The Spanish House of Representatives has rejected a new copyright law that would have made the nation's file-sharing sites and services illegal. Some of the leaked #cablegate cables affirmed what many had suspected: the law had been pushed by the US government on behalf of the Hollywood studios. Local activists told me that they believed the legislation would pass despite broad national condemnation; however, El Pais accelerated its schedule in oder to release the relevant cables before the House voted — and it seems that this did the trick. While they might have been willing to vote for the new copyright law if they could at least pretend to have written it, Spain's legislators balked at enacting legislation that had been incontrovertibly conjured up by powerful foreign corporations against the interest of Spain's own citizens.
The legislation, an amendment which is part of the Sustainable Economy Law (LES), was drafted by Minister of Culture Ángeles González-Sinde and assisted by the United States Government. However, in recent months the proposed legislation, also known as 'The Sinde Act', has been widely protested by the public.
In a final attempt to get the amendment rejected, the country's leading file-sharing sites went down voluntarily this week. Just hours later it became apparent that the public protests had not been in vain.
After a lengthy debate the House of Representatives decided to adopt the Sustainable Economy Law, but reject the controversial amendment. The law will now go to the Senate without the amendment that would allow for the shutdown of P2P sites.