On the eve of the enactment of Spain's harsh new copyright law, El Pais has published a leaked letter from the US Ambassador to the outgoing Spanish president ordering him to enact the copyright law America's industry wants to see, or face trade sanctions.
Spain's new law establishes a Syrian/Chinese style censoring firewall that blocks websites on the basis of unproven copyright claims, and mirrors the matching provisions of the proposed US Stop Online Piracy Act, making censorship into one of today's leading American exports.
In a letter dated 12 December and obtained by Spanish newspaper El Pais, US ambassador Alan Solomont wrote to the outgoing Spanish president expressing his concern about the lack of movement on a online piracy bill, known as the Sinde law.
"The government has unfortunately failed to finish the job for political reasons, to the detriment of the reputation and economy of Spain..." In his letter, Solomont issued veiled threats, reminding its recipients that Spain is on the Special 301, the US trade representatives' list of countries that do not provide "adequate and effective" protection of intellectual property rights. Spain risks having its position on the list "degraded", and could join the real blacklist of "the worst violators of global intellectual property rights."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.