Spanish Government Bows Down To US Pressures Again, Pushes SOPA-Like Law To Appease Hollywood

from the stand-up-for-yourselves dept

While Spain actually has a fairly vibrant culture and entertainment industry, Hollywood has really had it in for the country for some time, in part because Spanish courts had a more evolved recognition of secondary liability protections, such that they ruled that linking is not infringement, and that neither was basic file sharing. Hollywood flipped out, said all sorts of nasty things about Spain, and US diplomats basically handed the Spanish government a new copyright law. The first few attempts to pass the bill failed, after the public spoke out, economists explained how it would hurt the economy rather than help and even the head of the Spanish Film Academy noted that the American movie industry seemed to be fighting the internet and the public.

But… despite all of that, after over a year in delays, a new Spanish government approved the bill with little debate or discussion. After that the USTR actually removed Spain from its “naughty” list in 2012.

That didn’t last long. As we noted last month, Spain was put back on the naughty list after just one year off of it. A few weeks ago we noted there were rumors that the government was planning to ratchet up copyright law yet again.

It appears they’re doing exactly that. On Friday, the Spanish government announced that it was ratcheting up its copyright laws just about a year after it had already done exactly that. This time, it appears to basically be taking SOPA and implementing it in Spain:

Spain is strengthening its intellectual property law by introducing sanctions for advertisers on websites that violate copyright protection and increasing fines for websites that do not remove pirated material, the government said on Friday.

The bill will put massive liability on any company seen to “work with websites that carry pirated material.” No, I’m sure there won’t be any unintended consequences with a far reaching bill like that… And, of course, once Spain gets the basics of SOPA in place, how long will it be until the same copyright lobbyists who wrote that law for Spain to start arguing that other countries “need” to “harmonize” their laws to match what Spain is doing?

This is the game that the copyright lobbyists play. They have strategies in countries all around the globe, pushing local laws, as well as various trade agreements, all with a single goal: constantly ratcheting copyright law and copyright enforcement upwards, with no care in the world for unintended consequences (or even if these policies do anything for their bottom line).

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Comments on “Spanish Government Bows Down To US Pressures Again, Pushes SOPA-Like Law To Appease Hollywood”

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64 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

They have strategies in countries all around the globe, pushing local laws, as well as various trade agreements, all with a single goal: constantly ratcheting copyright law and copyright enforcement upwards, with no care in the world for unintended consequences (or even if these policies do anything for their bottom line).

So far the public is losing. But you can tighten your grip to a limit. After that the thing you are trying to keep under control will ooze right through your fingers. We’ll see all this backfire amazingly.

bob (profile) says:

Uh... how about spanish artists....

This is the typical western racism assuming that Spain doesn’t have artists who want to make a living doing art. I bet in your vision, a Spanish artist sells trinkets on the street corner with an old sheet. It’s only Hollywood and the American artists who are worthy of being copyrightable, right?

Spain is full of artists and I’m sure they’re just as capable of asking for a fair wage in return for the use of their work. And I’m sure they’re also asking their government to respect this too.

The world is full of artists, musicians, writers and creators. It’s not just a bunch of sheep to be sheared by Big Search.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Uh... how about spanish artists....

This is the typical western racism assuming that Spain doesn’t have artists who want to make a living doing art….

Spain is full of artists and I’m sure they’re just as capable of asking for a fair wage in return for the use of their work. And I’m sure they’re also asking their government to respect this too.

That must explain why the head of the Spanish film association quit in protest over the last law for it being anti-internet and anti-public.

There are ways to make money that don’t involve treating all your fans like criminals.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Uh... how about spanish artists....

And we’re still waiting for you to show us these ways to make money. The paywall idea’s worked well for Louis CK and Kevin Smith. Maybe the Spanish should try it?

And so some film guy who you won’t name quit. There are plenty of other artists in Spain who like copyright and recognize that it is their one sword that gives them any rights against the international conglomerates like the billionaires at Big Search.

As it is, Wert himself is an author and I’m sure there are plenty of artists in Spain who are lobbying for this.

http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/author/jose-ignacio-wert/page-1/

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Uh... how about spanish artists....

Paywall bob strikes back. Newsflash: those are not paywalls. And even if you want to consider them as such the content is widely available and yet they don’t go after those who download it for free. They’d rather value those potential customers and ask for their support if they like the content. And it has worked.

And so some film guy who you won’t name quit.

