Wednesday, 04 April 2012 12:49

Spain's Sinde Law Gives A Glimpse Into How Badly SOPA and PIPA Would Have Been Abused

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animal_farm-pigsIf you ever needed evidence of how badly laws like PIPA and SOPA (and of course ACTA) could and would be abused you have to look no further than some of the laws that are already in place. We have shown you how the lawyers for the entertainment industry have (and continue to do so) violated due process and circumvented even court orders to get what they want. Now we have Spain’s Sinde Law as a direct show of how eager the content “owners” are to pull down sites or simply make complaints.

Since the law’s enactment in January of this year (2012) there have been a total of 300 complaints (do the math that is about 100 per month) of which 79 have made their way to the Intellectual Property Committee who has the power to block the site at the ISP level. The problem with this setup is who are the people on the Committee and who do they report to? While the Sinde Law does appear to be an attempt at oversight by putting a committee in place and requiring them to contact the site owner to remove the infringing content we did not see anything that gives the site owner the right of rebuttal to the original accusation (it could be there, but we did not find it). This still means that an accusation is almost as good as a guilty verdict.

Many in Spain are annoyed (to put it mildly) about the law which they claim is little more than US corporate interests extending their power to another country (a sentiment that is shared by many).  Interestingly enough the SInde Law was actually passed last year in February 2011, but was never fully implemented. It was not fully enforced until the new “people’s” party took power in December 2011. This only adds fuel to the fire that this is law was only put into place under pressure from the US.

If a website does not comply with the original take down order, the IP Committee can block them at the ISP level for one year. Although we do not condone piracy in any form we still think that this type of law is both abusive and extreme. It also echoes the attempts that US content owners are trying to make in many other countries to lock down their business models and in many ways control the way you can use the Internet. We will keep our eye on this situation and see how things develop.

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Read 4067 times Last modified on Saturday, 07 April 2012 08:36

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