Why was there no comment here when Spain adopted a similar law to the one the US is considering? Did you even know that Spain has already adopted this law when you declare Europe freer than the US for not adopting such laws?
Because the rumour that Spain has passed such a law is simply false.
First, the Sinde law is still held up in the Spanish Senate, open to ammendments, and even then it is not 100% sure that it will finally pass, though it is likely it will, but with some changes.
Second, it is in many ways a more than watered-down version of SOPA. Sinde will msotly bring Spanish laws in line with laws already in place in many Western European countries, while SOPA takes the red line several miles further into unchartered territory.
Third, unlike SOPA, it relates exclusively to Spanish websites and doesn´t pretend to give Spain a say on other countries' internet policies.
Fourth, it is aimed exclusively at websites that may be breaking the law. Individual consumers will not be targeted.
But leaving Spain aside, and returning to SOPA, several tough questions need to be answered.
If the US pretends it's own laws to be enforced transnationally, with no regard to international borders, just how do they plan to avoid other countries from acting against US websites if they think they violate their own laws?
How will they manage to protect legitimate users of the websites they close? Spanish newspapers are loaded today with complaints from people who had been using Megaupload for years as a 'cloud' where they kept their own personal, legal files, from family photos and videos to work files. Right now, they've lost access to their own files. Lawyers are advising them to take legal action, the FBI could have sequestered the private property of several million people around the world.
A couple of weeks ago I read (on Newsweek, I think) a critique of SOPA by an American informatic engineer. He said that, technically, the law was pretty clumsy, because it got rid of the links to illegal content, but not the contents themselves. If I understood his techno speech correctly, it's like if you get rid of the internet address MTF, but not of the page itself. Of course, whenever one enters MTF, one is really contacting a site on the internet that is identified by a code number. Most people don't know that number, so if they can no longer find it by typing MTF, for them it's as good as lost. However, people knowing the code would still be able to access. Trouble is, serious wrongdoers are far more likely to be sophisticated in this regard than the general public.