The Spanish government has approved tough new legislation which could see websites deemed to be trading in pirated material blocked within ten days.
The Spanish government has approved tough new legislation which could see websites deemed to be trading in pirated material blocked within ten days. The legislation creates a government body with powers to force internet service providers to block sites.It comes as the US plans to adopt similar tough new rules.
The crackdown on piracy has been welcomed by the creative industries but criticised by net activists.Under the Sinde Law, named after the former Spanish culture minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, rightholders can report websites hosting infringing content to a newly created government commission.
The intellectual property commission will decide whether it wants to take action against an infringing site or the ISPs providing infrastructure to it, and the case will then be passed to a judge to rule on whether the site should be shut down.
The aim is to complete the process within 10 days.
The Spanish government said that the legislation was necessary to bring it in line with international crackdowns on piracy. Deputy PM Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said that the aim of the law was "to safeguard intellectual property, boost our culture industries and protect the rights of owners, creators and others in the face of the lucrative plundering of illegal downloading sites."
Opposition has been strong in Spain, with bloggers, journalists and tech professionals staging a series of protests, including writing an anti-Sinde manifesto.