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Copyright Monopoly Lobby Sues Reputable Professor For Saying They’re A Monopoly

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Lobby Efforts

Lobby Efforts

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.

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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41

  1. 1
    O.o

    I’m surprised by how upset you sound. You did a good job putting your emotions down.

    Nice article.

  2. [...] "CRITEO-300×250", 300, 250); 1 meneos [eng] El lobby del monopolio del copyright español Promusicae ha demandado al resputado profesor En… falkvinge.net/2012/03/27/copyright-monopoly-lobby-sues-re…  por nettizen hace [...]

  3. 2
    LennStar

    please delete the last sentence, that is really bad behavior. We already see enough of this, right?

    • 2.1

      It’s a deliberate taunt, demonstrating what falls clearly within the boundaries of free speech.

    • 2.2
      DabielS

      I agree with Falkvinge here. If you have free speech shoudnt you be able to say what you want, without being prosecuted for it? No matter what you say?

      Yes it can be unsettling at times, I agree very much with you there. But the point is, you need tyo be able to say unsettling things, or free speech is only a dream.

      Either we have free speech or we have a law telling us what we can say.

      • 2.2.1
        Prisoner 201

        Exactly. Free speech is not about protecting the things we all agree on and think is nice and friendly.

        Free speech is about allowing people to say uncomfortable things. Criticism, dissent, mockery, blasphemy, and what have you.

        With that said, I do agree that the last line is quite a bit below Mr. Falkvinges normal level, and that perhaps it would be beneficial for his Kudos Points to make the point of it more clear in the actual article rather than the comments.

        • Scary Devil Monastery

          I think Rick is entitled to an emotional outburst at this point. Given the actions of Promusicae i spontaneously thought up a description which makes Rick’s seem positively flattering.

        • While out of the norm, I thought the last line was fittingly ridiculous for a completely ridiculous situation.

          And it IS ridiculous. It is one thing when the lobby groups pull out the poor-artists’-livelihood defense & go after actual pirates, but to go after someone for a simple remark is way, way out of line. The silver lining of this poor professor’s situation is that attacking free speech in such a blatant manner can get people pretty angry. And anger is good. Way better than apathy.

          I laughed at the last line. Thought it was perfectly appropriate. I wanted to laugh through the rest of the article because the whole deal is so unbelievably stupid. But someone being harassed is never really funny…

        • DannyUfonek

          “The people shouldn’t be afraid of the government, the government should be afraid of the people.”

  4. [...] Falkvinge.net: “Copyright monopoly lobby sues reputable professor for saying they’re a monopoly“ [...]

  5. 3
    DavidXanatos

    Really nice article.

    “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.” <- thats why they call themselves the creative industry.

    David X.

  6. 4
    Rev. Smith

    I want to put “like” on so many quotes in this article, I do not know where to begin. Great job Rick!

  7. [...] Via falkvinge.net Share this:CompartirDiggRedditStumbleUponMe gusta:Me gustaSé el primero en decir que te gusta esta post. « Previous post [...]

  8. 5

    “… Every time you think the copyright monopoly lobby must have run out of ammo shooting itself in the feet, they reload…”
    “… When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.
    Well, what can’t be copied?
    There are a number of qualities that can’t be copied. Consider “trust.”
    Trust cannot be copied. You can’t purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked…”
    http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/01/better_than_fre.php

  9. 6
    mijj

    it’s like the “emperor with no clothes” story. Except (instead of a little boy pointing out the emperor has no clothes) it’s the Professor pointing out that the Copyright Monopoly has soiled itself.

    • 6.1
      gurra

      And in irony, they respond with the very same behaviour as the professor tries to point out, effectively enhancing his point of them being ruthless corporate predators.. :)

      • 6.1.1
        Scary Devil Monastery

        Yes, well, if someone who has just crapped his pants indignantly tries to state that he did not then the last resort chosen really ought to be to one where he invites a judge and jury to scrutinize his underwear in order to determine whether he was in fact slandered…

        • gurra

          Yeah, now there’s a very clear connection between claiming someone has crapped their pants and claiming someone is bullying competitors in a marketplace.

