Sharing is not a crime: a student is still facing jail time for sharing an article

Diego's story is a symbol of a broken copyright system which becomes a barrier to research and education. This system at times simply hurts people.


27 June 2017

Last year we reported on the case of Diego Gomez, a Colombian student (at that time++Costa RicaDiego now works at a natural reserve that protects endangered species such as frogs and wild felines in Costa Rica.) who for the last three years has been prosecuted for sharing an academic paper online. He faced criminal charges – up to eight years in prison. A couple of weeks ago he was acquitted, but now faces an appeal which could send him to jail for four to eight years. Diego’s story is a symbol of a broken copyright system which becomes a barrier to research and education. This system at times simply hurts people.Diego’s prosecution is another example of the disproportionate consequences of copyright overreach in the digital age.

Kennisland contributed to Diego’s defense fund, which was opened by Fundación Karisma, a digital rights organisation in Colombia. We hope you will consider contributing too. You can find out more about the case and its background on the crowdfunding page.

Diego’s prosecution is another example of the disproportionate consequences of copyright overreach in the digital age. Why are we prosecuting students for sharing knowledge? Open access should be the default for scholarly publication, especially when public funds are used to produce it. Sharing is not a crime.

At Kennisland we argue for a better balance for copyright law for users through many of our projects.At Kennisland we argue for a better balance for copyright law for users through many of our projects. The European Union is updating its copyright laws now++COMMUNIAIf you want to follow this process, we invite you to read the website where we engage in this policy debate., and we need to make sure situations like the one Diego is in cannot happen here. If you would like to know more about what we do in the copyright space read our theme page, visit the campaign website www.rightcopyright.eu or contact us directly.