SPAIN’S long-awaited anti-downloading legislation has finally come into force, and as may be expected is already causing controversy.
Dubbed the Sinde-Wert law – after the two ministers involved in putting it in place – the law was brought in by Royal Decree on March 1.
It aims to crackdown on the country’s rampant illegal downloading problem and could see sites trading in pirated material shut down within 10 days of a complaint.
But the new culture minister Jose Ignacio Wert – whose name is attached to the law – has insisted that while the new regulations are ‘an important ingredient’ they are still not enough to fix the problems affecting the film industry.
Meanwhile, the law’s apparent ‘ineffectiveness’ has already been put to the test.
On the first day it was in place Eme Navarro, a musician and member of the General Society of Authors (SGAE), presented a petition to the
Committee against 210 different websites. All included a link to a copyrighted song composed specifically for the purpose.
The initiative – promoted by the protest group Hacktivistas – aims to test the strength of the new law which states the commission will investigate every complaint and can shut down any site that violates copyright.
This latest protest follows years of debate over the implementation of the law which proved so divisive the previous Socialist government decided to pass the problem on to the next government which approved the law within days of taking power.