Legal Defense For Colombian Student #SharingIsNotACrime

Fundacion Karisma #standwithdiego Logo
Brandi Williams
Written by Brandi Williams

Grantee Project

USD $2,000

The context

In 2011, Colombian graduate student Diego Gómez shared a published academic thesis on a file sharing website in order to make the material available for for academic research. Shortly after, a lawsuit was filed against him for copyright infringement and he now faces up to 8 years in prison and high fines. In July 2014, Karisma Foundation made his case globally visible with the #SharingIsNotACrime campaign. The case has been documented by international media outlets like Newsweek and The Guardian, and locally in Caracol, BluRadio, El Espectador, Semana, and Las 2 Orillas. This coverage has led to reflections on how current laws collide with the open Web on matters of communication, learning and sharing.

Several organizations around the world, such as Fundación Karisma, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, Internet Archive, Knowledge Ecology International, Open Access Button, Derechos Digitales, Open Coalition, Open Knowledge, The Right to Research Coalition, Open Media, Fight for the Future, USENIXPublic Knowledge, and Web We Want have brought attention to the case through local and global campaigning and other efforts to support open access to knowledge and information.

The project

Fundación Karisma, reached out to Web We Want to request a Rapid Response grant during our 2015-2016 grant cycle for help with legal fees. Until now, legal support has been given to the case pro bono, but it is a long process that requires resources, especially at this stage. Fundación Karisma will use the grant to hire a criminal lawyer to help in preparations for the hearing and oral interrogations.


Visit Fundación Karisma’s website.

About the author

Brandi Williams

Brandi Williams

Brandi Williams is the Partnership Coordinator for the Web We Want. She is in charge of membership and development for the Web We Want initiative, and coordinates relationships with the Web Foundation’s partners and funders.

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