Copyright Monopoly Lobby Sues Reputable Professor For Saying They’re A Monopoly
Lobby Efforts – Rick Falkvinge
The Spanish copyright monopoly lobby Promusicae has filed lawsuit against the reputable Spanish professor Enrique Dans for “soiling their honor”, and demand €20,000 in damages.
They are filing lawsuit against Professor Dans for pointing out in passing that the copyright monopoly lobby is just that – a monopoly, using monopolistic practices, something that is well established in dictionaries and even in legislation.
This is so outrageous, I don’t know where to begin. Every time you think the copyright monopoly lobby has sunk as morally low as humanly possible, they come up with new ways to surprise you. They’re actually filing a lawsuit against a professor for stating that they’re using monopolistic practices – when they’re a legislated monopoly? They’re filing a lawsuit with the obvious purpose of inciting fear of criticizing them? This goes right into the list of “worst of the copyright industry”, along with how the copyright industry uses child pornography to induce censorship laws.
The matter concerns this blog post (in Spanish), point six, where Professor Dans points out that the copyright industry is using illegal monopolistic practices to control the music we hear on the radio (something the copyright industry has indeed been convicted of doing as a regular practice, along with illegal price fixing). Professor Dans writes more about the lawsuit on his own blog (also in Spanish). This completely infuriates me.
First, to introduce Enrique Dans, he’s one of the good guys in Spain and was instrumental in the uprising against Ley Sinde. That piece of U.S. mail-order legislation eventually passed, but far from as silently as the copyright monopoly lobby would have liked.
Second, Promusicae, the antagonist here, has sued ISPs to get access to subscriber data behind IP addresses that not even the Police may access. Yes, you read that right: this private monopoly lobby is so full of entitlement that they think they should have greater powers to violate citizens’ privacy than a country’s police force. (They lost, in a landmark precedent ruling, but not before having appealed all the way to the European Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court.)
Third, this is so obviously a lawsuit intended to chill criticism, to stifle free speech, and to scare the public from speaking out against corporate bullies, that anti-SLAPP legislation may need to come to Europe along with the U.S. mail-order monopoly legislation and its deceptive copyright lobby. (When U.S. lobbies act like this on their own soil, they are struck down in bolts of lightning, and deservedly so.)
Fourth, how can these morons at Promusicae possibly fail to understand that the inevitable effect of this abusive lawsuit would be not only the world’s spotlight on the monopolistic practices that Professor Dans points out, but also on their abusive and repulsive behavior?
Enrique Dans has over 150,000 followers on Twitter. How could these nutcases possibly believe they would have the privilege of interpretation here?
Every time you think the copyright monopoly lobby must have run out of ammo shooting itself in the feet, they reload.
Fifth, from a legal standpoint, I can’t say where Professor Dans stands: being right and prevailing in court are two different things. Money speaks and it is quite possible to out-lawyer somebody even if you don’t have a shred of legal ground in civil proceedings like these. If I were judging, the case would be easy – obviously, Professor Dans hasn’t soiled the honor of Promusicae, as they don’t have any to begin with.
But regardless, he will now have to spend time and resources defending himself in court against one of the most filthy, shameless, honorless lobby that roams. Promusicae and their ilk need to be shut down: it’s not just that they don’t have any honor, but they’re a monopolistic parasite on the productive and creative elements of society. Now, they’ve added the fact that they don’t pull any punches when it comes to trading free speech for bottom lines. There’s no end to my total despise for these corporate bullies. Seeing news like this, my reaction is something like “fuck them hard with a ten-foot chainsaw, preferably from parliament”.
Sixth, perhaps what amazes me most is that the public backlash to this kind of behavior is as predictable as a grandfather clock. How can the copyright monopoly lobby’s lawyers live in so completely disconnected an ivory tower, that they thought it was a good idea to file lawsuit against a reputable professor for claiming they’re a monopoly, using monopolistic practices – when this fact is not only well-established to the point of being in dictionaries, but even legislated? What kind of survivability would such a parasitic misantropic business have in the wild, if it were not protected by obsolete laws?
I really don’t know what to say.
After seeing this shockingly disgusting behavior, I’m very happy I didn’t end up in the copyright monopoly lobby. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t have been a good fit for a place like Promusicae anyway. My parents weren’t siblings.
This article is also available in other languages: Serbian.