back to article Spain won't disconnect illegal file sharers

Spain doesn't plan on unplugging internet users accused of illegal file-sharing, despite strong government support for "three-strikes" disconnection laws in the UK and France. Culture Minister, Angeles González-Sinde, told the morning television news program, TVE Breakfast, Thursday the Spanish government "is not considering …


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  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What you and Gonzalez-Sinde omit

    .... is that in Spain there's a "Digital Canon", which is a tax applied to all and every digital device even remotely capable of storing anything close to stolen intellectual property. This canon is directly paid to the biggest intellectual property lobbyist in the country (the SGAE) which is supposedly distributing it among their members as a compensation for piracy losses.

    The sad reality is SGAE is very closely connected with the government, but completely disconnected from the artistic community as a whole, providing substantial income for a few big name artists but very little to the ones outside of the top 10 lists.

    The "Digital Canon" is charged for everything from a USB pen drive to a video camera (yes, your home video camera) and of course for blank CDs, DVDs, set top recorder, desktop and laptop hard disk and everything you can think of. And is generating enormous income for the SGAE without the need for any of its members to sell, produce, or even create, any kind of content at all.

    Note that this "Digital Canon" tax has been successfully challenged in courts already, but given our crappy judicial system, only people motivated by idealism or lawyers by profession are willing to endure the process to get their canon refunded for each and every item they can prove NOT being used for piracy (which are, by the way, the vast majority of the storage that is being used)

    Who would want to kill that? Of course, any law like the "three strikes" one will create the social demand to supress the "Digital Canon" If that happens, the money flow to the SGAE will stop. And that could meant that those few selected artists will have to, gasp, create some content that people wants to pay for instead of their usual fast food music and movies.

    Get that? They are not making it in the name of freedom or anything else. The SGAE is just protecting their revenue stream, one that allows them to live forever in a culturally stagnated world.

    Cheers from Spain.

  3. Dale Morgan

    hahaha poor mandelson

    he really has no clue? the 3 strike rule will only push P2P back underground, P2P, copyright infringment, piracy what ever you want to call it has been around alot longer than torrents and napster and if things get too strict ill just load up backtrack and find a router within range to crack

  4. Anonymous Coward

    @Anon 21:38 GMT

    In England they will probably have both a "Digital Canon" tax and disconnect you as well... Just leave it to the 'Dark Prince' to make such decisions after dining with studio directors, probably having been flown at the taxpayer's expense.

    I'm voting for the Pirate party :)

  5. James 55
    Thumb Down

    But he can't dissconnect people

    from their friends USB sticks or CDs.......

  6. fyle
    Thumb Up


    ¡Viva España!

  7. dave 93

    Spanish go-located proxy for dowloads anyone?

    make all p2p via a spanish proxy (or any non-uk one for that matter) and who do they disconnect?

    It is true that they just don't get how flexible and programmable the internet really is. Jolly (roger) good thing too ;-)

  8. kosmos

    I love the smell of Mandy in the morning...

    The eye's are open the mouth flaps on occasion, but the brain (much as in the proposal) has been disconnected long ago eh Mandelson?

    We have many methods available to us for sharing data on the internet, and un-encrypted Peer to Peer is the least of them. The new policy will drive uptake of encrypted technologies that will make the current technology seem like a picnic by comparison. Detectable by volume only, once a stream is encrypted I wonder pray what will come next?

    Can we expect an ill-informed attempt to outlaw possession of P2P software much like the rather laughable 'hacker-tools' fiasco? Will there be a clampdown on the cipher strengths available to ordinary people? Where will this go next, for I see no solution in the current adopted path.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the media industry has one option only, license new digital distribution channels or fall. No one cried for the door-to-door ice sales man when the refrigerator became affordable, obsolescence is alive and well.

  9. Not Fred31

    Would you mind reading the text the EU adopted?

