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Spain Outlaws P2P File-Sharing 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the nobody-expects-the-spanish-p2p-ban dept.
Section_Ei8ht writes "Spanish Congress has made it a civil offense to download anything via p2p networks, and a criminal offense for ISP's to allow users to file-share, even if the use is fair. There is also to be a tax on all forms of blank media, including flash memory drives. I guess the move towards distributing films legally via BitTorrent is a no go in Spain." Here is our coverage of the tax portion of this law.
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Spain Outlaws P2P File-Sharing

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  • WoW (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:07AM (#15626070) Journal
    Isn't WoW patching done via P2P?

    Also if you want to really push the boat out they've now made it illegal to play online games, since they work in a way you could argue is P2P in some cases.
    • Re:WoW (Score:2, Informative)

      by QuantumG (50515)
      Yes, yes they are [penny-arcade.com]. It's a simple case of selective enforcement. Spainards will have to download their WoW patches via P2P safe in the knowledge that Blizzard will not sue them.
      • Not About Lawsuits (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dwandy (907337)
        Spainards will have to download their WoW patches via P2P safe in the knowledge that Blizzard will not sue them.
        Except with ISPs on the hook, I suspect that 100% of P2P traffic will be blocked (at least 100% of identifiable P2P traffic).
        So it's not a question of whether you're afraid of getting sued by Blizzard: The patch simply won't come down the pipe.
    • Re:WoW (Score:5, Informative)

      by MoonFog (586818) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:20AM (#15626125)
      To be fair, the article starts with; A Spanish intellectual property law has finally banned unauthorized peer-to-peer file-sharing in Spain, making it a civil offense even to download content for personal use.

      I assume the patches would fall under "authorized peer-to-peer file-sharing".
      • Re:WoW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Arker (91948) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:30AM (#15626152) Homepage
        The article also mentions forcing ISPs to block P2P traffic. Routers have no way of knowing if it's authorised or not. Sounds to me like an enourmous amount of perfectly legal filesharing will be shutdown here. Then on top of that, there's the media tax. "The money collected will be paid back to the owner of the copyright" my ass. If I burn a CD of my own copyrighted works, will I get the tax refunded? If you burn a GNU/Linux cd, do you think the copyright holders are going to get paid by the Spanish government? I really don't think so.
        • Re:WoW (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MoonFog (586818) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:34AM (#15626164)
          It wouldn't be the first time an article has interpreted something wrong. Blocking P2P traffic is virtually impossible, we all know that. I'm not saying it's not a stupid law, it is, but to me, this article doesn't really clarify just what has been banned and what will be legal. As we've established, companies like Blizzard are using P2P to get their patches distributed (that Penny Arcade cartoon on the issue is hilarious). Perhaps if someone could post the actual text or a translation of it so we don't have to interpret an article that tries to interpret a law which again comes off in a mind-blowing Slashdot header.
          • Re:WoW (Score:4, Informative)

            by LocoMan (744414) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:52AM (#15627133) Homepage
            I was thinking the same thing. I'm trying to find the actual text of the law on the spaniars news outlets but no luck so far. There are lots of talk about the blank media tax (but IIRC they were already talking about it when I went there on vacations about 2 years ago) but nothing on P2P. It also strikes me odd that the government would require ISPs to block all P2P traffic considering that the RTVE (the national radio/TV, kinda like the BBC but from Spain) is actually using P2P to transfer some of its content online (source: http://www.aristasweb.net/noticias.php?idn=4024&cl ase=100 [aristasweb.net] , but it's in spanish).
          • Re:WoW (Score:3, Interesting)

            by epiphani (254981)
            Blocking P2P traffic is virtually impossible, we all know that.

            I would beg to differ - Rogers in canada has been doing quite a good job of blocking all bittorrent traffic, encrypted and nonencrypted. They just recently put into play heuristic pattern matching to catch the encrypted traffic.

            Not saying it doesnt suck. People are talking about a class-action suit against rogers.
        • by mrcaseyj (902945) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @05:26AM (#15626584)
          Great idea! Linux distributors should register as copyright holders so they can get their cut of the media taxes!
        • Wrong Wrong Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Thomas Miconi (85282) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @06:15AM (#15626667)
          The amount of crap that gets modded +5 insightful on /. is annoying enough in general, but when it comes to IP / P2P topics it really jumps through the roof. Here is a bit of information for those of us who have not yet been assimilated into the "information wants to be free" crowd.

