Spain Admits New Copyright Law Is Designed To Keep It Off US's 'Naughty' List

from the stand-up-for-yourself,-spain dept

We’ve covered the ridiculous situation in Spain, where the government, which has much more reasonable copyright laws (for example, they didn’t blame service providers for actions of their users), was put under tremendous pressure from US officials to “fix” copyright law in the way that Hollywood wanted. There were widespread public protests, and even the head of the Spanish Film Academy protested what appeared to be an attack on the internet. This delayed the bill for a year or so, but last year, a new Spanish government rushed through the approval of the bill with almost no debate. That led the USTR to remove Spain from the silly and meaningless Special 301 list of “naughty” countries (as defined by Hollywood and laundered through the USTR).

Then, even though Spain bent over and basically gave the US everything it wanted, Hollywood bitched and complained again… and said that Spain needed to be put back on the list. Yes, because the very law that Hollywood wanted didn’t actually do what they’d hoped (shocker, there). So now they want an even more draconian law, and the Spanish government appears to have rolled right over and said “sure.” The new law will include many of the provisions that the US itself rejected when SOPA was dumped. It’ll put tremendous burdens on intermediaries and service providers, which will inevitably mean fewer of those providers, which is exactly the opposite of what the entertainment industry needs right now.

And now, in a move that will surprise almost no one, the country’s Education and Culture Minister Jose Ignacio Wert has more or less admitted that they’re trying to stay off the Special 301 list with this new law. This is a mistake. A big mistake. Canada has taken the official position that it does not recognize the Special 301 list as being legitimate, because it comes from a corrupt process. Spain should stand up for itself and take a similar position, rather than be bullied and pushed around like this. Just the fact that they already passed the law that the US wanted a year ago and the US is already back for more should set off alarm bells: Hollywood is never going to be satisfied. Spain should stop trying to please Hollywood and the USTR and focus on doing what’s actually for the best.

I’ll actually be in Spain in a few weeks talking about some of this stuff, which should be interesting. Just as some other countries appear to be moving in the right direction with copyright law, it would be a shame if Spain continued to move in the opposite direction, harming its own internet economy.

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Comments on “Spain Admits New Copyright Law Is Designed To Keep It Off US's 'Naughty' List”

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ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No tin required. Some fool is paying him to complain about copyright and he’s far too dishonest and ashamed to ever reveal who it is.

I am paying him, and I’m no fool. There are a bunch of us paying him. Every “insider” is paying him.

For someone who comes in here and complains about people using stuff without paying for it, you sure seem to be doing a lot of complaining and not much paying for Techdirt.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Odds of full disclosure on this point: 0%.”

You don’t need any disclosure. Mike doesn’t owe you any disclosure. This is a Tech Blog OPINION site. Only fools and those with clinical obsession (that would be you) would continually come to a site that was such obvious anathema to them.

Example: I have no interest in Martha Stewart-type of homemaking stuff. Just not into it, makes me itchy and like I want to run away FAST just thinking about having to spend any time on the subject. Do I go frequent such sites, poking my nose in and whining like a 2 year old that the site isn’t up to MY standards, isn’t being run how I think it should be, and isn’t handling the topics how I feel they SHOULD be? No. I just don’t fucking go to the damn site. I don’t get obsessed and take some kind of infantile personal insult that the site exists for those people and get all bent about whomever runs it. Only idiots do that.

Oh wait…

gnudist says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And the journalism he does do is quite good. Really, trying to “follow the money” is just a way for you to attack mike when you don’t have valid counterpoints to what Mike has said.

Now, in the case of the MPAA the data they put out thends towards demonstrably flawed so it’s fair to point it out.

Mike on the other hand has solid figures to back himself up and unlike the MPAA is willing to aknowledge a good point by the “other side” so it’s ultimately irrelevant if google is using him in the same way you hide behind the “anonymous coward” mask

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“This is a Tech Blog OPINION site.”

No it’s not if it was Masnick would not trump out ‘facts’ to support his opinion, or link previous articles as fact.

it’s the “see I said it before so it must be true” bullshit masnick plays.

