Political Leader Threatens Court Action Over P2P “3 Strikes”

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The head of Spain's Popular Party says he will take legal action if the government implements Internet disconnection for alleged file-sharers. Leader of the opposition Mariano Rajoy says that if the Prime Minister of Spain mimics Sarkozy and brings in a "3 strikes" regime, he will take the whole issue to court.

In Spain, like in so many other European countries, there have been negotiations between the government, copyright holders and ISPs to try to reach an agreement on what to do about unauthorized file-sharing. In common with other countries, an agreement couldn’t be reached.

Now, the leader of Spain’s Popular Party (Partido Popular), Mariano Rajoy, is warning Spaniards that Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) may try to implement a French-style “3 strikes” regime for alleged file-sharers.

At a rally held in the Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo to promote the European Parliament elections, Rajoy raised questions over the tax currently paid by everyone on devices such as computers, hard drives, blank media, CDs and DVDs etc, which should be divided between all artists but is actually going mainly to the big ones.

On the ‘3 strikes’ issue, Rajoy asked the gathered crowds if it would be acceptable to stop people from using the Internet because a government agency (at the behest of the entertainment industries) says so – is this what the young people want?

Rajoy is clearly against such punitive measures and announced that if Zapatero or anyone else tries to bring in something akin to Sarkozy’s ‘3 Strikes’ HADOPI law, he will be strongly against it.

“If someone takes this decision,” he said, “we’ll oppose it and go to the courts.”

In response PSOE candidate for the European Parliament, Iratxe García, said that PSOE is an overwhelming supporter of Internet user’s rights.

“PSOE doesn’t support or accept measures or laws like the ones in France,” she said adding, “We are voting in favor of keeping telecommunication interventions in the hands of judges and not by any other administrative authority.”

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