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Date: 2001-05-15

ES: Hasta la vista E-Kommerz

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Wie Merce Molist aus Barcelona schreibt, ist in ES unter
dem gern benutzten Mantel der Regelung des E-Kommerz
der übliche Anschlag der gesetzlich ermächtigten
Kontrolleure auf die freie Kommunikation knapp davor,
Gesetz zu werden.

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Say NO to LSSI. Freedom of Speech in Danger in Spain.

Freedom of expression is in real danger now in Spain If the
Electronic Commerce (Society of Information Services)
Directive is approved, most websites that are not "properly"
registered would be considered illegal and have to face
enormous fees which will in fact paralyse their activity forever.

This directive -ready to be approved in the Spanish
Parliament any time- has invented the concept of "society of
information services" and wants to legislate plain exchange of
information as an economic activity, ruling out therefore, any
publisher -like NGOs- which do not really perform any
commercial activities and can not face all the legal and
bureaucratic activities that the Electronic Commerce (Society
of Information Services) Directive wants.

According to article 2, free distribution of information, even if
it implies no direct payments from customers is an "society
of information services" and, therefore, subjcet to this
electronic commerc directive. You don't have to be paid to be
considered an actor in the "society of information services":
as it is stated later in the article 2, search engines or on-line
compilation of information are also "society of information
services", which means that news digests, electronic
libraries, a repository of academic papers, NGOs that publish
regular news about violations of human rights... have to
conduct their actions in cyberspace according to an
electronic commerce directive, which is absolutely

Strangely enough, the only exceptions considered under this
article are: Public Broadcasting -TV and Radio, TV Teletext"
but no reference to NGOs, universities...e-mail is also
excluded, as long as you don't use it for "society of
information services", but then, if you are an NGO and keep a
newsletter about human rights violations you are again liable
under this directive.

As you can see, the scope of this directive is not at all
electronic commerce, but the whole Internet. Article 50
makes it mandatory to register any webs related to these
"Services". Therefore this directive may turn ilegal any
website that has not been publicly registered and has its own
domain name (most websites in Spain, as you may
suspect). Article 50 stablishes a fee of 90.000 euros! If there
is a "lack of communication to the public register in which
they are registered, of the domain name or names which they
use to offer society of information services".

Article 11 makes impossible anonymous websites.
According to this article, it is mandatory to give your

a) Name, social/commercial address. b) All the data
submited to a commercial/public register

Plus several extra data if you are really developing electronic
commerce activities.

Also see that, as long as you are a "society of information
services" provider it is mandatory to present data under b),
the data submitted to a register, this clearly imply that you
*must* register before opening a website. So, even if you
don't mind to put your own name, but you are not registered
anywhere, it means you are violating article 11 as well.

Also article 30 makes it mandatory to conduct all the
operations with the user as if it was a commercial
transaction: that is, you have to provide a proper contract,
language of choice and several other measures that make
sense if we are considering a prper commercial transaction,
but which are nonsensical if we are talking about just people
exchanging information in the web.

Let's consider this hypothetic case: a registered NGO in
Spain with no funds to get a proper domain name or
webspace has decided to put a website where they inform
about human rights in Spain. They offer webpages with
general information plus a mailing list devoted to these
issues. According to the law, they should have registered a
domain name, but they haven't, plus they are "publicizing
some activities" and they didn't register themselves
anywhere, so that's another illicit act, both violates article
50.4. Plus, they are not conducting this exchanging of
information with a proper commercial model, so they are also
violating article 30.

Even worse, if they want to be anonymous, which is
understandable if they are dennouncing human rights
violations in Spain, they are also breaking article 11.

All together, this poor NGO could be faced with a fee of
29.000.000 pesetas (aprox 175.000 euros) just for publishing
a website. The message for corrupt politicians/judges is
clear. If there is some annoying group which keeps an
annoying website, just use the directive and fry them with
enormous fees.


If you consider joining our campaign, please cut and paste
the letter below and email it to

Excma. Sra. Anna Birulés i Bertran MINISTRA DE CIENCIA


In due respect, I hereby request you to recall the first draft of
the Law of Society of the Information Services and of
Electronic Commerce, which appears published for public
consultation at the Internet address
. Likewise, it&#8217;s also hereby requested the immediate
dismissal of the politicians who are responsible for the
redaction of the first draft above, since their performance has
proved an absolute ignorance of what internet does represent
for the development of the Spanish society.

To my to understanding, the text of the first draft means the
end of the Spanish Internet, conceived as a free space, since
it establishes previous censorship of the present contents in
the Net, as well as administrative obstacles of impossible
fulfilment for all those initiatives that allow to publish free
information in the Spanish Net.

The above mentioned first draft contradicts all the
declarations made either by you and by the President of the
Government, Excmo. Mr. Jose Maria Aznar, to the effect that
the evolvement of the Internet in Spain could be fomented,
and very specially the Action Plan infoXXI, advertised from the
Ministry that you have the honour and the responsibility to

(N A M E)

(I D E N T I T Y C A R D)

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2001-05-15
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