Geert Lovink on Fri, 10 Sep 2010 12:46:10 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Spanish collecting society is threatening EXGAE


In August, right in the middle of the summer holidays, EXGAE received  
a certified fax from the lawyers of the Spanish royalties collection  
society, Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE), demanding that  
EXGAE disappear from the face of the earth within the next seven days.  
If it fails to comply, it went on, SGAE will proceed, without any  
further notice, to sue EXGAE for damages, unfair competition and  
infringement of the “SGAE” brand.

The SGAE law firm, Lehmann  and Caballeiro, allege unfair competition  
in regards to the name EXGAE and the nature of the activities it  
carries out, under the provisions of the Patents Law.

Civil society has already denounced the fact that culture industry  
multinationals like the SGAE use copyright, patents and economic  
coercion for censorship, to silence dissidence and to restrict freedom  
of expression.

Citizens have made it clear that lawsuits and threats will not stop  
the just development of the digital era.

We’re sorry, but it will no longer wash. The SGAE lawyers will have to  
find some other business.

And what´s more we doubt that SGAE´s associates would want their  
interests to be defended in this way.

EXGAE won’t disappear within seven days. EXGAE is here to stay.

Together, we are bringing down a monopoly and building a future that  
is accessible, sustainable, and beneficial for everybody.

No! to the use of copyright for censorship purposes.

EXGAE is a non-profit platform. It emerged from the desire of a group  
of associations and individuals to share – among themselves and with  
anybody who many need them – the tools to defend themselves from the  
abuses of the part of the cultural industries that tries by any means  
possible to hinder the transition to the digital era, which is natural  
and unavoidable. Through practice, EXGAE promotes the normalisation of  
new modes of creating, understanding and producing. EXGAE dialogues  
and works with everybody, and firmly believes that the old cultural  
models must coexist with the new ones, without the first trying to  
hamper the progress of the second. And it does so for the benefit of  
artists, citizens and cultural entrepreneurs.

EXGAE works on six fronts:

	• Offering legal advice through specialised lawyers;
	• Reporting irregularities in the management of royalties collection  
societies and cultural industries, when they go against the interests  
of artists, and when they are detrimental to users and entrepreneurs;
	• Analysing the social and political situation and designing  
proposals for legislative intervention;
	• Organising cultural events aimed at “normalizing” the new form of  
cultural production, such as the oXcars;
	• Amplifying the power of national and international networks,  
promoting and harmonizing the capacities of each node;
	• Creating viral campaigns.
In recent years, EXGAE has been one of the most active groups in the  
struggle for civil rights in the digital environment, at the Spanish,  
European and international level.

It has participated in the organization of important milestones for  
freedoms on the Internet:

	• The fight against the Spanish Law of Sustainable Economy (LES) and  
the founding of RED SOSTENIBLE ;
	• The creation of tools for legislative reforms such as the Charter  
for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge ;
	• The organization of major mobilisations in 2010, such as the (D’)  
Evolution Summit, which reached more than 150,000 followers during the  
European Summit of Ministers of Culture
	• Internet will Not be another TV jointly with international consumer  
defence organisations.
It provides information free of charge to over 1400 people each year  
and its web site is visited by around 10,000 people  
per month.

* If you want to help us, use and spread the information and reference  
material on our web. Follow us and participate on Facebook and  
Twitter. Let’s multiply, share, and not let them intimidate us.

We will keep you informed.

“(…) Times have changed. The Internet allows the horizontal exchange  
of information and culture among everybody. We all consume and produce  
culture at the same time. This is why the means of cultural production  
must adapt to this new democracy, and not the other way around (…).”  
EXGAE Manifesto “Greed Breaks the Sack,”  July 2008

If you don’t know what EXGAE is link here:

Related Files (spanish):

The SGAE certified fax:

Our responses:

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