For over a decade, Spain has harbored file-shares and has been lenient in handling cases involving illegal file sharing. In most of these cases, P2P indexing sites were declared to be operating legally. However, the new Partido Popular (People’s Party) government in Spain has passed the Sinde Law within two weeks of coming in power. This law will let copyright holders claim the takedown of a website, and the claim will be acted upon within ten days.
The passing of the Sinde Law was influenced by the United States after Spain’s decade-long liberal stance on file sharing. According to WikiLeaks, the US Government drafted the law on behalf of the Spanish Government. BoingBoing reported this last month saying,
Spain’s Congress is about to vote on a new and extremely harsh copyright/Internet law. It is an open secret that the law was essentially drafted by American industry groups working with the US trade representative.
The Spanish Government believes that this law is at par, with “international standards in the fight against piracy”. If a copyright holder fails to identify the owner of a website with infringing content, he may ask the court to compel service providers and telephone companies to give up the details of such an owner. Twitter reactions on the bill can be found at the hashtags #RedResiste and #noalapirateria.
As more and more governments push their own versions of censorship bills, the Internet will have too many masters to please. The passing of the Sinde Law will also help the US observe if SOPA might turn out to be fruitful.