I take it you don’t know how to use a search engine. I’ll help your low IQ: the name is Alex de la Iglesia (source and Techdirt article – hopefully you know how to click links)

I’m sure there are clueless artists that agree with this idiocy. Some out of pure greed, some because they don’t understand how bad it is and some because they are too bad to succeed without some bad laws milking people to give them easy money. However saying a bad law is needed because the country is full of artists wanting to make money is simply idiotic. Spain is also full of PEOPLE who disagree with the law and much more that will be negatively affected (no bob, not all are pirates) and they make a much bigger group. By your logic, artists have no say in this.

And none of that matters because the ones pushing for such laws COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT THE ARTISTS. This has been evidenced way too often and as I commented earlier I know a rather known artist myself who confirms the ARTISTS themselves HATE those who are pushing for those laws.

Ahem, my apologies for feeding the troll. I thought this reply was worth it.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Uh... how about spanish artists....

Hah. I love how you’ve tied your brain in knots. You know that paywalls are bad because Mike told you so. You know that Louis CK is good because Mike told you so. Therefore they can’t be paywalls.

Why don’t you come work for me? I would love to have an employee that won’t need the protection of “bad laws” when I don’t pay you. Heck, I’ll tell you that you’re being “cool” when you just give me your work for free because you don’t want to be like those “simply idiotic” artists who can’t make money without some “bad law” milking me.

Then I’ll tell you to go sell some t-shirts with the fame you’ve gotten working for me for free.

What da ya think?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Uh... how about spanish artists....

Why don’t you come work for me? I would love to have an employee that won’t need the protection of “bad laws” when I don’t pay you. Heck, I’ll tell you that you’re being “cool” when you just give me your work for free because you don’t want to be like those “simply idiotic” artists who can’t make money without some “bad law” milking me.

I’m pretty sure that describes the relationship Masnick has with his Techdirt “writers”.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Uh... how about spanish artists....

If Company X produces something and it’s bad or people don’t need it people won’t buy. Company X is not entitled to the money just because they worked hard to make the product. If I work for whoever and I deliver only half-assed results they’ll not pay me (ie: I’ll be fired). If Mike writes bad articles with bad argumentation and lack of evidence people will stop reading and he’ll not earn any money. Artists are no different. Some will fail, some will succeed.

You must exceed at trolling after all you are keeping your job after all this time eh?

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: This is your first sanction

Yes, there’s a famous incident in roleplaying (can’t remember if it is an actual game, or from a gaming comic) where a players is told there is a gazebo nearby, and proceeds to think it’s a strange creature, asking the game master all sorts of daft questions as if it’s alive.

Add that to the “you are eaten by a grue” nethack meme and… 😉

out_of_the_blue says:

Yeah, but here's some GOOD news for pirates!

Websites Can Legally Pirate Porn Movies, Prosecutors Rule

http://intellihub.com/2013/03/23/websites-can-legally-pirate-porn-movies-prosecutors-rule/

^^^ Heh, heh. Above, my clone army begins to build!

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
http://techdirt.com/
What are you stoopid pirates doing here? Mike supports copyright!
03:55:34[d-026-7]

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Yeah, but here's some GOOD news for pirates!

@ “Actually, better: if we slay the “Prime”, do the clones stop working? Please say yes.”

Ideas are bullet-proof. Since I’m aligned with fundamental law — simply put,that the creator of an artistic works OWNS it totally and has a natural right to control its distribution — then doesn’t matter how many of me you “slay”, the idea will go on. — And especially since on fundamentals I’m sided with people who have direct interest in protecting industries with billions in revenue, it’s a dead cert.

[Notes for those who can’t see nuances: I’m for limiting terms of copyright; for limiting the amount of profits that go to corporate fat cats; for seeing that the continuing income from works goes to not only artists, but to all people who contribute to the work, meaning put a cap on amount “stars” get and distribute far more to the techs, even if they’re not unionized. And so on. We never get to the Populist cures where we’d likely agree, cause ACs just put up stoopid ad hom to distract.]

Anonymous Coward says:

Without extreme copyright protections the world would burn to the ground. It is literally the only thing keeping us all from going extinct.
There’s historical evidence to support this.
Dinosaurs didn’t believe in copyright and didn’t pass strong laws to protect it. They’re all dead now.
You can’t refute this.
Only now that we have strong copyright laws in place are those same dinosaurs are providing trillions of jobs to people all over the world in the form of fossil fuels.

Anonymous Coward says:

Spain is strengthening its intellectual property law by introducing sanctions for advertisers on websites that violate copyright protection and increasing fines for websites that do not remove pirated material, the government said on Friday.

Sounds to me to be more like your friend’s Wyden and Issa’s OPEN Act than SOPA. I thought the OPEN Act had tacit support here. Why the nerd rage?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I am also bewildered by the opposition towards this. If anything, the overall idea is good.

