Bogotá, 25th January, 2017
The hearing that was scheduled for today in the case against Diego Gómez, Colombian graduate student, who is facing criminal charges for alleged copyright infringement was postponed.
We are grateful to everyone who has been close to the case, following it and supporting us to defend the access to knowledge.
The pending hearing is important since the final arguments will be presented and the judge will give the sense of his judgement (guilty or not). Unfortunately, as we have witnessed in this case, the postponements of hearings in the Colombian judicial system is common. Even if all parties are in the best mood to advance, there are always situations that are difficult to control. In this opportunity Diego’s defender was scheduled another hearing at the same time, but that defendant is in prison. As Diego is not in prison, his process does not have priority and he must give the agenda to the other.
This situation postpones once again the decision within the process but should not discourage us to continue aside Diego and to continue to defend open access to knowledge as a social value that has a real impact on people’s lives.
This week, Creative Commons said on its blog, “On repeat, forever: Why are students criminalized for sharing knowledge?”, that “the prosecution of Diego is yet another example of copyright overreach, where rights holders can unfairly leverage the law so that even a minor violation leads to major negative repercussions for both the individual involved and society as a whole.”
The OpenCon community also expressed its support for Sharing is Not Crime campaign with a message that circulated in social networks and via e-mail. This message has been supported by the voices of scientists and activists around the world who reject the situation that Diego is facing.
From Karisma Foundation and on behalf of Diego, we thank all the people and organizactions who have shared, commented and spread the news about the case. This postponement serves to strengthen our spirit and continue the struggle for open access as the rule and not as an exception for scientific publications and to prevent cases like Diego’s from happening again. We will let you know the date of the hearing as soon as we are notified of it. .
Show your support to Diego:
Sign the Statement to Support Open Access Worldwide promoted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, Internet Archive, among others. It has been signed for more than 10,000 people. Let’s continue saying #CompartirNoEsDelito #SharingIsNotACrime