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Spain passes anti-piracy law to come into effect in March

New official committee will have authority to prosecute copyright infringing websites.

After a long decade with disastrous consequences for the cultural industry, Spain has finally approved a law to fight rampant Internet piracy.

Spain’s new Government, the People’s Party, has waited just two weeks to approve, with very little modifications, the same law that the latest socialist leaders redacted but did not pass. The law is popularly named as ‘Sinde’ after the last minister of culture, filmmaker Angeles González Sinde.

The new law reinforces the concept of intellectual property and creates a new Official Committee that will have the authority to prosecute internet sites that offer cultural content without the rights to do so. The law does not punish those individuals who download illegally.

The law establishes that a judge must order the shutdown of a suspicious website after the recommendation of the Committee and gives a maximum of 10 days to have it shuttered. Illegal websites will have two days after the requirement to close without any fine or consequence.

The passage of the law comes just a few days after the new minister of Culture, José Ignacio Wert, said that: “We are going to fight with energy against those who use intellectual property to make money illegally. We are going to stop the plundering against creators in order to make culture an element of economic dynamism”.

The Government also announced the elimination of the controversial copyright levies that have been added to CDs and other media; a new tax will compensate creators instead.

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