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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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    Just remember Guernica!

    I think "stuff" is about to happen, and the Spanish government is going to be covered in it!

     

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    Thomas (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:14am

    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.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    In the olden days, having an Empire was a more epic, battle-for-it and brave enterprise. Now it's all so sneaky :(

    Imagine how lame it would be if there was an Age of Empires VIII: Age of Corporatist Diplomatic Low-Profile Conquest.

     

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    Yogi, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    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.

     

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      photomatt (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:53am

      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.

       

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    ...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...

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      This, of course, proves that the varied entertainment industries have a say in how much they sell for and to whom; and apparently it's fashionable to crank the price up when selling to Spain.

      Pricing should be set by two things: competition and demand.

       

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    Steve R. (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    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.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    "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.

     

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    Lisae Boucher (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:41am

    You misspelled Wikileaks...

    Or is Wikleaks a new site doing something similar to Wikileaks? ;-)
    (Theck the title!)
    After all this time with Wikileaks being in full attention of the whole world, it appears as if some editors have fallen asleep, wikileaks-tired...

     

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    Emperor Sam, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:41am

    Dear Spain

    The Empire of the USA shall reign for then thousand years! Love, Your Masters

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Once again, America attempts at delayed imperialism by way of forceful changes to other countries.

    If the USA had existed 200 years earlier, it would have set up dozens of colonies in Africa to sate their thirst for slaves.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    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.

     

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    identicon
    Jason, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    "In response to desa threat

    ...mesa propose, that the Senate give immediately emergency powers to the Supreme Chancellor!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    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?

     

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      ac, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:52am

      Re:

      OMG. I hope we get to answer that question someday.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      Or perhaps just wrong for industry lobbyists to bribe politicians for favorable protectionist laws.

      But of course, those are your favorite kind.

       

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        Chargone (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re:

        ... for given values of 'protectionist' anyway... ridiculous monopolies and corporations are one thing. economic policies designed to actually promote Actual growth within a country are entirely different (and have Nothing to do with forcing things on Other countries, of course)

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      But that would imply that the laws aren't being written by lobbyists? How impossible would that be?

       

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      Jason, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

      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.

       

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    The eejit (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:48am

    So, basically, Assange is being persecuted....for stating the obvious. Wow. I never thought America would be that in violation of its own written constitution.

    The More You Know(R)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 9:11am

    ..ACTA.

    According to the UK paper Q&A Wikileaks have documents regarding ACTA aswell, be nice if those included some moneytrails.
    I have no doubt a substantial amount of money changed hands in order to pave way for ACTA.

     

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      nevtelen gyava, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 11:57am

      Re: ..ACTA.

      I think more like threats like "... it would be shame for all those fine exports to US to decrease because of such a minor misunderstanding... "

       

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    iNtrigued (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    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.

     

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      Steve R. (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 10:17am

      Re: Now lets bring it down a notch

      I would suspect that if WikiLeaks were an Equal Opportunity discloser that every country would have the same type of incriminating material.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 10:50am

      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.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 4:03pm

    Also New Zeeland laws where wrote by the U.S.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 5:36pm

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

    Why would you even mention this Mike, everybody already knows that lobbyists write the laws. This is nothing new or even noteworthy anymore.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:17pm

    Spain was, at a certain point in history, the biggest empire in the world. They stole all the gold from Latin America and got rich on the shoulders of African slaves. Today Spain is a 3rd world country inserted in Europe.

    And if that's not enough, they have become a US lap dog.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Dec 7th, 2010 @ 12:42am

      Re:

      "Today Spain is a 3rd world country inserted in Europe."

      *citation needed*

      The economy might not be so good, but there's many aspects of life in Spain that beat the US hands down. Yes, I have lived in both countries.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    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"

     

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    Darryl, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    of course -

    by all means
    certainly
    definitely
    indeed
    indubitably
    naturally
    obviously
    surely
    undoubtedly
    withou t 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......

     

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      PaulT (profile), Dec 8th, 2010 @ 2:14am

      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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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:28pm

      Re: of course -

      Wow, Darryl, that was really quite brave of you to admit that you don't know how to read. We'll get you some help ASAP.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    This comment goes to Anonymus coward:

    "Today Spain is a 3rd world country inserted in Europe."

    As far as I know, Spain is the 8th world economy (FMI data from 2009)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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