Now, I am unsure about the spanish due process since a US calamity would make increased fines a problem (encouraging luddites, not trolls!).

Also the specifics of “sanctions for advertisers on websites…” can easily be done wrong.

However, without going through the spanish laws I wouldn’t know.

out_of_the_blue says:

How can "supports copyright" Mike NOT be for this?

>>> “Spain is strengthening its intellectual property law by introducing sanctions for advertisers on websites that violate copyright protection and increasing fines for websites that do not remove pirated material, the government said on Friday.”

Okay, you’ve already trotted out “unintended consequences”, but AS WRITTEN there — with key point that accusations ARE substantiated — then is Pirate Mike STILL against this?

>>> “constantly ratcheting copyright law and copyright enforcement upwards” — Well, given that you promote the advance of technology that makes copying easier than ever, this is absolutely required — for someone who “supports copyright”! If those hover-cars that have been promised for 50 years now ever become practical, we’re going to need a whole new suite of traffic regulations, right?

As a supporter of copyright, Mike, what’s your suggestion for other ways of covering the new situation? Just let copyright fall as outdated? — I remind again (already) that you “support copyright”, YET your consistent position is to NOT advance the law to defend copyright, is that not true?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: How can "supports copyright" Mike NOT be for this?

“As a supporter of copyright, Mike, what’s your suggestion for other ways of covering the new situation? Just let copyright fall as outdated?”

We have yet to hear YOUR solution, boy!
Obviously, you don’t have one.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: How can "supports copyright" Mike NOT be for this?

@ “We have yet to hear YOUR solution, boy!
Obviously, you don’t have one.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…”

Oh, dear. A knee-jerk AC with a daffy unappropriate cliche. Whatever shall I answer?

Er, in short, my position on THIS item is that the text I quoted looks okay to me. Doesn’t visibly look to hamper persons, only corporations. — And by the way, THAT it hampers corporations is consistent with what I view as Mike’s pro-corporate stance. Just keep your eyes open. Mike isn’t so much pro-individual as pro-corporate (meaning his bunch of favored grifters who leverage what other make, NOT those who create the works).

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: How can "supports copyright" Mike NOT be for this?

Sure he has one: let the creators control who copies their work. Give the creator the right to sell (or give away) their work as they so please. Then enforce this right as we do other rights that protect cars, buildings and food. It’s simple. Just enforce the laws and put scofflaws like Kim Dotcom in jail.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: "Zakida Paul" seems to believe rest of world are wimps.

“Why do you believe that you can force your cultural, economic and military will on the rest of the world with impunity?”

Listen. Most important point is what Mike hisself writes above:

“This is the game that the copyright lobbyists play. They [CORPORATIONS] have strategies in countries all around the globe, pushing local laws, as well as various trade agreements, all with a single goal: constantly ratcheting copyright law and copyright enforcement upwards, with no care in the world for unintended consequences (or even if these policies do anything for their bottom line).”

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: "Zakida Paul" seems to believe rest of world are wimps.

WHOOPS. Premature click!

I was going on that CORPORATIONS are the true enemy you need to watch for. CORPORATIONS. The same ones that control the former United States control the former European countries.

CORPORATIONS. BANKERS. They’re behind the evil.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The sense of entitlement of the US astounds me.

Our sense of entitlement? You are the ones pirating American content. Stop stealing American content and I’ll bet you’d see an end to these laws.

Why do you believe that you can force your cultural, economic and military will on the rest of the world with impunity?

In many cases economic and military intervention comes from the fact that other parties are pussies that won’t step up to deal with a tangible threat or cheap fucks that won’t provide financial or humanitarian aid when needed. As far as culture, nothing is being forced on anyone. The world chooses to adopt American culture. The US can hardly be blamed for the stagnant, dull offerings of other countries. Maybe you should try innovating instead of copying us. Is that the drum you like to bang?

Leave the rest of the world to rule their own affairs and you worry about your own affairs.

You should follow your own advice instead of coming to this American website to whine and complain about matters in this country.

Anonymous Coward says:

the Spanish government, like so many others, should be ashamed of themselves and the way they just grab ankles at the behest of the USA entertainment industries wanting to dish out yet another fucking! the people of Spain are the ones that should take priority, not the USA in any shape or form!! i know exactly what the USA government and entertainment industries would say had Spain asked or even pressured a change in the law. they would have been told, in no uncertain terms, to fuck off! why does no other country have the balls to tell the USA the same??

relghuar says:

Good for Spain!

Well, with spanish economy being in such a top condition, I’m sure they can afford to lose one or two stupid internet companies that might decide to keep their meager business out of Spain… certainly all those happy movie studios will pump enough money in, as they’re well known to do all around the world!

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