Iceland overturns laws allowing Basques to be killed on sight

Iceland recently discovered a bylaw that allowed Icelanders to kill anyone from the Basque country on sight, and have decided to overturn it. País Vasco is a region of Spain on the north coast. The law dates from 1615, when a Basque whaling ship foundered in the waters off Iceland and 32 Basque crew members struggled ashore. They set up camp on the beach in Hólmavik, and quickly got into a series of fights with Continue reading Iceland overturns laws allowing Basques to be killed on sight

Spanish news publishers beg Google to put news back online

Google News closed in Spain today because of a new law that would force it to pay publishers for linking to their site, and so Spanish newspapers (who mainly lobbied for the new law) have lost millions of page views a month. Which is why the AEDE (the association of newspaper editors that lobbied for the law in the first place) is now lobbying the government to, ah, force Google to reopen the service. Google Continue reading Spanish news publishers beg Google to put news back online

Spain drops abortion reform law

The controversial abortion law that would have sent Spain back to the days of Franco has been dropped. PM Rajoy’s office has admitted that due to lack of internal consensus it’s unlikely to be passed in this legislature and can be considered shelved. It’s a humiliating blow to the extreme conservative wing of the PP, under Justice Minister Alberto Gallardon (he used to be Mayor of Madrid), but Spain has united in defence of women’s Continue reading Spain drops abortion reform law

Some traffic law changes you may not have heard about…

We’ve all seen the “big changes” to the traffic law which comes into force today. Here are some of the smaller changes you may not have heard about in the expat press: Cyclists under 16 are obliged to wear helmets in urban areas. Over 16’s or outside of urban areas, you aren’t. When overtaking a cyclist, you have to give them a minimum of 1,5 metres space, and ideally should move your vehicle into the Continue reading Some traffic law changes you may not have heard about…

Barcelona bans all bullfight related festivals

Barcelona city council, having banned bullfighting back in 2012, is going a step further and banning the simulation of bull fighting, as well as all festivals involving bulls. The prohibition means that mock bull fights which involve teasing or distressing the animal are banned, as are corridas or any public spectacle which involves the death of the animal. Also banned are those traditional implements of torture used during the bullfight, la pica, la banderilla and Continue reading Barcelona bans all bullfight related festivals

Google finally replies to Spanish internet news law – we’re bigger than you are, amigo

Google has finally replied to the proposed Spanish Internet Copyright Law, that would, in theory, make Google News illegal unless they paid for every news story they used. In fact, the new law, badly thought out and pandering to elderly news editors who don’t understand the internet, won’t affect Google at all – although it will stifle Spanish innovation. In a blog post here, the head of Spanish Strategic Alliances, Luis Collado, sniffs that Google Continue reading Google finally replies to Spanish internet news law – we’re bigger than you are, amigo

The Google News tax, and how it’s failed elsewhere in Europe

So the Government’s new copyright law plans to allow news creators to charge news aggregators to use their stories. As part of the media buildup, the Government points to France or Germany, both of which have introduced similar laws recently. As I said yesterday, the new law is nonsense, pure pandering to elderly newspaper editors who don’t understand the Internet for short term political gain, and will stifle innovation whilst not touching the vast Internet giants Continue reading The Google News tax, and how it’s failed elsewhere in Europe

Spain stifles innovation – this new content law is useless.

The government has proposed a new Intellectual Property law that has everyone excited, because it contains what is called a “Google” tax. Note the proposed bit – it hasn’t been voted on yet. We don’t even, it seems, have the full draft of the law, it hasn’t been officially released. But people are excited. Now, the idea is that websites which use content from other people must pay a “fair usage fee”. In theory, it Continue reading Spain stifles innovation – this new content law is useless.

Madrid frees up restaurant rules

Madrid has approved a new series of bylaws which remove all restrictions on restaurant sizes, kitchen size and installations, and locations on restaurant installations. Indeed, restaurants with less than 200 square meters of total space will be allowed to have just one unisex toilet, and even smaller restaurants won’t have to have indoor bins. The idea is to free up restaurants to allow “creative cooking” to flourish, explains Mayor Ana Botella. She wants chefs to Continue reading Madrid frees up restaurant rules