Monday, May 23, 2005

Spanish lecturer fired for P2P lecture

Jorge Cortell Jorge Cortell, a lecturer at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) in Spain, has been fired for discussing the legal uses of P2P networks.

Cortell was scheduled to give a public lecture, including a public use of P2P software, to demonstrate the socially valuable and (under Spanish law) fully legal uses of this software. He notified the Spanish collecting society, police, and attorney general in advance of the talk. The Dean then received threats that the school would be subjected to software license inspection and other copyright-cartel harrassments; he caved and pulled the venue out from under Cortell's feet.

Corell gave the lecture anyway (in a cafeteria, to about 150 people), and he was asked for his resignation.

This is the most gut-wrenching destruction of academic freedom I've heard in months. I'll be pressing the Chronicle of Higher Education to do a story. We need to get the word out before such things start happening here.

See Cortell's story here (and again on BoingBoing).


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