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Spain's latest 'Ley Sinde' revision

Thu 14th Apr 2011

Following numerous meetings and debate, a revision of the Sustainable Economy Law (also known as the 'ley Sinde'), has laid down a procedure to whereby content found to be in breach of copyright law can be removed from the internet, has now been sent to the Spanish Parliament for approval.

The Act was approved by the Senate after making a number of revisions, which included allowing the Intellectual Property Commission (IPCom) to close down websites. Under the current version of the law, the powers of the IPCom are increased as it now requires that previous judicial authorisation before a request for data can be sent to the relevant internet service provider (ISP).

Under the terms of the revised 'ley Sinde', the procedure in shutting down an offending website is as follows :

1. When a website is believed to have infringed copyright law, the rightful owner should request that the IPCom initiates proceedings against the offender. The IPCom will contact the website or ISP, informing them of the alleged infringement and request them to remove the content in question, or give their reasons for not doing so.

2. The ISP will be given 48 hours to voluntarily comply with the request to remove the content in question, or to submit an appeal in writing giving the reasons as to why it should remain.

3. The IPCom will then have a further 48 hours to consider their decision.

4.All parties concerned will then be given a further 5 days to submit their reports.

5. The IPCom will then have 3 days to decide whether the website should be closed down.

6. The IPCom's decision on this matter is legally binding and, if the complaint is upheld, any offending website found to be in breach of copyright law will be given 48 hours to comply with the IPCom's decision. If any such website does not adhere to this decision, the case will be brought before the Court of Contentious Administrative Proceedings.

'Ley Sinde' remains largely unpopular in Spain with both website owners and internet users alike, who criticise the act for breaching certain human rights.

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