Like this article, Spain did not ADMIT any such thing, yet he refers to previous articles where he has said they have, and if you finally do find mansicks “source” you find it is yet another blog from someone else.

So by the time you read it here, it’s been reported on the report on the report on the report on a news article that is a report in itself.

Masnick just ‘translates’ when he ‘thinks’ via his bias engine, and then just makes out and out lies.

Like the
“International Intellectual property alliance (IIPA) gets translated into “US Officials”, controlled by who else “Hollywood”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

no, I am saying that the IIPA is controlled by the IIPA, and that ME,, NOR YOU really have a clue who is ‘controlling’ it, except for the facts you can actually find out about it.

and from those FACTS it is NOT clear it is controlled by ANYONE one group, or area or industry. You don’t know, you just take whatever bullshit masnick feeds you and eat it up like it’s ice cream.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“IIPA?s seven member associations represent over 3,200 U.S. companies producing and distributing materials protected by copyright laws throughout the world?all types of computer software, including business applications software, entertainment software (interactive games for videogame consoles, handheld devices, personal computers and the Internet), and educational software; theatrical films, television programs, DVDs and home video and digital representations of audiovisual works; music, records, CDs, and audiocassettes; and fiction and non-fiction books, education instructional and assessment materials, and professional and scholarly journals, databases and software in all formats.”

I don’t see “Hollywood” written there once.

Does Hollywood control “fiction and non-fiction books”, or “assessment materials”, or “professional and scholarly journals, or databases or software.

IIPA REPRESENTS some 3200 U.S companies producting and distributing materials protected by LAWS throughout the world.

one of the IIPA sponsors is the INDY film industry, an industry Masnick is OFTEN trumping up as specifically NOT HOLLYWOOD.

So my ‘claim’ is that the facts do not support your claim, or masnicks bias. My claim is that I base my statements on those facts, and not on some bias or bullshit that I want you to believe.

I don’t give a flying fuck what you think or believe, I do care that at least what is said has some basis in fact.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“IIPA?s seven member associations represent… theatrical films, television programs, DVDs and home video”

“I don’t see “Hollywood” written there once.”

Are you that blinded by your own inane obsession with attacking one person? How does that list not include Hollywood?

“one of the IIPA sponsors is the INDY film industry”

Huh? Unless you’d like to define “INDY” for us, since the very meaning of that word makes your argument idiotic (albeit, you did misspell the abbreviation). Hint: it means independent, which has many connotations, at least one of which means it can’t be a part of any sponsor organisation.

“I do care that at least what is said has some basis in fact.”

Perhaps if you brought some instead of acting like a child on his 14th tantrum of the day at kindergarten? At least try pretending to be an intelligent adult, even if you don’t agree with what’s being said.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, since you won’t accept an outsider’s opinion (yet feel no shame in offering your own – less informed – opinion), let me offer the opinion of someone who actually lives there.

Most of the actions we’ve seen recently have been in DIRECT response to the US’s demands. Most of them have been in DIRECT opposition to the traditional Spanish way of doing things, which is a culture largely uninterested in censorship and oppression, especially where art is (Google the Franco era if you can’t work out why).

Even if there’s no direct proof, the correlation is quite obvious – and idiots like yourself offer no alternate evidence as to why the assumption that they’re related is wrong. This should be where you inject facts and alternate viewpoints into the discussion – yet, you only offer misdirection, lies and distortions along with your childish personal attacks.

Meanwhile, of course, the morons in charge of the US corporations making the demands refuse to do something simply – like, say, letting Netflix service the Spanish market, or making videogames affordable in a country with record youth unemployment (yet, DVDs and games are usually between 25 – 50% more expensive in Spain compared to the UK, sometimes double, encouraging an import market as well as piracy). Literally, if the industry would stop trying to rip the Spanish market off, they wouldn’t have to worry about piracy – yet, locals are unable to access even a fraction of the legal content that Americans can.

