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Spain's Sinde law echoes SOPA, takes pirate sites offline after commission review

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Spain approved a new anti-piracy law today that creates a commission that can close websites that distribute infringing content. It's known as the Sinde law.

Congresso de los Diputados Spain (Flickr)
Congresso de los Diputados Spain (Flickr)

The Spanish government has passed an anti-piracy law that offers a way for copyright holders to have sites that illegally host content and those that link to them (read: trackers) taken down. It's known as the "Sinde law" after the Spanish culture minister who originally pushed it, and it creates a commission headed by the Secretary of Culture that receives and investigates claims from copyright owners against websites. Once the commission reaches a decision (hopefully within ten days of receiving the complaint), a judge will look over the finding and, if the site owners can be contacted, request that the infringing material be removed or the site shut down. If that's not possible, the judge will be able to order ISPs and other web hosts to have the site taken offline. That seems to offer a little bit more protection from overzealous abuse than the controversial SOPA bill in the US, but it's not clear how these pulldowns will work on a technical level or how they'll affect the broader internet. Unfortunately, none of that appears to have been a concern for Spanish lawmakers, so it looks like we'll just have to find out in practice.

Image Credit: rjhuttondfw (Flickr)