Spain does not intend to disconnect Internet users who repeatedly ignore warnings not to download copyright protected content, culture minister Angeles González-Sinde said on a breakfast-time TV show today (Nov. 5).

This is despite a European Union agreement allowing its 27 member states the possibility of cutting Internet access without prior judicial permission.

The government "is not considering punitive measures for the end user of Internet," González-Sinde told TVE1's "TVE Breakfasts." This ruled out following the three-strikes tendencies of France or the United Kingdom against illegal downloaders.

González-Sinde said the first thing to do is "attack the origin of all these products that are on the Web sites, as well as those who benefit from them." She added that Internet piracy was "a very complex matter," and would surely be very present in debates during Spain's six-month presidency of the European Union that begins Jan. 1.

Her comments came as the EU gave the green light to the governments of member states to cut Internet access to piracy offenders without the need for a judicial order, although it still requires a fair and impartial procedure.

Last month, the Spanish government set up an inter-ministerial commission to look into violations of the intellectual property law and seek ways to ensure that the availability of cultural content on Internet does not reduce the copyright income of creators or content providers. The commission must deliver its report by Dec. 31.

Gonzáles-Sinde's views are in line with those of both the culture industry through the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, and Spanish ISP companies grouped in Redtel.

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