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ISOC-Philippines on Pirate Bay, Dr. Potel

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  • Seth Johnson
    ... ISOC-Philippines statement on the jail sentence for The Pirate Bay founders and the criminal charges against philosophy professor Horacio Potel By isoc-ph,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 22, 2009
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      > http://isoc.ph/portal/2009/04/isoc-philippines-statement-on-pirate-bay-and-potel/

      ISOC-Philippines statement on the jail sentence for The Pirate Bay
      founders and the criminal charges against philosophy professor Horacio

      By isoc-ph, on April 20, 2009, 2:05 am

      The Internet Society Philippines’ (ISOC-PH) Public Policy Principles
      and activities are based upon a fundamental belief that “The Internet
      is for everyone.” ISOC-PH upholds and defends core values that allow
      people throughout the world to enjoy the benefits of the Internet.

      Recent developments, however, demonstrate an alarming growth towards a
      “license culture” on the Internet, imposed by the criminalization of
      those whose culture and society advance creativity, innovation and
      economic opportunity through the values of openness, sharing,
      education and collaboration.

      Philosophy professor Horacio Potel from Argentina is facing criminal
      charges for maintaining a personal and educational website devoted to
      Spanish translations of works by French philosopher Jacques Derrida.

      A court in Sweden has found the four men behind “The Pirate Bay”, a
      file-sharing website, guilty of breaking copyright law and were
      sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to pay $4.5m (£3m) in damages.

      The Ability to Share is one of ISOC’s core values. The many-to-many
      architecture of the Internet makes it a powerful tool for sharing,
      education, and collaboration. It has enabled the global open source
      community to develop and enhance many of the key components of the
      Internet, such as the Domain Name System and the World-Wide Web, and
      has made the vision of digital libraries a reality. To preserve these
      benefits we will oppose technologies and legislation that would
      inhibit the freedom to develop and use open source software or limit
      the well-established concept of fair use, which is essential to
      scholarship, education, and collaboration.

      We will also oppose excessively restrictive governmental or private
      controls on computer hardware or software, telecommunications
      infrastructure, or Internet content. Such controls and restrictions
      substantially diminish the social, political, and economic benefits of
      the Internet.

      The wire-tapping, searches and seizures, the removal of website
      content and the criminal charges against professor Potel of the
      University of Buenos Aires is an onslaught on human rights and
      academic freedom in Argentina and on the Internet.

      The police seizures of servers, the enormous bill for damages and the
      jail sentence on Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl
      Lundstrom and Peter Sunde is a defiance of the social and cultural
      institution of file-sharing in Sweden and on the Internet.

      ISOC-PH founding member and lawyer Michael Dizon writes, “Putting
      greater emphasis on the development of social or community norms and
      how people can actively participate in the creation of these norms …
      may be more advantageous in advancing creative culture than resorting
      to contractual agreements. Ideally, laws (and the licenses that seek
      to enforce rights based on these laws) should embody and uphold the
      norms and values of a community, and not the other way around.”

      As founding president of the newly rejuvenated ISOC-Philippines
      Chapter, I would like to dispute some of the statements being made
      regarding the Pirate Bay trials, in particular, by John Kennedy,
      Chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic
      Industry. Mr Kennedy says,

      “This is good news for everyone, in Sweden and internationally, who is
      making a living or a business from creative activity and who needs to
      know their rights will protected by law.”

      In keeping with the ISOC-PH mandate, I find it offensive to the
      diversity of cultures on the Internet the claim that the global model
      of copyright protection being imposed upon the developers and users of
      the Internet is “good news for everyone.”

      I also find it hard to accept the sincerity of Mr Kennedy’s statement
      about “making a living or a business from creative activity.” In fact
      only a handful of media corporations have effectively taken over what
      used to be a very diverse field of creative activity.

      Such a process of consolidation and privatization has created gross
      inequality between artists and the big media corporations: relations
      between artists and recording companies are replete with exploitative
      contracts and bitter legal struggles for control; and royalties and
      other earnings from copyright constitute only a fraction of the income
      of most active professional artists.

      The Pirate Bay trials and the criminal charges against professor Potel
      are a threat to academic freedom and free speech, and they undermine
      the Internet core value of the Ability to Share. If we envision a
      future in which people in all parts of the world can use the Internet
      to improve their quality of life, then freedom, and not a “license
      culture”, must be obtained for professor Potel, the Pirate Bay
      founders and the Internet communities of sharing.

      ISOC-PH calls on all Internet citizens to demand freedom.

      Fatima Lasay
      Internet Society Philippines Chapter

      Quezon City, Philippines
      April 20, 2009
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