Almost 2,000 Spanish web sites have added their names to a list of sites that offer unauthorized downloads, as a challenge to the government's plan to approve legislation that will allow an intellectual property commission to ask a judge to close down or block such sites.

The list of 1,174 web sites on LaListaDeSinde.net ("Sinde's List" - Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde is the culture minister) is a response by many Internet users and operators to the cultural industry's Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, which late last year sent a list of 200 web sites to the culture ministry. In the Coalition's opinion, the 200 sites should be closed because they allow the downloading of files protected by authors' rights.

The "self-confession" initiative, says the La Lista de Sinde collective, responds to "the intention of the Spanish government to create a censorship commission in the culture ministry with the power to close and block Web sites without the guarantee of a prior trial."

The Sinde List statement added: "Until now, judges have always agreed with us [by acquitting alleged illegal download offenders on the grounds of lack of profit motive]. But if the government succeeds in closing or blocking Web [sites] without a prior trial, it will also have to come for all of us."

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