:
They encouraged sites to link to a copyrighted track from the artist Eme Navarro, who’s a member of the music rights group SGAE, but critical of the Sinde law.
While Navarro generally publishes his music under a Creative Commons license, he created an “all rights reserved” track specifically for the protest. Thanks to the hacktivist campaign hundreds of websites are now linking to this copyrighted song without permission, and Navarro reported a first batch of sites to the Ministry of Culture early this morning.
As a result, the commission tasked with reviewing all the requests will be overloaded with complaints. All the reported sites have to be processed on order of arrival, so the protest will significantly slow down this review process.
As well as gumming up the legal machinery for a while, this action is designed to obtain some much-needed details about how the Sinde Law will work in practice:
“Nobody knows how they will shut down websites. We suspect that they will ask Spanish companies hosting the websites to shut them down, and that Spanish service providers will block websites that are hosted outside of Spain.”
This is pretty extraordinary. How can the Spanish government claim any legitimacy for a law that was not only brought in at the behest of a foreign power, but was rammed through the legislative process in such a way that those most affected by it — the Spanish people — still have no idea how it will be implemented?