    Could you actually read the text adopted by the EU before repeatedly making reference to the "fact" that the EU "dumped" plans to restrict the rights of Member States to cut off internet users. Really, you'd never know what you might learn.

  10. Gordon Pryra


    Mandelson said that the days of "consequence-free" web file-sharing are over hoping to see the return of consequence-free price gouging

  11. DavCrav

    One thing I don't understand... if someone gets disconnected from the net for file-sharing, how likely is it going to be that this person will ever buy anything from the record companies again? Now add to this that these are paying customers of the record industry, by all accounts, and you have more trouble for them...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    ahaa me Hearties

    let us sally forth on our internet pipes and let fly with with our packets on an ISP address in Spain and raid the mp3 gold in those Spanish boxes.

  13. bexley
    Thumb Down


    19.99 a month web server in non euorpean country (or espanol) - check

    bit torrent client with an option for socks proxy (any client) - check

    tunnel all bit torrent traffic through said web server via ssh tunnel (takes seconds to set up) - check

    use tracker with ssl enabled (most of the good ones already do) - check

    now that wasnt hard was it, doesnt take a hardened criminal or terrorist to figure this out.

    would'nt the government prefer that i paid that 19.99 a month into some kind of pot for all the copyright holders? no, they would rather behave like children and call me a criminal and loose the money.

    i dont care if it's the artists or the foreign isp that gets my 19.99 a month - it's up to the government to act responsibly and find a sensible way of collecting it.

    you have to wonder if they really are as inept as these articles makes them appear of if that have a hidden agenda. i'm still not prepared to believe that our government are as technically backward as they appear. After all they could just hire a consultant to poo poo their new idea's.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    That man...

    Ok, how does one oust a Lord?

    I work for Royal Mail, and now this :P

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Go to the library, get several CD's for a pittance, stick them in your PC, rip, done. Who needs sharing/downloading?

  16. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    "the days of "consequence-free" web file-sharing are over"

    The days of "consequence-free" web file-sharing never happened ! The consequence of my 'web file-sharing' is lots of people get Linux installers quickly....

    Strange man. Maybe the winning move is not to play with him...

  17. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 11:28

    "Ok, how does one oust a Lord?"

    This Dark Lord would need a steak through the heart

  18. NBCanuck

    Tax on illegal activities?

    Ok, let me get this straight....there is a tax on all devices that can store media (CD/DVD, etc) regardless of how I choose to use it because I MAY use them to store copyrighted content. So if I choose to place copyrghted content on a DVD, then I am performing a legal activity and am being taxed on it.

    ...but wait...they they are also telling me that copying that content is illegal. But it must be legal becasue they are taxing me on it. They can't have it both ways. "Well, it is illegal, but until we have a way to stop it we want to make as much money off it as possible." AND they are making law abiders pay a fee because they COULD use it that way?

    Nice logic.

    Well, sir, if I am going to pay a fee for doing it, I ight as well go ahead and get my money's worth.

    How does that logic work for you?

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Yes, you've got the contradiction. File sharing is legal in Spain as long as it's not for profit purposes. That is, the SGAE realized that they could not prosecute file sharing, so they convinced government to create a tax for storage media. This tax is neither fair (everyone pays it whether they use the storage for storing intellectual property or not) nor fairly distributed among the artists.

    The tax has created for them a revenue source that does not depend at all on artists actually producing anything of value, is more linked to the sales volume of storage media. But they still are trying to discourage sharing, as they perceive that they could make even more money if they could actually make people to pay again for the content that supposedly is already being paid for by the tax.

    Get it? They don't want to disconnect file sharers because they would lose all the revenues from the tax, which are way above what they could get by actually selling the content. But they are still willing to get the money from anyone willing to pay for content. And one of the best ways to convince someone to pay for something he/she can legally get for free is with shadowy and obscure threats of disconnection.....

    Repeat with me, sharing files without profiting is legal in Spain, sharing files without profiting is legal in Spain..

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