By Emily Williams
The Spanish Ministry of Culture approved a new law that would allow the ministry to order the closure without judicial review of websites suspected of piracy. The move follows three years of fruitless negotiations between content creators and internet service providers, and is designed to target not individual internet users but the peer to peer (P2P) sites that enable downloading of unauthorized content. The law would give the government new powers to compel ISPs to turn over the identity of any clients whose websites were determined by “competent bodies” to be facilitating piracy. The legislature still has to debate and vote on the measure, which is in part likely a reaction to criticisms by certain US and other international authorities that Spain’s legal framework does not provide enough protection for intellectual property rights (see our recent coverage of Spain’s piracy complex). But the initiative has unleashed a furious protest in the internet community, with activists drafting a manifesto and beginning to organize online to try to prevent the proposal from being passed into law.
Read the manifesto in English.
This week Tusquets announced its annual literary prize at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, designed to discover promising new writers. Argentine writer Sergio Olguín won for his novel Oscura monótona sangre (Dark Monotone of Blood), and will take home a first prize worth 30,000 euros, while the runner-up, Basque writer Willy Uribe, was awarded 10,000 euros for his novel Cuadrante Las Planas. Tusquets will publish and handle the world rights to both books.
Two independent publishers were awarded a national prize by Spain’s Ministry of Culture for their work in the cultural sphere. The jury, comprised of book industry leaders and previous honorees, praised Marcial Pons for transcending the academic world and establishing itself in the cultural mainstream; and Gadir for its list of modern classics across a range of different genres.