          1- The law explicitly bans "unauthorized P2P". Authorized P2P, despite the submitter's misleading assertions, is not concerned.

          2- The blank levy is not a compensation for massive, indiscriminate filesharing on P2P networks. Rather, it is a compensation for the (perfectly legal) private, physical copying and sharing of copyrighted works, within the circle of family and close friends, and in low numbers, which I understand is definitely allowed in Spain. France and Canada have a similar scheme.

          Basically you're allowed to make a few private copies, and in return you pay a bit more for your blank CDs. The money is they redistributed to registered copyright owners, proportionally to the royalties they earn from other, more easily quantifiable sources (sales, public performances, etc.). Not perfect, but that's the best way they could find. It certainly sucks for those of us who use CD for non-musical data, but I guess we're regarded as "collateral damage".

          If I burn a CD of my own copyrighted works, will I get the tax refunded?

          It's not a refund, it's a payment based on sales. The money levied from the tax is distributed to registered copyright owners, proportionally to their royalties. Note that anybody can register, including Joe Musician; in fact registering is a prerequisite to receiving any kind of royalties. So if you produce your own copyrighted works (and register to the appropriate body), AND some people buy your stuff or play it in public or use it for any other activity which involves payment of royalties, you'll definitely see some money from this tax.

          If you burn a GNU/Linux cd, do you think the copyright holders are going to get paid by the Spanish government?

          As I said, it's only for music, so basically no. However, I understand that the tax is only applicable to individuals, not corporations (a bit like VAT tax I suppose), so if $random_spanish_distro sends you a CD of their distribution, they won't have to pay the tax on the CD they burn.
          • Ok, let's go... Are you sure you must be calling people uninformed?

            1- The law explicitly bans "unauthorized P2P". Authorized P2P, despite the submitter's misleading assertions, is not concerned.

            So, the law makes it illegal to do something already illegal... I can see why Congress toke the time to create it... And the GP is concerned about automatic banishment of "unautorized" P2P, how do you thing that will be enforced? Yea, right, companies will have the right to distribute stuff, people will not.

            2-

          • Re:Wrong Wrong Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:48AM (#15628273)
            Good GOD.. I'm spanish and you don't know what are you talking about.

            1. What's autorized and what unautorized in the first place? There's a private organization that decides: the SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores). I suggest you read the wikipedia article about them.

            2. The blank levy existed before the private backup law and this levy exists because of the music piracy, that's how it passed. Besides, it's not a bit more, it's 40-50% more http://www.asimelec.es/htmventa/Noticias/redinoti/ noticias/2860.htm [asimelec.es]. The money goes to the SGAE and they redistribute it acording to their criteria, artists don't directly affiliated with them will receive no money, yet the SGAE will collect money for _every_ song.
            Stick the collateral damage up your ass, I'm not willing to be stolen by a bunch of thieves that support no more than 100 groups/artits and charge for all. My hard earned money is worth more than that.

            AND, this tax it's not only for CD.. it's gonna be passed for every media capable of holding a song: hard drives, usb disks, dongles.. everything. So, yes please, steal 40 euros for an HDD originally priced at 100 and charge 140!!! After all it's just collateral damage!!!

            Man.. YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT'S WRONG WRONG WRONG. I can't believe you got modded insightful for that pile of trash you wrote.

            Excuse me for my harsh language, but speaking about the SGAE stirs my nerves.

                    An angry spaniard.
    • Re:WoW (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bo'Bob'O (95398) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:45AM (#15626194)
      For that matter, what is a "peer" exactly? I'm not an expert on TCP/IP I suppose, but isn't every computer with an IP address a peer to another? Weather it's my grandmothers old mac or big iron web server, we're all peers, aren't we?

      On the flip side, if I rent a server at a hosting company for $50 a month.. or for that matter, a virtual host for $15 a month, is it no longer "peer-to-peer" since I'm just a server?

