Interview | Salvador Alcántar Morán: Mexican Copyright Unfit-for-purpose in the Digital age, the Public Domain as a Human Right, and the Need for a True Multistakeholder Approach and a Global Perspective on Copyright

Salvador Alcántar Morán is a lawyer, focused on digital copyright, educational technology and digital communications. He is the co-founder of Wikimedia Mexico and of Creative Commons Mexico. He was also manager of the General Direction of Digital Communications of the Mexico City Government. He talks about how the Mexican copyright framework is not adapted to the digital age and shaped mainly by the creative industries, the copyright industry’s scaremongering tactics. He also explains how the fact that Mexico has the lengthiest copyright term (100 years after the author’s death) negatively impacts the country’s collective memory and the public domain. In his view, the public domain should be considered as a human right. He further emphasises the need for normal citizens and other stakeholders, that are currently neglected, to be more involved in shaping a copyright framework that works for the digital age based on a true multistakeholder approach. He also talks about the need for a more global perspective on copyright in general.

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Video highlights with timestamps:

00:00 Intro

02:15 Salvador talks about how copyright is locking up culture, especially in South America, and highlights the strong influence of the entertainment industry in shaping copyright laws

07:36 Salvador shares the most important lessons that he learned representing Creative Commons Mexico, including the lack of a multistakeholder perspective in the creation of copyright laws and the ignorance of the Internet by policymakers

13:14 Salvador explains how the copyright industry’s campaigns induced copyright anxiety among Mexicans when sharing content online

19:12 Salvador talks about the public domain, its importance, and how Mexico fails when it comes to protecting and feeding it by having the lengthiest copyright term (100 years after the author’s death)

25:24 Salvador reflects on a particular moment that he experienced and where he felt that he hit a wall and that something was wrong, and which sparked his interested in copyright reform and activism

32:22 Salvador shares what he feels need to change and need to be done to make it work in the online world and how all this should look like in 2030: calling for the need for ‘public hearings’ on how copyright legislation is shaped, not only in Mexico but across the world

38:58 Salvador closes off by emphasising the need for a global perspective on copyright. and the need for people to join forces to counter attempts to push through problematic copyright legislation