According to more than 100 leaked diplomatic cables, the reason that Spain passed such a strict anti-piracy law was because the United States government made strong threats against the country. The cables were part of a recent WikiLeaks release. Many have long suspected that the United States government has been interfering in other countries' copyright legislation, and these new cables certainly prove critics' points.
The leaked cables showed that the US had a hand in drafting the new Spanish copyright legislation and influenced decisions of the outgoing and incoming government. According to the new leaked documents, the U.S. voiced its anger at outgoing Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last month when they realized that his government was unlikely to pass the US-drafted Sinde law before leaving office.
In a letter dated December 12th sent by US Ambassador Alan D. Solomont to the Spanish Prime Minister’s office, the US expressed "deep concern" over the failure to implement the SOPA-style law.
“The government has unfortunately failed to finish the job for political reasons, to the detriment of the reputation and economy of Spain,” read the letter obtained by El Pais.
Solomont gave one last push to Spain before the president left office:
“I encourage the Government of Spain to implement the Sinde Law immediately to safeguard the reputation of Spain as an innovative country that does what it says it will, and as a country that breeds confidence,” he wrote.
The letter, which was also sent to Minister of Culture Ángeles González-Sinde, noted that Spain is already on the Special 301, the annual report prepared by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) detailing ‘trade barriers’ based on intellectual property issues.
Some might consider this a threat. In other words, if Spain failed to pass the Sinde Law, then the country would be placed on the Priority Watch List. This would have put Spain in breach of trade agreements and could be subjected to a range of “retaliatory actions."
Ultimately the incoming Partido Popular (People’s Party) were caved to pressure by the US to push the law through.
Another media leak revealed that American Chamber of Commerce in Spain chief Jaime Malet penned a letter to incoming Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warning him of potential "flight of foreign investment." He urged him to take action on the bill once in office.
“[The law's] lack of approval before the elections has been a blow to the country’s seriousness in this matter of such importance,” said Malet, while urging Rajoy “to retrieve the consensus reached.”
Rajoy’s government implemented the legislation within 10 days of taking office.