      If I set no outgoing connections on bit-torrent, then aren't I just downloading like any other?
    • by giorgosts (920092) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:03AM (#15626237)
      Simply means that you can use the technology for whatever use you like, but if you are caught downloading unauthorized copyrighted material, by any means (client-server or p2p) you dont go to jail, but you pay money for the damage you have done to the people authorized to sell that material. Seems fair to me..
      • Moreover if it is only civil offence the ISPs are not oblidged to release your personal details from your IP address unless they get a court order. Thats why they make the ISPs also responsible. My guess is that the ..AA guys will spy upon the fileshareres, and the ISP will get a letter saying this guy 80.255.255.255 has been downloading and distributing so so music and films, then the ISP cutting off the Internet (temporarily or permenantly) to the guy for violating terms of service..
  • How stupid. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by IANAAC (692242)
    Not much else to say.

    How can a country be so progressive (at least on paper) on some things, and so idiotic on this?

  • why the tax? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:11AM (#15626087)
    After they make P2P illegal they then tax one of its possible end-products? Isn't this like simultaneously outlawing heroin and taxing syringes?
    • Didn't the tax law legalize private, non-commercial copying (i.e. making a copy for your buddy)? Still sucks either way.
    • Re:why the tax? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jugalator (259273)
      Illegalized P2P won't stop piracy by FTP or e.g simple "friend-to-friend" physical sharing, so they of course have to stop other "loopholes" by taxing?
    • People exchange CDs without using the internet. First they go outside... Anyway, in Canada we have a piracy tax on CDs. And we have laws against taxing illegal behaviour. Isn't that one obvious? So the tax buys us a certain guarantee of freedom. We actually have the *right* to copy and *download* music. (But not to upload/broadcast to the public.) Just recently I was posting saying the tax was a good thing for Spain. Trying to explain that they were headed towards our situation. With this P2P madn
    • Re:why the tax? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by krunk4ever (856261)
      I think it's more like outlawing voip and then taxing cell phones.
  • This just in (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MrSquirrel (976630)
    This just in -- Spain is being a tool.
    This seems like not only a bypassable law (encrypted ssh tunnels, etc...), an uninforceable law (what're they gonna do? punish the MILLIONS of people who fileshare?), but also a VERY STUPID LAW (legal file sharing is now a "no no"? why the FUCK was that even proposed, let alone passed!). For shame, Spain, for shame.
    • *should be SSL tunnels, not SSH
    • Re:This just in (Score:5, Informative)

      by arivanov (12034) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:43AM (#15626187) Homepage
      Bypassable by you and me.

      Not bypassable by Joe Average or as it is in Spain that should actually be Pedro Promedio.

      Anyway, the only winners out of all these will be CacheLogic and Ellacoya which can do the enforcement and guess who has been the longest running trialist of their kit.

      Guessing once, twice, thrice...

      Yep, right guess. Telefonica.

      This looks like the local equivalent of Baby Bell has bought itself a law that coincides with the way they see the network. By the way, compared to them even Ma Bell was a pinko commy hippy progressive.
      • Re:This just in (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lurker412 (706164)
        I would be truly surprised if Telefonica were to actually block P2P traffic. According to the article, P2P accounts for over 60 percent of their traffic. While I'm sure that they would just love to recoup that bandwidth, I think they are more interested in keeping their customer revenue stream flowing. Seems to me that this legislation will simply provide a legal basis for them to turn customer data over to the local equivalent of the RIAA and MPAA so that they may pursue token enforcement action against
      • ....like say anyone who uses South Africa's sole monopoly telecom provider, Telkom.

        Why has this happened? Oh well you see Telkom likes to save bandwidth because they're cheap. So they force every international connection through a cache server. Slashdot has deemed the cache server an "abusive" IP, so it's banned from posting on the site. But you can't NOT submit from that IP, because it's forced by the only internet provider in the country. So basically 45 million people can't post thanks to lazy site admin
        • Nonsense. I'm from Johannesburg with an ADSL connection through DataPro and I've never been banned from posting on Slashdot and neither does the Internet landscape in this country look remotely like what you claim. Before I got ADSL I had a satellite connection from Sentech and before that it was an ISDN connection direct from Telkom. A traceroute to Slashdot shows Datapro->IS->Alternet in New York and then on to Santa Clara via savvis. No giant abusive caching server anywhere in sight.
          • Not that I'd know, having never been to South Africa, but if you trust the Telkom website [telkom.co.za], you're both either half right or half wrong, depending:

            TelkomInternet powered by ADSL ~ Access options

            TelkomInternet powered by ADSL provides both a shaped and unshaped service. Simply put, this means that we have built a service that will best meet your individual needs. For the general user the shaped service will fit most needs adequately.