          Or… maybe there isn’t?

          A better example these days with the increasing amount of anti-terror surveillance would be someone claiming that a woman hides a bomb in her bra. You’re not just gonna take her word for it that she doesn’t, are you? I bet security in certain countries wouldn’t anyway.

  10. [...] Falkvinge.net: “Copyright monopoly lobby sues reputable professor for saying they’re a monopoly“ [...]

  11. 7

    I didn’t know any of this before but I looked it up after reading this:

    Promusicae is pretty much the Spanish RIAA, the two are directly analogous. Both trade unions representing the recording industry in their countries, both monopolies, both trigger-happy when it comes to lawsuits.

    The more you know

  12. 8
    Matt

    surprise factor zero.

    Remember that the international collection agencies have ties back to the IFPI and thus RIAA. Should it surprise you that it’s the same legal counsel behind the scenes? they just forward their decisions to the local offices. One giant shell game coming from the RIAA.

    Look at who even links to them constantly: http://www.ifpi.org/content/library/promusicae-blubster-050608.pdf

    is this a surprise? i’d hope not.

  13. 9

    So glad you wrote this!

    I read Enrique’s blog regularly – through Google Translate – but I was really struggling to understand this and who the ‘players’ were.

  14. [...] has been widely covered in the Spanish media over the past 24-hours and it’s being shared in English [...]

  15. [...] has been widely covered in the Spanish media over the past 24-hours and it’s being shared in English [...]

  16. [...] has been widely covered in the Spanish media over the past 24-hours and it’s being shared in English [...]

  17. [...] has been widely covered in the Spanish media over the past 24-hours and it’s being shared in English [...]

  18. [...] lobbying group that is associated with the IFPI (which, itself is associated with the RIAA) has sued Spanish professor Enrique Dans for daring to state, in his opinion, that Promusicae violated Spanish antitrust laws. The blog post [...]

  19. [...] lobbying group that is associated with the IFPI (which, itself is associated with the RIAA) has sued Spanish professor Enrique Dans for daring to state, in his opinion, that Promusicae violated Spanish antitrust laws. The blog post [...]

  20. 10
    X

    Great article. Enrique Dans is a refference in Spain and abroad on Freedom, Technologies and Society. His posts are allways well-reasoned. Promusicae is desperate. Regards from the mediterranean Sea.

  21. 11

    Agreed. They show no shame, or for that matter intelligence.

    I have a minor grammatical critique:

    There’s no end to my total despise for these corporate bullies.

    That line should read:

    There’s no end to my total despite for these corporate bullies.

    Regards

    Wayne

  22. [...] la demanda que Promusicae me ha planteado por supuestamente ofender su derecho al honor (ver en Falkvinge, Techdirt, TorrentFreak o Boing Boing), aparte de crear un auténtico “efecto [...]

  23. 12
    Krumin

    Excellent article! Love the tone, too. Oh, and the last line, LOL.

    @LennStar
    Feel free to move to North Korea.

  24. [...] news has been widely covered in the Spanish media over the past 24-hours and it’s being shared in English [...]

  25. [...] la demanda que Promusicae me ha planteado por supuestamente ofender su derecho al honor (ver en Falkvinge, Techdirt, TorrentFreak o Boing Boing), aparte de crear un auténtico “efecto [...]

  26. [...] has been widely covered in the Spanish media over the past 24-hours and it’s being shared in English [...]

  27. [...] la demanda que Promusicae me ha planteado por supuestamente ofender su derecho al honor (ver en Falkvinge, Techdirt, TorrentFreak o Boing Boing), aparte de crear un auténtico “efecto Streisand” de [...]

  28. [...] pak tu je celá ta válka, ve které se jedno průmyslové odvětví snaží seč může odvrátit svůj zánik. A místo toho aby hladalo cesty k využití stávající situace, [...]

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About The Author

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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