"The government says the law, which stems from European Union directives, aims to encourage online commerce by making the Internet a safer place to do business. It wants companies operating on the Internet to be subject to the same tax and commerce laws as traditional firms.
But opponents say Spain has gone far beyond the spirit of the EU guidelines, trying to regulate cyberspace more strictly than it does its own patch of Earth and robbing the Net of its information-sharing richness."
For context, have a look at the "important legal notices" on the EU site. A monument of pseudo-legalese nonsense hellbent on not committing itself to properly serving the public. The document, as most notices from public institutions, is of course anonymous, while you have to personally put your ass on the line.
Look at the disclaimer:
"If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. However the Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information on this site. […] Please note that it cannot be guaranteed that a document available on-line exactly reproduces an officially adopted text. Only European Union legislation published in paper editions of the Official Journal of the European Communities is deemed authentic. […] This disclaimer is not intended to limit the liability of the Commission in contravention of any requirements laid down in applicable national law nor to exclude its liability for matters which may not be excluded under that law."
Basically this says: "we don’t take the web seriously, so if we posted errors in our regulation texts, well, up yours." Yes, private companies will have that kind of CYA TOS too, but the difference is I’m not forced to pay taxes to them.
Now this places the EU in a very credible position to regulate private use of the Internet. As always in Europe, we people can go fuck ourselves, so long as we pay taxes. That’s what taxation without representation, and representation without taxation lead to. For the record, did you know than a household in two doesn’t pay income taxes in France?