Supporting The Minister of Science and Technology of Portugal’s statement


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 progressand globalization.

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 Power”:
“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:
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

[email protected]

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