            * Shaped ~ In layman's terms, the shaped service prioritises ke
      • Re:This just in (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cephei (966093)

        Not bypassable by Joe Average or as it is in Spain that should actually be Pedro Promedio

        I've found that the average Joe has no trouble using OpenVPN. All you do is double click on a configuration file and the entire network connection is setup, DNS and all. VPN Networks like anoNet (http://anonet.org/ [anonet.org]) provide unlimited access to the data (porn) and services (P2P) that users want. The user never has to worry about the heavy hand of The Man, as all links are encrypted with rotating keys.

  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte.drunksnipers@com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:13AM (#15626097) Homepage
    But the government is going after Internet service providers; it's a criminal offense for ISPs to facilitate unauthorized downloading.

    "unauthorized downloading" is possible via HTTP, so they ISPs might as well stop completely. I wonder how long this new law will hold up, I wonder if it's even allowed according to EU guidelines.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:13AM (#15626098)
    "Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

    - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957.
    • by juletre (739996)
      did you just make a copyright infringement?
      When did Slashdot become a safe haven for people like you? :)
  • by rramdin (857005) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:14AM (#15626101)
    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

    I wonder what the cost will be to set up the infrastructure required to enforce and prosecute these laws.

    • by linvir (970218) * on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:25AM (#15626284)
      Relax, I'm sure the brave Spanish telcoes will be happy to do their part for liberty and justice, bearing the brunt of the lucrative government contracts to implement some kind of enforcement system. You'd be surprised just how willing a telco can be to take one for the team like that, if you just look at it on their terms for a moment.
  • The problem is (Score:2, Insightful)

    by esschul (645627)
    It's really naive of the spanish government, and all other, to believe they can banish everyday people's freedom to share data over the internet. No matter the means. They're really not acting in the best interest of the public.
    • Re:The problem is (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fishbowl (7759)
      How do they resolve this against individuals that have a right to distribute their own material?
      I would certainly recognize this kind of rule as a violation of my own copyright, by abridging my
      right to disseminate my creative works.
  • by gnarlin (696263) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:18AM (#15626115) Homepage Journal
    I have an equally intelligent proposal for spain. Ban http and ftp!
    It is a well known goodfact that copyrighted material which is not transfered via p2p is mostly transfered via http and/or ftp, so why not just ban those protocols and be done with it! After all, seperating babies and their bathwaters respectively is just to ardious a task for the simple minds of government officials.
  • Score (Score:4, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:20AM (#15626121)
    Score one for maintaining the status quo.

    I wish p2p would include some sort of payment system. If I could fire up Gnutella or Azureus and have a big debit button where I could pay with a click standardized as a common framework for anyone to plug into their app then the issue would mostly resolve itself. Basically a Gnu_iTunes. P2P isn't bad, missing payment systems is.
    • Re:Score (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Alsee (515537)
      A button in P2P to be able to pay wouldn't help. The brain damaged RIAA&friends refuse to accept payment for MP3s.

      -
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:21AM (#15626131)
    Not only is this a dupe [slashdot.org] it's pure FUD.

    From TFA "banned unauthorized peer-to-peer file-sharing in Spain" authorised sharing is still allowed.

    These new laws are really no more restrictive than those from other countries.
    • Taxation and banning are not the same thing.

      Second, what constitutes "unauthorized"?

      • by linvir (970218) *
        what constitutes "unauthorized"?
        More FUD. Unauthorized means breaches the copyright of the big media. You know it and I know it. Are you really suggesting that an overbroad law can be abused? Please! People who work in democratic governments are morally infallible, by mere definition! I, for one, welcome my new democratically elected overlords! May they never send me to jail!
    • it's not FUD.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by plasmacutter (901737) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:38AM (#15626177)
      They have done something far worse than simply ban unauthorized p2p sharing.. they have made it a criminal offense for ISP's to merely allow it.

      since every protocol on the internet can be used for unauthorized p2p sharing ISP owners must now either cease all service or go to prison.

