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Spanish legislators reject proposals to shut down file-sharing sites

Before Christmas, the Spanish House of Representatives has rejected new legislation under which hundreds of file-sharing sites that are currently operating legally, could have been shut down. The rejection is seen as a victory for the tens of thousands of Internet users who launched many protests in recent months, reports TorrentFreak. But the news come as a disappointment to proponents of the legislation, including the entertainment industries and the US Government.

Traditionally, Spain has been one of the few countries where courts have affirmed that P2P-sites operate legally. In an attempt to change this, the Spanish Government recently proposed new legislation under which sites offering links to copyright works could be taken offline without a judicial order.

The legislation, an amendment which is part of the Sustainable Economy Law (LES), was drafted by Minister of Culture Ángeles González-Sinde and assisted by the United States government. However, in recent months the proposed legislation, also known as ‘The Sinde Act’, has been widely protested by the public.

In a final attempt to get the amendment rejected, the country’s leading file-sharing sites went down voluntarily. The websites of Cinetube, DivxTotal, Mydescarga, Peliculasyonkis, Series Danko, Seriespepito, Seriesyonkis and SuBTorrent took down their regular content and replaced it with the following message: If theSinde law is passed, this page will disappear. The Internet is a TV again, the service of power. For freedom of expression on the Net No censorship. Sinde not the law. No to the closure of sites.

After a lengthy debate the House of Representatives decided to adopt the Sustainable Economy Law, but reject the controversial amendment. The law will now go to the Senate without the amendment that would allow for the shutdown of P2P sites.

Representatives of the entertainment industries have voiced their disappointment in the press. The president of anti-piracy organization Promusicae regretted the decision of the Government and said that the creative industry has been left for dead, while file-sharing ‘thieves’ get protection.

For the Minister of Culture, the failure to get the amendment approved may have some serious consequences. Both the entertainment industries and people on the pro-filesharing side have already called for the resignation of Ángeles González-Sinde. (Source: TorrentFreak)

Story filed 02.01.11

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