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Spain's Congress is about to vote on a new and extremely harsh copyright/Internet law. It's an open secret that the law was essentially drafted by American industry groups working with the US trade representative.

But it gets gets more interesting: 115 of the Wikileaks cables intercepted from the US embassy in Madrid were tagged with "KIPR" -- that is, relating to "intellectual property," The big question has been: will El Pais, the Spanish newspaper that has the complete trove of Wikileaks cables release them in time to effect the vote on the new law?

Well, now they've started. The first 35 of the 115 cables have been released, and they confirm the widespread suspicion: the Spanish government and the opposition party were led around by the nose by the US representatives who are the real legislative authority in Spain.

So here's the new question: when the Spanish Congress votes on America's copyright law this month, will they vote for their sovereignty, or act like a US puppet state?

La prioridad que los estadounidenses otorgan a la cuesti?n se manifiesta en el nivel de los interlocutores elegidos. La vicepresidenta Mar?a Teresa Fern?ndez de la Vega es uno de los primeros objetivos. Un agregado de la Embajada habla del tema con ella el 22 de febrero de 2005. El cable 27536, elaborado por el agregado al d?a siguiente de la conversaci?n con De la Vega, se cierra as?: "Dada la cantidad de estrellas de la industria del entretenimiento con una abierta preferencia por el Gobierno socialista (es significativo, por ejemplo, que Zapatero acudiera al equivalente espa?ol de los Oscar), es posible que este Gobierno sea especialmente sensible a hacer algo en este sector. Necesitaremos un a?o o as? para ver si esta sensibilidad se traduce en resultados".

El 10 de noviembre de 2005, el embajador se entrevista con la ministra de Cultura, Carmen Calvo: en el cable 45583, el propio embajador concluye que en el Gobierno espa?ol hay buenas intenciones, pero no hay resultados.

La t?nica se mantiene. La potente Motion Pictures Association, que agrupa a las majors de Hollywood, presiona desde EE UU. La industria local espa?ola tambi?n se queja de la permisividad con las descargas, sobre todo la musical. En 2007 se produce el punto de inflexi?n: el 28 de diciembre, la delegaci?n estadounidense en Madrid emite un cable (135868) que contiene un minucioso plan. Asunto: estrategia para los derechos de propiedad intelectual en Espa?a. El despacho despliega un detallado plan a corto, medio y largo plazo plagado de citas con responsables pol?ticos, con mandos intermedios de los ministerios de Cultura e Industria, encuentros con las operadoras de telecomunicaciones, visitas a Espa?a de expertos norteamericanos... y anticipa, ya, la medida que hay que tomar a medio plazo: colocar a Espa?a en la lista negra.

Spanish to English translation:

The Americans give priority to the issue is reflected in the level of selected partners. The Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega is one of the first targets. An aggregate of the Embassy discusses the issue with her on February 22, 2005. 27536 cable, prepared by adding the day after the conversation with de la Vega, closes with: "Given the number of stars in the entertainment industry with an open preference for the socialist government (it is significant, for example, Zapatero attended the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars), it is possible that this government is particularly sensitive to do something in this sector.'ll need a year or so to see if this sensitivity translates into results. "

On November 10, 2005, Ambassador meets with Minister of Culture Carmen Calvo: 45 583 in the cable, the ambassador concluded that the Spanish government there are good intentions, but no results.

The tone is maintained. The powerful Motion Picture Association, which represents the Hollywood majors, from the U.S. press. Spanish local industry also complained of permissiveness with downloads, especially music. In 2007, there was a turning point: 28 December, the U.S. delegation in Madrid issued a cable (135 868) containing a detailed plan. Subject: strategy for intellectual property rights in Spain. The office displays a detailed plan for the short, medium and long plagued with political appointments, with middle managers from the Ministries of Culture and Industry, meetings with telecom operators, visits to Spain by U.S. experts ... and anticipated, and the measure to be taken in the medium term: to put Spain on the blacklist.

(Translation and emphasis my addition)

Source: El Pais via BoingBoing

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Well, now they've started. The first 35 of the 115 cables have been released, and they confirm the widespread suspicion: the Spanish government and the opposition party were led around by the nose by the US representatives who are the real legislative authority in Spain.

Interesting. I guess the US isn't going to be the only country stung by these releases.

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