Representatives from the Spanish music, creative and technology industries have reacted furiously to new legislative proposals to tackle digital piracy, outlined by the government.

A hurriedly called meeting between culture ministry officials and 14 leading figures from the technology sector took place in Madrid to protest against government plans -- first revealed Dec. 2 - which would create an independent Intellectual Property Commission (IPC) that would have the power to shut down, without prior judicial authority, Web sites linking to copyright-infringing content.

The IPC is included in a draft of the Law of Sustainable Economy (LSE) that is now awaiting Parliamentary debate. The catalyst for the meeting between culture ministry officials and execs from the music and technology sector was the Dec. 2 online publication of a manifesto called, "In Defence of the Fundamental Rights in Internet", written by a nationwide group of technology execs, bloggers, journalists and Web site content creators.

The manifesto, which subsequently appeared on more than 150,000 websites, including traditional news sites, argued that "authors' rights cannot be placed above the fundamental rights of the citizen, such as the right of privacy, security... and freedom of expression."

The government's overnight reaction was to call the Dec. 3 meeting with the manifesto's authors. Among those who attended was Rosalía Lloret, director of the Web site at public radio and television RTVE, and Julio Alonso, managing director of Weblogs SL.

Culture minister Angeles González-Sinde, who has emerged as the government spokeswoman on its anti-piracy position, excused herself from the meeting after 25 minutes, saying to reporters outside that she had to "go to inaugurate a museum." She left the attendees with several ministry officials, but it is understood that no progress was made.

"A revolution against the government is being produced, and we must listen to this revolution as if it were happening on the streets," Esteban González Pons, communication secretary of the main opposition party, the right-wing Popular Party, commented in a statement.

"We do not think what is happening [on the] Internet is [just] a 'happening' by young people. This is an attempt to restore censorship," González Pons went on to say.

Economy minister Elena Salgado, meanwhile, told an RTVE television program that "the government is not closing access to Internet. What it is avoiding is the [free] downloading of protected content."