Should Pirate Site Advertisers Be Punished? Spain Eyes Crackdown

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Should company's that advertise on pirate sites be punished as supporting piracy? It's a debate that's raged in the music community in recent weeks fueled in part by Cracker's David Lowery. On his Trichordist blog, Lowery wrote that brands who advertise on pirate sites are “supporting not only music piracy, but also the mainstream piracy of films and every other kind of digitally distributed work." and called for an end to the practice.

Now Spain is eying a crackdown.

In a continuing effort to crack down in intellectual property theft, Spanish lawmakers have proposed new laws targeting advertisers on piracy websites.

According to Reuters, the proposed laws would impose sanctions on companies who's advertisements appear on websites that facilitate piracy, to target the ad revenue that makes such websites possible.The details on the implementation of the new system however, have not been fully explained and it is unclear how regulators would determine what constitutes a website which facilitates piracy; what remedies would be available to accused companies; or who would collect the fees. These issues will likely be clarified in the as the proposed law wends its way through the Spanish parliament.

This isn't Spain's first foray into trying to crack down on endemic theft of intellectual property in the nation. Spain had previously implemented a web-blocking rule that allows copyright holders to force Internet service providers to block websites, but the measure has drawn criticisms from both sides, with opponents claiming that the law provides too little in the way of recourse and rights-holders stating that the law has proven ineffective to stem the tide. -  Spain coverage via CelebrityAccess.

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