Spain Is Now Proposing a Law That Would Ban Advertising on Pirate Sites…

But brands have no control over where their ads appear, right?  Let’s see about that: in Spain, a new law may require advertisers to get control and stop advertising on pirate sites or face serious fines.  Which could dramatically change this discussion, not just in Spain but also the world.

Photocopy of Proposed Spanish Copyright Law
  • Save

The crackdown on advertising would also include payment processing companies, both of whom are generally the lifeblood of sites that broker in free MP3s (and other unauthorized content).  And that’s just one component of a serious anti-piracy bill and Copyright Law overhaul now being proposed, with Education and Culture Minister Jose Ignacio Wert spearheading the initiative.

This is a plan designed to economically strangle infringing websites, in some cases, overnight.  “This is about a philosophy of going after large-scale distributors of infringing content,” Wert stated.

Spanish Copyright Press Conference
  • Save

The bill is about to get tossed into the Spanish political lion pit, one that includes lots of public and private debates, special interest lobbying, and circuitous Parliamentary reviews (just like your favorite country).  But this is also a matter of global diplomacy, thanks to an imposing and unhappy United States Trade Representative.  The reason for the agitated frustration is that Spain’s piracy profile has been abysmal for more than a decade, especially for an industrialized (and European) country.  This is a situation that led to threats of blacklists and broader trade sanctions last year, specifically from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA).

Which brings us to a proposal designed to right some previous wrongs.  The proposed fines would fall between 30,000 and 300,000 euros ($389,000), according to the initial drafts.  It would also force infringing sites to erase entire catalogs of infringing content, instead of trudging through piles of one-off takedown demands.

Other aspects of the overhaul include greater oversight and transparency of collection societies, as well as a total re-examination of file-sharing laws.  Currently, rightsholders are compensated for rampant file-swapping through levies on physical, blank media formats.  But the proposed version could seek to completely outlaw file-swapping of unauthorized content, including from infringing sites.

The official announcement from the Spanish government is here; the proposed bill (in Spanish) is here.  Image supplied by the Gobierno de Espana, specifically el Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura, y Deportes.  Additional local coverage here.


6 Responses

    • Visitor


      And that’s not all:

      Web sites face 300,000 euro fines if they don’t remove illegal material.

  1. Nice Distraction

    From The more real issues Spain is facing right now

    • Visitor

      Stopping mainstream piracy is one of the easiest ways for any nation to improve its economy.

      That’s why we see all these new anti-piracy measures all over the world right now.

      • Yeah right

        The reason you see this kind of impotent rubbish turning up is to hide the fact that politicians have absolutely no control over their economies. So lets make some noise about “piracy”

  2. FarePlay

    Yes, yes, yes. Bad enough that these, primarily foreign, sites are abusing artists by using their work to drive traffic, then using this same audience to sell advertising, often to US based companies.

    We are talking about tens of billions of dollars syphoned out of our economy every year to support criminal operations.

    Free? Not when somebody is making money off artists with no intention of compensation them for their work.