- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

LISBON, Portugal (AP) - The Latest on the freedom of speech controversy centered on a banned book in Spain (all times local):

4 p.m.

A website that defied Spanish court orders banning a book investigating drug trafficking in Spain has been taken down.

The Madrid Booksellers’ Guild earlier launched an online tool that automatically pulls some 80,000 words from Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel “Don Quixote,” and pieces them together to recreate the contents of the banned work.

But the court struck back. The website was no longer available Tuesday, less than two weeks after its launch. A one-sentence explanation on the home page said it was removed on court orders.

The website was the latest flare-up in a wider legal and political dispute over freedom of expression in Spain.

___

1:30 p.m.

When Miguel de Cervantes wrote “Don Quixote” in the 17th century, he couldn’t have imagined that the novel would be used as a weapon in a modern battle over freedom of speech in Spain.

In defiance of a court order banning a book that investigates drug trafficking in Spain, the Madrid Booksellers’ Guild has launched an online tool that automatically pulls some 80,000 words from the classic novel to piece together the contents of the banned work.

The booksellers say the tool “demonstrates how ridiculous and anachronistic” the judge’s banning order was in a digital age.

The booksellers’ move is the latest flare-up in a wider legal and political dispute over freedom of expression that has been rumbling in Spain in recent months.

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