Accion/Descarga publica/New translated
Spain is one of the countries with a highest rate of p2p download per citizen, a country with a very strong support for copyleft and yet it is one of the countries with a stronger copyright industry lobbying. Free culture activists all around Spain have recently played hard against new coming laws and State founded propaganda.
Proved: downloading files from p2p networks is legal
We have shown it once more: downloading copyrighted files from a p2p network is legal in Spain as long as it isn't done for profit. However, the Ministry of Culture of the current PSOE administration (the spanish "socialist" party in power), an ally of the lobbies from the cultural industry has opened an unprecedented process of regulation and control of the net in Spain (aiming to lead the European Union in 2010). This plan to end up with the free access to culture we now enjoy is accompanied by a millionaire propaganda campaign paid by all the citizens. The campaign explicitly equates downloading with robbery and declares it a crime. This is what we came to refute by downloading copyrighted material publicly from a p2p network, in from of the of the Spanish Socialist Party's headquarters. Ten days ago, we sent a certified burofax to the Chief of the Unit of Cybernetic Crime (Jefe de la Unidad de Delitos Telemáticos). Police was present and we were not arrested, therefore downloading copyrighted works through p2p networks is NOT a crime.
In addition, to counterstrike the State founded propaganda, we have taken the governmental campaign and made an exact copy of it faking the original content with free-culture supportive one. After a call for google-bombing the fake website, in less than 48 hours, we managed to position our website as first position in Google, forcing the Spanish government to advertise their website in Google. As a result we have forced important declaration from the Culture Minister confessing new-coming internet regulation laws.
Sharing is good. p2p networks make free the culture that the industry kidnaps
Sharing is a legitimate activity and it is good for creativity, innovation and culture. We have downloaded works that would be forgotten by now, were not for p2p networks. Works that may not be bought in our country because the companies that “possess” their copyrights consider them not profitable and allow them to fall into oblivion. Current copyright law forbids us to access any cultural work until 70 years have passed since the death of the author, and so we may find some works kidnapped for more than a century just for the sake of a commercial interest.
Privatization of culture and campaigns against the citizens paid with our own taxes
Currently, we find that all governments, despite which party is in rule, try to privatize everything that should be available to all citizens: water, health care, education and, from the Ministry of César Antonio Molina, culture. They want to impose upon us an deprecated business model that has enriched the middle men in the culture industry for all these years, stepping above our basic rights of access to culture that we should all enjoy as citizens. When finally, a technology appears that allows us to access the true universal public library, we find ourselves in front of a campaign of harassment to stop us, financed with the very money that should be spent to guarantee our right to access culture. A campaign in which the Ministry lies to the public while its spokesman in the congress presents a proposal to turn us into criminals.
Free culture creates jobs, but the Minister ignores it
The favourite argument of the lobbies of paper-vinyl culture is that free culture could produce the loss of many jobs. But reality is very different. Currently more than 150 million web pages are catalogued as copyleft, newspapers such as adn, 20minutos or público use these licenses, there are more than 50 million free photographs just in flickr.com, the Wikipedia contains more than 2.5 million articles and there are free compilations of software such as Debian, whose total development cost from scratch was estimated four years ago to be about 8000 million dollars. Where are the subsidies for these artists? Is it possible that only the lobbies have the right to get rich at our expense?
The party PSOE must choose between the lobbist's idea of the privatization of culture no matter the cost, and thus reactivate their model of economic speculation in culture and knowledge, or stop trying to ignore the future and allow for millions of jobs to be created in the new digital economy.
The canon and the transparency of the SGAE
The latest reform brought by the government: the canon, an abusive and indiscriminate tax against the users of digital storage media, who are not satisfied. We ignore who receives our money, and what is it used for. We demand the government to audit the SGAE and the other entities that benefit from this canon, and ask them about the high salaries of their managers. It doesn't make sense that a private entity manages everybody's money, and an opaque and closed one at that. If the canon is to persist, it must be managed transparently through a public organism which is audited by independent agents.
Withdrawal of the campaign and public apology
For all these reasons we demand the withdrawal of the campaign “Si eres legal, eres legal” (if you are legal, you are legal), as well as a public apology from the Ministry for trying to manipulate its citizens with a campaign that we paid and that, today, has been proven false.
Possible reform of the law
After this public demonstration of their lies we know what the next step will be, a new law that will forbid us to repeat this action, that forbids us to do what is legitimate: the freedom of information and the free flow of culture. Even though we know that any legal reform will eventually lead to a technological development that will make its application impractical, that is no reason to allow the lobbies of the culture industry and the SGAE to write the laws we must abide. We have just shown their lies, now we must show them that the internet takes action.
Set the culture free, take over the net!
Isaac Hacksimov and Teresa Malina