“Masnick just ‘translates’ when he ‘thinks’ via his bias engine, and then just makes out and out lies.”

No, that’s you. If you’re going to act like a raging lying asshole, at least have the honesty to admit it. Offer actual counterpoints, or admit you’re even less interested in facts and honesty than the people you attack.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Why should Spain care?

So…is there any reason Spain should even be concerned about the US Naughty list? Are we threatening to sanction Spain if media piracy rises above a certain threshold?

I think Canada has it right: the naughty list is stupid.

Our media empire (that is, of the US) is being a total bunch of asshats and really deserves no cooperation.

Keep your censorship-free culture and shine for the rest of us, as here in the US the MPAA makes sure we don’t do anything particularly profound or upsetting.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

When I was a kid, I got extorted into giving up my lunch money by one of the neighborhood kids. And of course he’d just find different excuses for my paying up when the old ones ran out.

It may be hypocritical of me to be critical of Spain for reacting the same way I did, but it seems to me that their entire government is collectively no braver, wiser or more worldly than a wimpy 10-year-old nerd facing a bully.

And they’re not even being threatened with being BEAT UP. They’re being threatened with being CALLED NAMES.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Not public domain – it’s still fully copyrighted as far as I’m aware. Mike just doesn’t obsessively attack anyone using it, and has even written articles explaining why he doesn’t mind people sharing.

One of the many points the trolls miss around here is that the existence of copyright isn’t usually what’s criticised – it’s its abuse and the corporate pushing of it away from its original purpose.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

No one is entitled to such protections and I do hate when people get something from the government that they shouldn’t be entitled to. I hate IP law and would like it abolished.

IP law should not exist to protect creations it should only exist to promote the progress. Arguably the biggest reason I want these laws abolished is because they are now intended for something other than serving a public interest, their purpose is no longer social utility but it’s to protect someone’s creations and to defend their alleged rights. No, it’s only purpose should be the public interest. Abolish IP. Posts like yours is the biggest reason I’m against IP, because you have perverted its intent into something it should never be.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just as some other countries appear to be moving in the right direction with copyright law, it would be a shame if Spain continued to move in the opposite direction, harming its own internet economy.

So are you saying that nations not on the list are harming their economies? And nations that are on the list have faster growing, more robust economies?

If so, my response is: Citation needed.

Anonymous Coward says:

was put under tremendous pressure from US officials to “fix” copyright law in the way that Hollywood wanted.


“International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) has recommended the United States Trade Representative put the country back on a so-called watch list after removing it last year.”

So being taken off the list LAST YEAR, is somehow translated into “tremendous pressure from US officials”

Come back to reality Masnick!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

News Flash: It takes at LEAST a year for such legislation to ever wind its way through to become a new law, so being taken off the list a few months before it passes? Not that shocking. The US could see Spain was keeping it’s part of the deal, so they dropped them off the list. The ‘tremendous pressure from US officials’ has been documented on this site. Good luck.

Anonymous Coward says:

3 hidden post 😮 damn Mike dey be flamin ju today.

Alright seriously though Spain needs to tell Hollywood to fuck off. If they had things their way North Korea would be the most free country in the world today.

My list of evil.

1. out_of_the_blue
2. Hollywood
3. The Government
4. Satan
5. Hitler
6. Bob Dole /s
7. Bill O’Reilly
8. Faux
9. North Korea
10. The creator of captcha.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A few reasons. First of all, many of the businesses aren’t US or Spanish or whatever, they’re international conglomerates. Many of them happen to be headquartered in the US, but they also control large chunks of Spanish industry – and that means employment and various other things that people do care about. Spanish officials taking a true stand might find jobs and taxes disappearing – not something the Spanish economy can support right now.

On top of that, like most democracies, the politicians are often in the game to line their own pockets over and above the needs of the people they represent. Spanish politics is full of corruption – even the royal family is being touched by corruption charges at the moment. It’s not hard to see why large chunks of American-backed money might sway a politician’s opinion toward corporate need and away from his constituents. Especially when he can pretend that the money is to be used to ally the nation with people who might help fix the monetary problems facing the country as a whole.

special-interesting (profile) says:

Ahhh. That slippery slope. Ironic that a government can witness and experience it in the same way citizens do. Rare is the observation though. Its a good point.

