jueves, 17 de diciembre de 2009

Be serious: The Internet it is not just about "their culture"

I was not keen to participate in the debate started a couple of weeks ago around Sustainability-Economy-Act-hidden-reforms affecting the internet in Spain. (Have a quick look at #manifiesto debate in Twitter, search Blogs, browse the group in Facebook, etc). But the Ministry of Culture went too far, trying to skip some basic rules that citizens expect from their governments in democracy (listening to all interested parties, explaining the real extension of the reforms, ...) They did not even communicate the existence of the amendment!!!! Thanks to the malicious way they are intending to change the law, the controversy even reached Boing Boing, and Slashdot, two very remarkable hits considering the insignificant relevance of our country in the internet.

Just in case you do not want to go further reading this post, I am not going to write about freedom of speech, nor about fundamental rights. Perhaps only a little bit about Intellectual Property, but in a broader sense than these interested-guys-of-the-culture try to define the concept (as if they were the only creators...) If you are expecting that, you should follow A-list bloggers like Escolar, Julio Alonso, Enrique Dans, and most of the other 150K "activists".

Of course it does not matter at all if Escolar, Dans and the others who were generously spending (or wasting) their precious time at the Ministry represent the internet community or not. Where was I when such a thing was founded? Fortunately they must be intelligent enough not to worry about that meaningless debate.

What everybody seems to be forgetting about is that we are wasting the energies that we need to build a real knowledge-based economy, founded on innovative, competitive and productive industries. Instead of that we are increasing the gap with truly non-bricked based economies, and trying to enforce the shift in our economy by law. What kind of future do we deserve?

What I have really missed in all the manifiesto mess is a strong voice coming from the Ministry of Industry saying something like: Please kids of the culture, leave the internet alone. We are not going to let you kill our weak internet-based-innovation in the name of your more than questionable interests.

Do they really think that people do not go to the cinema to watch over-subsidized-spanish movies because of P2P?. Juas!. As everybody knows since ever, The Internet is for porn, not for downloading their second-class products.

Music will not disappear in 5 years. It will be a stronger industry because innovators will figure out more ways of making money in the new and global economic scenario, powered by the internet. Of course business models based on the selling of overcharged dvds will disappear. But this kind of transformations happen in every other activity sector when a crisis overcomes or a disruptive change happens. And change and crisis have always happened and the only way to survive is innovation.

And yes, I am really upset. Please keep your hands off the internet!!!!!. You are going to kill our little opportunity to reach developed economies. Yes, Intellectual Property needs to be redefined, but this is not the way. All the creators should have something to say because it is not only a matter of culture. And surely IP must be transformed in something else, apart from giving a right to sue people or closing websites.

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