Spain, with one of the worlds worst online piracy track records,
is hoping that plans to pass new antipiracy legislation this year
will be enough to convince the US government to keep it off its
infamous blacklist, despite the Spanish and American entertainment
industry demands to relist it.
After five consecutive years on a priority watch list curated by
the US office of trade, Spain was delisted in 2012 following its
implementation of a more muscular antipiracy code. But the powerful
International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a coalition of
US trade associations, recommended in February that Spain be
included on this year's list of countries that do not do enough to
protect copyright laws.
Contrary to the expectations that led to Spains removal from the
Special 301 Watch List last year, Spain saw no positive developments
in 2012, the IIPA said in its influential annual report released
Internet piracy has continued to grow at a tremendous rate. After
years of difficulty, many in the copyright industries see not a hint
of optimism for the levels of piracy in the country, the report
A spot on the blacklist would carry the threat of sanctions and
scare away investors, which could further damage Spanish efforts to
rebuild its economy amid the euro crisis.
Spanish officials, though, say they dont expect Spain to be
blacklisted again, because they have only had one year to implement
their 2012 legislation, and given the forthcoming laws, expected to
be passed by the end of the year.
While acknowledging limited success in the fight against online
piracy, the government trusts the US will recognize it just needs
more time, officials say.
The IIPAs request to have Spain included [on the US government's
priority watchlist] doesnt mean that we will, says a high ranking
official in the Culture Ministry, which is charged with protecting
copyright content in Spain. US authorities are aware of the Spanish
governments commitments and plans for more ambitious legislation. We
trust we wont be included, says the official who asked not to be
named because she is not permitted to speak publicly on the matter.
Spain is one of 33 countries blacklisted by the IIPA in its 2013
annual report, including usual suspects like China, Russia, and
India. But the IIPA has also recommended that the US government
include countries like Italy, Canada, Israel, and Brazil on the 301
list that will be released in April. …