      This is a subtle but radical difference from what other nations have done, and it spells doom for all spanish ISP's
      • Re:it's not FUD.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by csrster (861411)
        That's possibly a good thing. Pissing off a few file-sharers won't make any difference, but if they piss off the big ISP's then they may have a fight on their hands.
    • Good.

      For a moment I thought, Franco was in charge again, and the whole internet (P2P!) was illegal.
  • They got it all! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:22AM (#15626135)

    These guys got it all! Now they just need to ban internet and computers, even if your use of it is fair, this way there will be no more piracy.

    In other news, arresting 100 persons is still a good thing provided that one of them is guilty.

  • say what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by svunt (916464)
    Wow, this is Socialism? If I were a Spaniard who'd voted in the current regime, I'd be feeling pretty betrayed right now.
  • Slashdot just took a severe dive with this lie. The headline is a lie. The brief is a lie. Read the article and discover the truth for yourself. If this site continues to head down this complely disreputable path, I'll go somewhere else. It's not like there aren't good and honest alternatives out there.

    For crying out loud editors, put aside your greed (for that's the most likely motivation for this) and get some integrity.

    The owners of this site might do well to consider just firing the editorial staff for
    • by Burz (138833)
      ...is that you??
    • I've already moderated here, but as I feel this really deserves a reply, sayonara mod points.

      While I can certainly understand where you come from in saying that slashdot editing has gotten worse, I don't feel that this story is necesarrily one of those. It's a bit overstated, yes, but I don't think that detracts from the fact that the article simply states 'unauthorized downloading, even for personal use'. To me, that implies heavily that the article states a bit more clearly that the ban on p2p transfers
    • The editors are the same totally perfect gods among men that they've always been. The problem is with the submitters. Since our wise masters have such little time to spend on such mortal concerns as 'checking the factual accuracy of submissions', some of the more malicious elements of the internet are trying to abuse their trust, and poison our minds with these lies.

      Nananananananana editors! Nanananananananana editors! Editors! Editors! Batman!

    • by laughingcoyote (762272) * <barghesthowl@@@excite...com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:08AM (#15626386) Journal

      And no matter how long you've been a member, it's nice to see you offering as little information as you complain about!

      What's wrong? Where? How is it wrong and what's the correct version? Without offering such an analysis, you're just spewing hot air (hot bits?) yourself.

      Now, as to that...

      Saying that no content is downloadable is contrary to the article, which states that only the downloading of unauthorized content is banned. I agree that that is sensationalistic, factually incorrect, and should have been caught.

      On the other hand, the article does seem to indicate that ISP's may be criminally liable for the actions of their users:

      But the government is going after Internet service providers; it's a criminal offense for ISPs to facilitate unauthorized downloading.

      Now, that still leaves open to interpretation what "facilitation" may be-but in this case, the summary does seem to match the article.

      Also, it is stated in the article that despite this new regulation, blank media will -also- be taxed! It seems to me this is a bit of "having it both ways" on the part of the content providers-outlawing personal copying AND getting tax revenue. Again, it seems that the summary is essentially correct on this point.

      While the summary is incorrect on one part, and it should have been caught (and should still be corrected), this is still a subject of interest to many of us who visit this site.

      However, regardless, if you're going to make assertions as strong as you just did, it's generally helpful to back them up. If you can't manage that, don't let the door hit you, there's enough of those here.

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:54AM (#15626215)
    OK, first we learn that they have a "tax" on all blank media (even flash memory!!). And that Spain will somehow figure out who the copyright holders are and give them this "tax" money. OK, lets ignore the obvious, that much of that blank media is going to be used for system backup and perfectly legitimate and legal uses, from making live Linux CDs to making and saving home videos and all the rest. After all, it must make all the sense in the world to tax these people as long as the money goes to "copyright owners" like Disney.

    So now they are paying the copyright owners, presumably to cover all of those copies that the Spanish people make. So if the copyright holder has been compensated, why in the workd outlaw P2P? Rather than outlawing P2P becasue some uses of it may infringe on copyright, even though it has many valid good uses, why not realize that the copyright holders have been compensated anyway? Sure, I expect that some politicians lined their own pockets in order to pass these laws, but still how can the justify taxing all media, that used for copying and that used for uses that in no way infringe on copyrigh, even flash drives, and then over agressively start outlawing things that might (but certainly don't always) let users copy copyrighted materials when they have already paid the tax?

