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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Manifesto "In Defense of Fundamental Rights on the Internet"

Given the inclusion in the Draft Law called "Sustainable Economy" of legislative changes affecting the free exercise of freedom of expression, information and the right of access to culture through the Internet, journalists, bloggers, users, professionals and internet developers express our firm opposition to the project, and declare that ...

1 .- Copyright can not be above the fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to privacy, security, the presumption of innocence, the right to effective judicial protection and freedom of expression.

2 .- The suspension of fundamental rights is and must remain the exclusive competence of the judges. Not a single website shut down without a firm sentence. This blueprint, contrary to the provisions of Article 20.5 of the Spanish Constitution, would allow a non-judicial body - a body under the Ministry of Culture - the power to prevent Spanish citizens from accessing any website of their choosing.

3 .- The new legislation will create legal uncertainty around the Spanish technology industry, damaging one of the few areas of development and future of our economy, hindering the creation of businesses by introducing barriers to competition and slowing its international expansion.

4 .- The new proposed legislation threatens new creators and hinders cultural creation. With the Internet and the successive technological advances the creative process and dissemination of all types of content has been dramatically democratized and no longer comes predominantly from traditional cultural industries, but from many different sources.

5 .- The authors, like all workers, are entitled to live off their work with new creative ideas, business models and activities associated with their creations. Trying to use legislative changes to hold on to an outdated industry that can't adapt to this new environment is neither fair nor realistic. If their business model is based on the control of the copies of the works, and on the Internet this business model is not possible without violating fundamental rights, they should find another model.

6 .- We believe that cultural industries need modern alternatives to survive, effective, credible and affordable to suit new social uses, rather than limitations so disproportionate as to be ineffective in what they are pursuing.

7 .- Internet should function freely and without political interference sponsored by groups that seek to perpetuate outdated business models and that make it impossible for human knowledge to remain free.

8 .- We demand that the Spanish Government guarantees by law the Net Neutrality in Spain, before any pressure that may occur as a framework for developing a realistic and SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY for the future.

9 .- We propose a real reform of intellectual property rights oriented to its final purpose: to give back the knowledge to society, to promote the public domain and to limit abuse from the managing bodies.

10 .- In a democracy the laws and their amendments should be adopted after due debate and having consulted all parties involved. It is unacceptable to make legislative changes that affect fundamental rights in a non-organic law that deals with other matters.

This manifesto, drawn up jointly by several authors, belongs all and none.
If you want to join us spread it throughout the Internet

Net Neutrality in Inminent Danger Worldwide

Spain just tried to pass a law in secrecy that will create a censorship commission with members pointed by the government with power to close and or block access to internet pages based on claims of infringement of intelect property. All this without a legal process in a court room under a judge.
This law was discovered by internet users that tried to defend their fundamental rights as citizens and to defend Net Neutrality by creating a Manifesto in just one night using Google Wave as a collaboration tool.

Here is a good post about the events:

The link to the Manifesto in English:

The link of the people that sign the Manifiesto on Facebook with more than 120000 people on Dec 5th @ 13:33h:

Twitter Hash Tag:#Manifiesto

After hearing some rumors that the US Embassy in Spain called yesterday PSOE and PP (main political parties from Spain) to pressure about passing the law, I did some research and found some answers: 

Streaming about the #Manifiesto on Twitter