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Internet piracy laws may close websites in just 4 days

Mon 11th Jan 2010

The go-ahead has been given to the Spanish Government's proposal to shut down websites that have been found to be infringing copyright law.

The proposal is that the Ministry for Culture would oversee a new regulatory body called the Intellectual Property Commission, and collect information regarding any such copyright infringements to be presented to the National Court - which could then decide to close the website down within four days or to order that its content be removed. The website owner will be consulted at the time of the initial complaint and will also have the right to appeal should the site be blocked.

This new legislation has been introduced as part of the new Sustainable Economy Law which is currently undergoing changes. Minister for Justice, Fernando Caamaño, stated how this new legislation would allow anybody to make a complaint which would be investigated prior to a judge making a ruling so that any appropriate action could be made. He mentioned how a change to the ‘Judicial Power Organic Law' would also be required in what would be ‘the most agile way of dealing with the problem while protecting fundamental rights'.

There have already been complaints issued by various internet users associations, stating how the proposed changes to the law, despite the intended targets being piracy content, are simply a short cut that could result in the closure of many popular and useful websites.

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