Sinde in Plain English

I have heard the Sinde law described as Spain’s version of SOPA. As someone who is bilingual, I have noticed that the information you get about a particular topic that is written in English will often differ from the information about the same topic from websites that are written in Spanish. After reading over several Spanish articles that discuss the Sinde law, I can bring you some facts about it that you may not be aware of.

This law is being called “Sinde” but that is an informal name for it. It is also being called “Sinde-Wert”. It is a portion of a law that translates into English as the “Law of Sustainable Economy”. The Sinde law is included in the second final disposition within that law.

Why is it called “Sinde” or “Sinde-Wert”? The law was first proposed by Ángeles González-Sinde who was the Minister of Culture during the time when José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was the Prime Minister of Spain. The law was later approved by Jose Ignacio Wert who is the Minister of Culture, Education, and Sport at the time this law was passed.

From what I have read, there were a lot of Spanish people who were very much against this law, but it was passed anyway. There have been some protests. Many articles refer to it as a “bad law”.

Sinde is similar to SOPA in many ways. It officially says that it is designed to prevent piracy. In reality, this law gives tools that can be used by the “cultural industry”, (such as the movie companies, the television companies, and the big record labels), to protect things that they have under an American copyright. It gives different departments of the Spanish government the ability to shut down websites that contain something that one of the big companies has claimed is their intellectual property, or that they have a copyright on.

An interesting thing to know about Sinde is that it will affect universities. It seems that, previous to the Sinde law, there was an ongoing issue involving Spanish universities that were distributing books, and other written materials, to students without first getting permission from the authors who wrote them. There are a lot of authors who have been trying to be compensated for the use of their work. They might be able to use the Sinde law to help them get that compensation.

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