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Spanish Citizens, Artists Protest Against New Copyright Laws

Posted by: , 14:30 AEDT, Tue February 15, 2011

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New proposed copyright laws in Spain has been met with serious public opposition, and also surprising opposition from leading industry figures

The Spanish government's attempt to pass new laws to crackdown on illegal online file sharing was met with strong public protests, which eventually saw the bill defeated in parliament. However, the government is at it again, only making minor changes to the defeated law, and the public's anger was very much on show at the Goya awards, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars.

Amongst the very few artists and creators that actually support the law, Best Actor winner Javier Bardem was booed and even had eggs thrown at him, in a show of the public's disgust with the new laws.

And you would expect the President of the Spanish Film Academy to also support the law, which the government argues is to protect the film industry. But Álex de la Iglesia not only does not support the law, he has actually resigned in protect.

In his acceptance speech for one of the two awards won at the ceremony, which has also become his departing speech, Iglesia attacked the disrespect shown towards the people being labeled criminals - the viewing public.

"Change is needed to come up with a new model for the film business. We have a moral responsibility to the public. We make movies because citizens allow us to make them and we owe them respect and our thank you," said Iglesia before adding that "We must be up to this privilege that society offers us,” he said. “If we want them to respect us, we must respect them first."

Do countries like Spain need to crack down harder on illegal downloads, or do the film industry need to adopt a new business model that fits the Internet generation? Post your comments for this news story in our comments section, or in this forum thread:


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