Thanks to tremendous
pressure from the US entertainment industry and the US government, Spain passed the Sinde law
, putting in place a Spanish version of SOPA that creates a blacklist of naughty sites to be burned at the stake... or, failing that, have access blocked by ISPs. The Sinde law has been in effect for a month, and Spain's Ministry of Culture has admitted to receiving over 300 complaints
calling for the death of 79 sites. The copyright commission is investigating the allegations and has not yet shut down any sites. Either way, this gives you a sense of the entitlement feeling of many in the industry. Given the chance (and the original SOPA gave them the chance), they will claim all sorts of horrible things about very useful services -- and then order them shut down. We know, for a fact, that takedown systems like the DMCA get regularly abused. Expanding such powers by allowing for the complete closure of sites is something that will be widely abused too. Complaints targeting so many sites upfront certainly suggests that the law itself is quite problematic.
Make no mistake about it. This new law is a censorship law, that allows private parties to make claims that could lead to competitors being knocked offline. The Spanish public was against it, as were many politicians. But the supporters of the bill finally got it through, and the fallout is a big bureaucracy and lots of accusations flying -- accusations that may never be dealt with in a real trial. Letting private companies effectively run a system for censorship, and seeing it being used in action, should worry most people. Unfortunately, "most people" seems to exclude the big copyright industry players and the politicians they love.