A Spanish Lecturer, Jorge Cortell, ended up having to resign after doing nothing more than defending P2P networks. His story has been well covered in Spain, but is only really emerging elsewhere now and he has posted an article explaining what really happened to him. Here is the article pasted below.
This what happened to me when trying to defend the legal use of P2P networks in Spain.
I have been teaching "Intellectual Property" (although I dislike the term) among other subjects at a Masters Degree in the Polytechnic University of Valencia UPV (Spain) for over 5 years. Two weeks ago I was scheduled (invited by the ETSIA Student Union and Linux Users' Group for the celebration of "Culture Week") to give a conference in one of the university's buildings. During that conference I was to analyze the legal use and benefits of the P2P networks, even when dealing with copyrighted works (according to the Spanish Intellectual Property Law, Private Copy provision, and many research papers, books and court rulings). I was even going to use the network to "prove" that it was legal, since members of the Collecting Society "SGAE" had appeared on TV and newspapers saying that "P2P networks are ilegal" (sic) just like that, and to that extent I even contacted SGAE, National Police, and the Attorney General in advance to inform them about it.
The day before the conference, the Dean (pressured by the Spanish Recording Industry Association "Promusicae" as I found out later, and he recognized himself in a quote to the national newspaper El Pais, and even the Motion Picture Association of America, as another newspaper quotes) tried to stop it by denying permission to use the scheduled venue. So I scheduled a second one, and that was denied again. And a third time. Finally I gave the conference on the university cafeteria, for 5 hours, in front of 150 people.
Later on that day (May 4th, I will never forget), I received a call from the Director of the Masters Degree Program where I was teaching telling me that the Dean had called and had asked him to "make sure I did not teach there again", and on a second call saying "it's your choice, but also your responsibility".
The Director called me and first asked me to remove any link to the university from my website, and also to "hide" the fact that I was teaching there. Then he told me about the pressures and threats he and the Program received (to be subjected to software licenses inspection, copyright violations inspections, or anything that may damage them). Obviously I had to resign to save his job (and everybody else's at the Masters Program). So I did.
But even after I had resigned, when the media (which started to pay attention to the case, as you can see in the attached links) called, the Vice-Dean of communications had the nerve to say that "I was never a teacher in that University, and I only taught a few classes". Sure I was not a Professor (which I never said I was), but I taught several subjects there for over 5 years!
It is not so important that I lost my job even though my ratings from the student satisfaction questionnaire were the highest of the whole Program, and I never violated any rule, contract, or regulation. I don't even mind so much that I never received a direct phone call from anyone objecting to my ideas or procedures. What I regret the most is to have suffered CENSORSHIP inside my own university (in a European Union member state, of all places on earth), and as a result of pressures and threats coming from Collecting Societies and Recording and Movie Industries (on my website you have proof of all that).
When are we going to do something about it? We can't let them impose their failed, outdated, and inefficient business model through threats, pressures and silence. We must speak out. I am wiling to travel the world (as I am doing now in conferences all over Spain) to tell my story, and they will not silence me. The truth has to be known. But I need your help.
This is shocking and is definitely something that should not be accepted. Major movie studios and record companies would like the world's media to continue to report that P2P networks are evil illegal creations that are capable of doing nothing other than assisting in copyright infringement. They would also like to influence how school children and university students are educated on intellectual property and P2P technology. Anybody with half a brain could see how P2P technology can be used for a whole host of legitimate purposes therefore people should not be punished for trying to point it out.