Spain Passes Piracy Law
Spain has been on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's watch list of countries with weak intellectual property rules, but that may change now that Spain's newly elected government has passed the Sinde law designed to fight piracy by Spanish citizens.
The law creates a Spanish Intellectual Property Commission that will field complaints about infringing web sites. This commission will have the authority to send a complaint to a judge to decide whether the site should be shut down completely. The entire process, according to reports by the BBC and the Washington Post, is designed to take ten days or less.
The law is nick-named the Sinde law after minister of culture Ángeles González-Sinde and is similar to the U.S. proposed anti-piracy legislation in that it calls for sites hosting infringing materials to be blocked by ISPs, and allows for review of the claim by a judge before a site is taken down, which is a provision in the revised version of SOPA.
The Spanish bill is different from SOPA in that it has a national focus; Spanish sites accused of illegal sharing are the focus, whereas the focus of SOPA is on non-U.S. web sites. In addition, the Sinde law does not include requiring advertising, financial and search service providers to block the infringing site.