Sharing is not a crime.

Diego Gomez, a twenty-six year old Colombian graduate student, was only attempting to help struggling college students’ like himself find the materials they needed in order to make their courses easier.

According to a trade deal between the US and Colombia in 2006[1], Gomez may now face up to eight years in prison for copyright infringement. Legally speaking the court, in order to convict Gomez, must take mens rea into account – if Gomez had the intention of violating the copyright for his own personal gain. While Gomez may have the authorities pitted against him, Diego Gomez also has individuals and organizations who are supporting him. The Karisma Foundation has openly supported Gomez in his fight against his criminal charges even popularizing the following hash tag on social media: Sharing it not a crime.

Their blog[2] loosely translated from Spanish states that the potential damage due to piracy is generally prejudiced because the subject, legally speaking, is not clear. The blog goes on to say that actions of users, non-profit activities, and sharing, are not crimes but rather right to education, access to science and culture and that these freedoms of expression must be respected.

The entire situation, like that of Aaron Swartz, is more complex and not as straightforward as one would think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/07/colombian-student-faces-prison-charges-sharing-academic-article-online

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/07/colombian-grad-student-faces-jail-sharing-thesis

[1] (http://www.colombiaemb.org/FTA)

 

[2] https://www.karisma.org.co/compartirnoesdelito/?page_id=209

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