Spain passes new anti-piracy laws, raises maximum penalty to six years

Spain passes new anti-piracy laws, raises maximum penalty to six years

Nearly six months ago, we reported that Spain was under heavy pressure from the United States to strengthen its anti-piracy laws. (That, of course, comes after Spain enacted an anti-piracy law in 2011.)

On Friday, the Spanish government approved new measures that would target those who even link to unauthorized copyrighted material for “direct or indirect profit.” The measures, which don’t take effect until early 2014, will include penalties of up to six years in prison for “aggravated cases” (Google Translate) for those who violate copyright.

The new amendment to the country’s existing penal code will not affect search engines or peer-to-peer file sharing sites, according to Reuters.

Spain is the home of RojaDirecta.com, a site that promoted unauthorized sports streams and whose domain was seized by the United States government. The domain was eventually returned last year. (The site has since switched to RojaDirecta.me, based in Montenegro.)

“This is a real balance between protecting copyright and new technologies,” Spain’s Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon told reporters at a news conference in Madrid.

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