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Viewing cable 09MADRID593, NEW CULTURE MINISTER ON FIGHT AGAINST INTERNET

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MADRID593 2009-06-22 14:02 2010-12-21 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid
VZCZCXRO5858
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMD #0593 1731459
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 221459Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0805
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 4031
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 000593

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE AND EEB/TPP/IPE
STATE PASS USTR FOR JGROVES AND DWEINER
STATE PASS U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE
USDOC FOR 4212/DCALVERT
USDOC ALSO FOR PTO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2014
TAGS: KIPR SP
SUBJECT: NEW CULTURE MINISTER ON FIGHT AGAINST INTERNET
PIRACY

REF: A. STATE 42723
ΒΆB. MADRID 129

Classified By: CdA Arnold A. Chacon, for Reason 1.4(d)

1.(C) Summary and Action Requests: New Culture Minister
Gonzalez-Sinde, a committed opponent of internet piracy,
updated the Charge on the status of negotiations between
content providers and ISPs. She welcomed a shift in approach
by content providers that would have the GOS seek legal
changes allowing it to block offending web pages. After
several months, participants would review the results to see
whether other action (e.g., action against individual users),
was needed. The Minister reacted enthusiastically to our
offer of expert engagement, saying it would be valuable for
GOS officials to hear what has worked and what has not worked
to reduce illicit downloads. Post requests that Washington
agencies seek to provide experts to discuss this issue with
GOS officials in visits or through video conferences. Post
also requests that Washington agencies respond favorably to
the Minister's interest in involving U.S. experts in
IPR-related events during Spain's EU presidency next year.
End Summary and Action Requests.

2.(C) Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, named Culture Minister in the
April 7 cabinet shuffle, emphasized to the Charge during a
June 18 courtesy call the importance she placed on addressing
internet piracy. She said it would be ideal if content
providers and ISPs could reach agreements on measures to
fight piracy as had happened in the U.S., but that the ISPs,
led by Telefonica, did not seem to want to do so. She said
that since talks between the Coalition of content providers
and the Redtel ISP association had broken off in April, the
Coalition had shown much more flexibility than Redtel. It
now was willing to start by targeting offending websites
rather than individual users. She said it would be necessary
to change laws so the GOS could act against sites, adding
that 100 sites accounted for a significant majority of
illicit downloads. In some months, participants could review
whether this approach had worked and see whether other action
was needed. (Note: The Coalition announced a proposal along
these lines the next day. It called for a one-year period
with no action against individual users and called for
measures against 200 sites accounting for 80% of illicit
downloads. The Coalition also announced the creation of a
site that would involve ISPs in offering movies, music, and
video games at an accessible price. The ISPs have not yet
responded.)

3.(U) The Minister expressed interest in our offer (ref A) of
cooperation from USG experts. She was particularly
interested in advice on measures to reduce demand for
unauthorized downloads -- what had worked and what had not.
The Minister also expressed interest in involving U.S.
experts in IPR-related events during Spain's EU presidency in
the first half of 2010.

4.(U) The Minister hopes to travel to the U.S. in September.
Post believes it would be useful for USG and U.S. IPR
industry officials to meet with her.

5.(C) Comment: Gonzalez-Sinde's appointment as Minister
prompted vocal criticism from the "Internautas" pro-piracy
association that she faced a conflict of interest because as
head of the Spanish film academy she had spoken out strongly
against internet piracy (ref B). While she emphasized that
the Internautas were a small and unrepresentative group, she
also acknowledged the importance of fighting any perception
that she was only interested in piracy for personal reasons,
and she has taken a relatively low public profile on the
issue in her first months. Nonetheless, she is actively
engaged in the fight against piracy, meeting with a range of
key players to seek a way forward. While one of her key
points -- the need for viable models of legal content
distribution -- is a frequent Redtel refrain, she is much
more focused on the need for constructive action. It is in
our interest to support her efforts, and post recommends that
we do so through arranging visits, meetings, and/or video
conferences with experts in the coming months. Her
receptivity also gives us an opportunity during Spain's EU
presidency to influence developments beyond Spain. End
Comment.
CHACON