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The Associated Press February 16, 2011, 9:48AM ET

Spain approves new law to battle Internet piracy

Spain has approved a law that allows authorities to shut down websites offering illegal downloads of copyrighted-protected entertainment material.

The revamped bill replacing an earlier defeated version was passed by parliament late Tuesday after months of opposition from political parties and Internet users.

It aims to appease entertainment industry groups who, backed by the U.S. government, say they are losing millions through Internet piracy.

The law creates a panel which will hear complaints against suspected sites. A judge will have the final word in all phases of each investigation. The bill allows for sites to be closed in the space of 10 days.

Spain's Association of Internet Users said Wednesday it will appeal the law.

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