[Air-L] "Supporting The Minister of Science and Technology of Portugal" statement

Mathieu ONeil mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au
Mon May 10 03:20:37 PDT 2010

The pirate virus reaches Portugal?... Not sure who we are supposed to "send it" to but I thought it was interesting anyway..

Subject: [fcf_discussion] Supporting The Minister of Science and Technology
of Portugal' statement
To: fcforum_discussion at list.fcforum.net, info at conservas.tk

(Sign it while you send it)

The Minister of Science and Technology  of Portugal, Mr. Mariano Gago,
stated that Internet "piracy" on a wide scale brings some positive
developments, such as an  enormous increased value to producers who see
their content distributed  all over the world. Mr. Gago added that this is
not surprising, since  piracy has always been a source of progress and

Pressure from the content  industry lobby forced Mr. Gago to publicly
retract  his statement.

Actually, historic and contemporary facts  strongly support his claims. An
important account is given by  professor Doron Ben-Altar in his book "Trade
Secrets: Intellectual   Piracy  and  the Origins of American Industrial

"During the first decades of  America's existence as a nation, private
citizens, voluntary    associations,  and government officials  encouraged
the smuggling of   European inventions and artisans to the  New World. These
actions   openly violated the intellectual property regimes  of  European
nations.   [...]  What  fueled  19th  century  American  boom was  a  dual
system  of principled  commitment to  an  intellectual property  regime
combined  with absence of commitment to enforce these  laws.   This
ambiguous order generated innovation by  promising  patent  monopolies. At
the same time, by declining to  crack down on technology  pirates, it
allowed for rapid dissemination of innovation that made  American products
better and cheaper."

Moreover, thanks to the small costs of European books for which copyright
was  not paid, the USA managed to fight illiteracy of  the population at a
faster rate than Europe.

During the last century, American film-makers moved to  California in order
to avoid paying expensive patent fees of Edison, and founded Hollywoodland.
As a consequence, the American movie industry quickly became,  and still is,
the most developed and powerful movie industry in the  world.

Nowadays, non-commercial wide scale  Internet exchange is again beneficial
for the market. It has managed to create and sustain  completely new
businesses, as a massive quantity of truly  independent studies show:
t <http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Studies_on_file_sharing_eng>
It has also increased access to  knowledge, particularly amongst the
disadvantaged and those in  developing economies.

The following organizations express their regret for the claims by the
copyright industry lobbies which manage to  silence any dissenting voice,
including the one of a minister,any effort to think and contextualize the
issues of the new forms of  returns for the creative community and the
society in a way different from what is imposed by the  content industry.

Attacking all new opinions and minds open to new models of economy will only
bring high costs to the civil society and new  entrepreneurs but will not
stop the inevitable progress of the digital age.

Transform!  Italia
Amelia  Andersdotter/Piratpartiet

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