Spanish copyright society hounds Uni teacher out of job

I just got an email from my friend Jorge Cortell, a copyfighter and academic in Spain, whom I met at the Creative Commons España launch this year.

Jorge teaches "Intellectual Property" in the Masters program at the Polytechnic University of Valencia UPV. He proposed to give a talk on the benefits of P2P and talk about the law relating to P2P and copyright in Spain. He proposed to demo what sort of legal uses one could make of copyrighted works from P2P networks, and informed the Spanish collecting society, the national police and the attorney general to let them know what he was up to.

They responded by leaning on the Dean, who cancelled Jorge's venue. Jorge booked another venue, and the Dean cancelled it. So Jorge moved his talk to the cafeteria, and delivered a five hour session to a packed house.

On May 4, the Dean ordered the director of Jorge's program to demand his resignation, which he tendered. The Vice-Dean then added insult to injury by issuing a statement saying that Jorge had never taught at the university (!), in a surreal, Stalinist purge (Jorge has taught at the University for five years).

This is a shameful act of censorship and a betrayal of the principles of academic freedom. It's a national shame that Spain's powerful collecting societies can simply order the termination of any university teacher who teaches things that displease them.