    • By the way, my guess as to how Spain will figure out who the poor copyright holders are to give the tax to is that the RIAA will "help" them. And somehow no independent artists will get any of the tax money (and very few real artists either, with it instead going to the record labels).

      The alternative, of course is not much better; if the independent artists do get a share of the money every socialist system scammer in Spain will suddenly become an "artist" and start copyrighting everything they can, so the

  • ...where NO means NO.
  • Turing, send some brains from above, we need it direly!

    They outlawed "unautorized P2P". And made ISPs accountable for it. Ok. Now may I ask something?

    HOW???

    It's like making a gunsmith accountable for it when a crime is commited with a gun. Like making a bank accountable for it when the money they transfered is used in terrorism. Like making a car manufacturer accountable for it when a car they make is used as a getaway car.

    How is this supposed to work? ISPs are going to be responsible for something that's n
  • Yes, the headline is a sham (it's unauthorized dling only), but still those record/movie industry people are really really picky:

    "Compared to some European countries, Spain has some way to go in enforcement, but the new intellectual property law is a definite step forward, placing obligations for instance on ISPs to provide information. Hopefully, it will help us to get some injunctions."

    This pretty much hands them all they need to protect their copyright and they act like they are still hurting??
  • Welcome to following behind the curve of THE REST OF THE WORLD!

    I for one welcome our new Spanish UnderLords. Now make sure your kids only get blue collar work. It's a perfect system we're working on here in America under the DCMA. You should also really dumb down education while you're at it. That's a sure-fire way to stay ahead of the pack.

    Yee-Haaawww! Spanish and Cowboys to the back of the line!
  • by faragon (789704) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @03:42AM (#15626323) Homepage
    I live at Barcelona (Spain, Europe), and I can tell you that who wrote the article has misinterpreted the whole thing. I'll try to clarify it a bit:

    1) A "canon" will be fined over blank media (optical and flash), but hard disks and volatile RAMs are excluded.

    2) Still exist the "private copy right", when there is no meaning of making further money selling/dealing with downloaded data (in spanish "sin ánimo de lucro").

    As corollarius, can be said that the "canon" has been aproved due to the fact of admiting two points:

    a) The citizen is right to get and give (aka share) data from a P2P network, or share a phisical book or disc without having to pay to the author.

    b) The "canon" is intended to compensate in some way the point (a).

    Well, after my try of claryfing that the P2P it is *not* illegal in Spain (neither for downloading a movie nor for a disc, while not intended for making money of it), I'm against that canon, as it is indiscriminate, thus not fair.

    There are many organizations here fighting for civil rights to revert the "canon" law/instruction.

  • Flash drives? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bcmm (768152) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @04:01AM (#15626368)
    But flash drives are rewritable! Surely a tax on "blank" ones can be circumvented by filling them with pointless free content before sale?
  • by Danathar (267989) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:32AM (#15627021) Journal
    Although I expect laws to be passed to ban this or that (P2P, etc), and it's easy to buy off the politicians with $$$ for re-election or in other countries just plain bribing I don't see much enforcement (except for selective large perpetrators). Why? It costs $$$ to enforce.

    Governments pass laws all the time and then don't put for the effort to REALLY enforce them (immigration in the U.S. for example). I expect anything to do with file-sharing to be the same.

    Take the RIAA and the MPAA. How many people are downloading movies and music vs how many people they are actually prosecuting? Percentage wise of the violators we are talking VERY little. It's all about LOOKING like you are doing something, not actually enforcing or getting rid of the problem. Software piracy is the same way.

    We passed the point LONG ago in world where the government can break into your house rifle your things and find something to throw you in jail with.....copied tape? where is the master CD? Can't find it...Ooooo..that's 5 years and 20,000 dollars. That rifle in your basement, is it registered? No? Antique? Doesnt matter..off to jail you go. Speeding? What's that? It's stupid that the speed limit is 25 mph and everybody else is going 50? Tell that to the judge, I'm throwing you in jail for reckless driving.

    No government official is going to enforce a law that hurts his/her voters or campaign contributors. If many of them are at home downloading MP3's they will turn a blind eye, But you can bet if it HELPS them in any way they will enforce.

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