TorrentFreak reports that the Spanish House of Representatives has rejected new legislation that would have shut down hundreds of legal file-sharing sites. The rejection is a major victory for the tens of thousands of Internet users who launched many protests in recent months.
As TorrentFreak points out, Spain is one of the few countries in the world where its courts have affirmed that P2P-sites operate legally. The Spanish government wanted to change this, and attempted to accomplish this by proposing new legislation. That legislation would have punished sites offering links to copyrighted works without the need for a judicial order.
The Sinde Act was an amendment to the Sustainable Economy Law (LES) drafted by Minister of Culture Ángeles González-Sinde, with input from the United States Government.
After a lengthy debate, the Spanish House of Representatives adopted the Sustainable Economy Law, but rejected the amendment. The law will now go to the Senate without the amendment.
This decision of the House of Representatives was celebrated as a clear victory for the public.
"The will of the people has put an end to the pressure imposed by lobbyists, embassies and foreign governments on our representatives," the Association of Internet users wrote in a response. "And this victory has shown something else: that democracy and the rule of law are not guaranteed. They must be earned every day and minute by minute, because if people are not concerned to defend these things, nobody will do it for them."