The text of the Spanish government's proposed legislation to tackle illegal downloads has been published for the first time, and includes an important clarification.
The Intellectual Property Commission, which will have the power to decide if a Web site is infringing the law, will not be able to launch proceedings against the sites. Only intellectual property rights holders will be able to initiate a complaint, and the Commission will only be able to act once it has been informed of the details of the alleged infringement.
If the Commission finds that the Web site offers links to unauthorized content, it will then inform the Madrid high court, whose judges will have four days to decide whether to partially or fully close the Web site, or take no action.
The exact power of the commission was unclear until the economy ministry published the text in the past few days.
Otherwise, the final text is not different from the text originally accepted by the cabinet on Jan. 8, and approved for Parliamentary debate on March 19.
Analysts expect the debate to be held before the summer, and the anti-piracy legislation could be passed and become law by the end of June. The legislation seeks to penalize Web sites that offer links for unauthorized downloads of music, cinema and video games, and is part of a broad anti-economic recession bill called the Sustainable Economy Law (LES).
As the text stands, only record labels, music producers, cinema studios, collecting societies or the actual authors of a cultural work can institute proceedings against a Web site, which must then be examined by the commission and, if felt necessary, be passed on to the high court for a final ruling.