Summary of ¡Copiad malditos! (Documental RTVE)

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00:00:00 - 00:55:00

The documentary "¡Copiad malditos!" delves into the controversies around copyright and intellectual property, particularly in Spain. From exploring the issues with the Spanish entity of collective management, SGAE, to the rise of the internet and digital copying, the film highlights the changing landscape of the entertainment industry. The filmmakers emphasize the importance of a more just and transparent system of managing intellectual property, as well as promoting free culture and reshaping conversations around copyright. They ultimately decide to license the documentary under Creative Commons, emphasizing the value of cultural evolution and flexibility in adapting to the changing times.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, a restaurant owner in Spain named Hassan H receives a letter from the association of authors of works informing him that he has been using their musical and audiovisual works for exploitation or management, which he denies. He argues that he has no cable or drum music, and only plays the radio or legal Arab music that he brings from his home country. The documentary follows a project that aims to explore and experiment with licensing the documentary under a different license than copyright, allowing anyone to freely view, download, and copy it. The town of Montijo has become a hub of resistance against SGAE, with local merchants banding together to promote the manifiesto de Montijo, a text with instructions on how to avoid SGAE.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, the documentary covers the issues and controversies surrounding copyright and intellectual property. The documentary examines how entities such as SGAE have lobbied lawmakers to make laws that exclusively benefit certain privileged groups of author and publishers of copyrighted content. Across Spain, institutions are questioning the validity of payments to these groups. The documentary also explains what intellectual property is, types of ownerships, rights, and creative products under the law. The duration of the copyright has expanded from 14 to 70 years beyond the author's lifetime in recent years. We also learn how Creative Commons has become one of the most well-established licensing systems globally, and we hear from Ignasi Labastida in Barcelona, who explains how to use the appropriate licenses for a film.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, the filmmakers are seeking to find out what kind of license they need to use in order to distribute their documentary freely on the internet. They learn that there are six different types of licenses available through Creative Commons that allow for copying, reproduction, distribution, and public communication without commercial use, with the most open license allowing for any kind of commercial use and modification. However, they also need to navigate the legal complexities around rights of author, image, and exploitation in order to obtain the necessary permissions to distribute the film with a copyleft license. The film highlights how the rise of the internet and digital copying has affected the film industry and is forcing it to adapt to new forms of consumption and production.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, the documentary explores how the perception of cinema's value has changed, as the film industry has become much more difficult in recent years. While the internet has provided new opportunities for the exploitation of films, it has also significantly reduced cinema attendance and DVD sales. Consequently, the industry is in desperate need of new business models. The documentary showcases examples of innovative financing methods, such as making fans of a film into producers, using brand value as a criterion for funding, and creating transmedia projects that extend beyond the film itself. These methods give producers a better chance of selling their content to television or cinema, with a reliable audience already in place. Finally, the documentary touches on the importance of contact with the public to create a loyal following, sell products, such as DVDs and associated merchandise, and guarantee future success.
  • 00:20:00 In this section, the documentary explores the issue of copyrights and the role of the Spanish entity of collective management, SGAE. Alfonso, a professional musician who is a member of SGAE, may not legally be able to upload his own music on the internet without generating copyright issues. To address this, the documentary team reached out to SGAE for permission to use the musician's music in the documentary. SGAE is the largest and most well-known entity of its kind in Spain, with nearly 100,000 members and revenue of 316 million euros in 2009. The documentary explains that the entity's main function is to collect and distribute copyright fees to music publishers and musicians.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, the excerpt discusses the controversies surrounding the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE), which has become the subject of criticism for its aggressive collection policy, lack of transparency in fund distribution, and democratic internal practices. The authors believe that the current representation system is flawed as only 7,000-10,000 people out of 80,000-90,000 members have voting rights, while the rest are excluded from decision-making due to the way shares and votes are distributed. This vertical system allows only those who benefit from it to vote, which leaves the remaining authors without a say in the matter. As a result, under 10% of SGAE members control the majority of the profits, with the top 1.75% of earners frequently receiving 75% of these profits. Many activists and collectives lobby for a more just and transparent system of managing intellectual property and aim to change the culture of entertainment intertwined with commerce. They aim to reformulate the concept of culture and improve the way rights are redistributed to authors who do not receive the same benefits as those who are more successful.