Its also nice that Spain has enough transparency in government to show this internal conflict. Very healthy. The US should learn from Spain not the other way around in this area. Expect huge pressure to continue further discussion behind a curtain of FUD and secrecy.

It would be likely be wise if Spain quietly ignored the 301 list. Nicer still would be a public deceleration of the obvious nonsense it is. Either option would be better than acquiescing/appeasing to any Hollywood based reasoning. There is no satisfying a (copyright in this case) monopoly. It just does not happen. No way!

In reality Spain might be being held in check by threats from US and whatever other nation or international organizations fallen victim to the siren call of Hollywood.

Suggestions to improve copywrong to copyright in Spain might be to keep term limits around 14-28 years (with reapplications every 5yrs until 40 for treaty reasons. Hope treaties can be revised soon also.) and expand on Fair Use Rights. Good luck to Spain and its citizens.

Did Canada really toss the Special 301 list? I am so proud of them! With the US government basically purchased by Hollywood special interest groups that had to be a hard thing to do. Being bullied by someone bigger than you is never a pleasant thing.


In history there is so much evidence that open government with no secrecy benefits positively both society and its culture. Its an unarguable point to such an extent that if one does it mean there is something else going. The red lights and loud horns of legitimate suspicion light up. The Constitution is (was?) a great example of why authoritarian rule is bad for a nation.

In history there are so many examples that monopolies get in the way of every type or way of a nations development of technology, innovation in any form and not the least the growth of its culture and society of such development. To let monopolies control all of media and intellectual works (did not say property as this does not apply to ideas) is more like national suicide. In the US they fought off Steel, Oil and Railroad monopolies. (among others)

A society that bases its culture on developing new ways to communicate along with new technology to do so would definitely provide new opportunities and growth not available to ANY, otherwise based, anthill society.

In the US there might be the problem that every citizen imagines themselves as the queen bee or queen ant and on top of things. Such an illusion is as unwise as wrong. (Only one ring to rule them all…) Its important to admit that we live and share gossip and ideas alike. The format is supposed to be irrelevant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Any country that isn’t on the 301 list should make it a matter of national pride and government policy to ensure that they do at least the minimum necessary to appear on the list and preferably aim for the number one spot.
Even if that means supporting access for the blind or exemptions to copyright for educational purposes, you know, the really whacky stuff.

Aussie Geoff (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Agreed!! The sooner every country in the world is on the list the better.

Maybe, just maybe, the US will finally realize that all other countries are sovereign identities and have the right to determine their own laws and other countries (maybe not the politicians) don’t give a shit about the US and its “Laws”.

As a side benefit, everyone would have a convenient list of all countries, except the US (maybe), on hand at all times.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Maybe, just maybe, the US will finally realize that all other countries are sovereign identities and have the right to determine their own laws and other countries (maybe not the politicians) don’t give a shit about the US and its “Laws”.

Yeah, but I’ll bet you give a shit about the US and its “trade”. And that’s what countries fear. Most countries won’t protect freeloaders if it impacts their economies.

edinjapan (profile) says:

Spain, kiss your domestic movie/TV industry goodbye

Mike, while you are in Spain why don’t you tell them if they buckle under for the US on copyright it will be only a matter of time before they’ll be turning over all their assets, rights and IP for the domestic industry to Hollywood.

People will waffle about the little stuff but when you say “Do/Don’t do this or that and you will lose any domestic movie, TV or other industry in the country and all the profits and benefits thereof.” people will sit up, take notice and take action.

It’s like the TPP?US farmers have just said they want full access to the Japanese rice and beef markets (no tariffs, no quotas and no subsidies for the Japanese farmers) and I’m wondering how long it will be before Abe backpeddles on this suicidal (for the LDP) treaty.

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