How Wikileaks Killed Spain‚Äôs Anti-P2P Law
Spain last night killed a controversial anti-P2P bill that would have made it easier to shut down websites that link to infringing content. The move was a blow to the ruling Socialist government, but it may be of even bigger concern to the US, which pushed, threatened, and cajoled Spain to clamp down on downloading. And Wikileaks can take a share of the credit for the defeat.
Known as the ‚ÄúSinde law‚ÄĚ (ley Sinde) after Spain‚Äôs current culture minister, the bill was actually an amendment to a much broader economic rescue package known as the Sustainable Economy Bill. The Sinde law would have set up a new government committee that could draw up lists of sites which largely link to infringing content. These sites would then go to a Madrid court, which would have four days to rule on whether they should be fully or partially blocked.
Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have access to some of the cables sent from the US Embassy in Spain, and they show just how the US gets things done in other countries. Spanish daily El Pais reported on these cables at length and made them front-page news in Spain; for English-speaking readers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a helpful summary.
The ‚Äúa Madrid court‚ÄĚ referenced in the article is the Audiencia Nacional de Espa√Īa, which recently also got a little extra attention through cables released by WikiLeaks: guardian.co.uk guardian.co.uk elpais.com