  • 00:30:00 In this section of the documentary, we meet Javier de la Cueva, a lawyer who works to defend individuals and companies sued by rights management entities. De la Cueva has collaborated with David Bravo in defending multiple websites and bars accused of copyright infringement, and together they have contributed to the country's advancement in recognizing the rights of free culture. These lawyers also dedicate part of their time and effort to sharing their knowledge of intellectual property, often appearing on media outlets and giving talks at universities and social centers. Alongside these efforts, the rise of technology and the prevalence of the internet has given millions of young people access to music and media in a way that would be difficult to prohibit. Despite the obstacles, the documentary highlights a growing movement of lawyers, activists, and artists who defend free culture and work to reshape the conversation around intellectual property.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, the documentary explores the changing landscape of the music and literary industries due to the rise of the internet. Small music labels and independent publishers have started using the internet to promote and distribute their works. They have adopted the "copyleft" and "creative commons" models that allow their products to be freely accessible through the internet. Large music labels and traditional book publishers have not been able to adapt to the changing times and are becoming obsolete. The internet has enabled a single company to handle everything, while traditional companies have to rely on multiple links in the industry chain. The internet has revolutionized the industries to the point where basing a company on publishing/distributing a physical product (such as a CD or book) is becoming monolithic.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, the documentary explores the changes that the internet has brought to the book industry, which have been less significant than those experienced by the music industry. Many publishing companies have been slow to adapt to the digital world but do not want to miss out on the opportunities it offers. While there is a rapid change in legislation around intellectual property, such reforms have failed to produce the effects that were intended, such as reducing illegal file-sharing. Many believe that making the internet into a police state is the only way to stop copyright infringement, but this comes with a risk of impinging upon people's privacy and freedom of expression. The documentary also questions why television networks use materials sourced from the internet without permission, although it is illegal to do so.
  • 00:45:00 In this section, a young man named Pepe explains how he uses protected material he finds online without knowing anything about copyright. He admits that he was aware that what he was doing was illegal, but he could still earn money from his endeavors. While the educational institutions try to educate people about intellectual property, it seems to be a flawed approach as shown by the video of a teacher asking a student about private copying. The student's response that private copying is acceptable under the law is considered wrong by the teacher. The documentary sheds light on the industry's culture and the nature of business glossed over by terms such as "cultural industries," where the majority of the world's cultural producers are not professional nor get paid much for their work, generating no economic benefits.
  • 00:50:00 In this section, the video argues that what is done in private homes and on the streets can also be classified as culture as it serves to help people understand the society and the world around them. The documentary filmmakers were able to get the go-ahead from Spanish television to release their documentary on the internet without any constraints. However, they still need to decide whether to license it under a copyright or a copyleft arrangement, and whether they can afford to edit the documentary as a small business. The filmmakers argue that there is no need for alarmism, and that a new model of exploitation and relation between the creators, the cultural industry, and consumers will emerge in the coming years as people still desire access to cultural content. The video also highlights the problems with large companies that systematically exploit the fundamental rights of citizens and suggests the need to break their monopoly.
  • 00:55:00 In this section, the individuals in the documentary discuss their decision to license it under Creative Commons and make it available online for anyone to view, download, and copy freely. They believe that in this age, it is more positive to distribute content online rather than protect it through copyright. They also emphasize the importance of cultural evolution and flexibility in adapting to the changing times, and that certain things may grow, evolve, or even disappear over time, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Additionally, they express their commitment to continuing the fight for a more open and accessible cultural landscape.

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