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.

2013 Wintertime Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Fifth Lowest on Record

2013 Wintertime Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Fifth Lowest on Record

Last September, at the end of the northern hemisphere summer, the Arctic Ocean’s icy cover shrank to its lowest extent on record, continuing a long-term trend and diminishing to about half the size of the average summertime extent from 1979 to 2000.

During the cold and dark of Arctic winter, sea ice refreezes and achieves its maximum extent, usually in late February or early March. According to a NASA analysis, this year the annual maximum extent was reached on Feb. 28 and it was the fifth lowest sea ice winter extent in the past 35 years.

The new maximum -5.82 million square miles (15.09 million square kilometers)- is in line with a continuing trend in declining winter Arctic sea ice extent: nine of the ten smallest recorded maximums have occurred during the last decade. The 2013 winter extent is 144,402 square miles (374,000 square kilometers) below the average annual maximum extent for the last three decades.