Spain Kills Anti-Piracy Laws
News like this makes me a little sick, but according to Variety.com, it looks like it’s really true and Spain’s parliament has reportedly thrown out long-awaited anti-piracy legislation — prompting a furious reaction from its local film industry.
Part of a Sustainable Economy Bill, the anti-piracy regulations would have represented the first major move by a Spanish government to crack down on the country’s rampant piracy problem. But, after an eight-hour delay in final resolution, the regulations were ultimately rejected by a Congress Parliamentary Economy and Tax Commission. They apparently lost out by a very narrow margin of only 20 votes to 18.
Not surprisingly, Spain’s film industry has reacted with fury, citing the move as the cowardice of Spain’s political classes, more concerned about attracting Spain’s youth vote than protecting IP rights.
Producer Agustin Almodovar wrote in El Pais that The Sinde Law debacle was an act of “direct aggression which curtails (Spain’s) rule of law,” forcing him to postpone the premiere of Pedro Almodovar’s “La piel que habito” to the fall and day-and-date its release worldwide, he added.
Novelist Javier Marias had this say:
“Spain’s parliamentarians fear delinquents. What’s worse, they don’t fear being murdered by delinquents, like in Mexico, but simply that the delinquents won’t vote for them.”
In another report at Arstechnica.com, it looks like the move may be of even bigger concern to the US, who has been pushing for Spain to clamp down on its downloading problem. Spain has become notorious among filmmakers and rightsholders for its levels of online piracy. International music trade group IFPI said earlier this year that Spain “has one of the highest rates of illegal file-sharing in Europe” and that “sales by local artists in the top 50 have fallen by an estimated 65 percent between 2004 and 2009.”
They also report that Wikileaks has access to some of the cables sent back and forth from the US to Spain, showing that the US threatened to put Spain on its “Special 301” intellectual property watchlist. Baffling to me is the part of the report that makes this sound like a bad thing though.
Maybe it’s because I work somewhat in the field of entertainment, but I think piracy is wrong. I have never, not once, downloaded a movie in my life and I don’t intend to. These are products of people’s hard work and I don’t think anyone should get them for free.
Follow me on Twitter @mokibobolink