Spain, with one of the highest piracy rates in the Western World, is now attracting the interest of the content industries as it prepares to implement its controversial “Sinde law” proposed by Culture Minister and former screenwriter and director Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde who said. “There are Spanish companies developing large websites and U.S. companies that are seriously studying how to enter the European market” adding “Until now U.S. companies were considering abandoning our country, closing their headquarters and even their delegations because it wasn’t worth it,” she said. The “Sinde Law” aims to shut down file-sharing web sites providing copyrighted material and US digital entertainment providers Netflix and UltraViolet, French retailer Carrefour and electronic goods chain Media Markt — a unit of German retailer Metro AG — want to offer sites for music, books, films and videogames in Spain once the law is enforced.
However, the Sinde Law has been widely criticized by commentators on both sides of the piracy debate. Some Copyright owners say the law is too weak and does not provide ways of reaping the potential of the Internet, while internet companies claim it is too strict. Opposition parties forced the Government to introduce safeguards to stem concerns that the law would suppress freedom of expression. Two judges will rule on the recommendations by a government committee on intellectual property that a suspicious web site be closed.
Spanish cinemas sell some 100 million movie tickets every year, while some 400 million films are downloaded illegally, according to data by copyright association EGEDA.