Spanish university fires P2P lecturer

I suppose it is always dangerous to voice support for something without having heard both sides, but in the case of Jorge Cortell, I will make an exception. Cortell was fired from his teaching post at Polytechnic University of Valencia UPV because he held a conference on the legal uses of P2P file sharing networks. I only have Cortell’s story to go with, since I don’t know Spanish. But I also have Cory’s word for it. That being said, Cortell does not seem terribly upset by losing his job – only about the censorship.
Apparently, in a stunning display of academic cowardliness (not to mention PR ineptness), the Dean of the University not only gave in to pressure from the recording industry and fired Cortell – but now tries to deny that he ever taught at the place, and to pressure him to remove links to the university from his web page. Surreal in a world of free information and instant communication.
It will be interesting to watch further development – I think the dean will find that the world is larger, more connected, and certainly more vocal than he ever thought.
Update: Check the comments on this one – there are issues around this lecturer’s CV.

9 thoughts on “Spanish university fires P2P lecturer

  1. Digital Necromancy

    The empire strikes back

    Well it looks like a man by the name of Jorge Cortell in Spain was forced to resign from his teaching position at Polytechnic University of Valencia due to a lecture he gave on the legality of P2P networks. His…

  2. Espen

    Interesting. I don’t read Spanish, however, and all I had to go from was Google translations, which indicates (at, assuming what he writes is correct) a rather weak academic background, with basketball playing and degrees from sub-standard universities.
    I think I will withhold judgement on this one though, until a proper English translation is available. Whatever his background, if he indeed were fired as indicated, then that is clearly wrong. If there are other reasons, I suppose we will know about them eventually.

  3. jack

    If you go to Jorge Cortell’s new blog (he changed to a new blog to control the amount of critical opinions on him), you will find that he PROUDLY announced that he recieved a B+ in a “first year undergraduate course” from Harvard EXTENSION SCHOOL (not the real harvard university, but the continuing education division).
    Tell me, why would a person with a doctorate degree take freshman undergraduate courses?
    And in his new blog, he no longer publishes his cv. That tells you something too.

  4. Espen

    That is very interesting – I have actually taught at the Harvard Extension School, the target market for it are spouses of Harvard students proper and foreign students who want to do a night time degree and say they went to Harvard. I agree with you that that is not a sign of academic excellence, though I must say there was nothing wrong with the Extension School in itself, at least I found the Dean there very capable and academically honest.
    But you are right – these are indications that Jorge Cortell may be a bit more of the showman than the solid academic – along with his “I will travel anywhere” spiel and lack concreteness of background, which I also find a little disturbing (most academics are meticulous about their CVs and more than willing to tout them).

  5. Jack

    Since you have a PhD from Harvard and have taught their extension school, I think that you have a duty to report Mr. Cortell (since he is still a current harvard extension school student) to Harvard about possible academic offenses.
    This is Mr. Cortell’s CV (try google “university of brantridge” in hawaii where he got his Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD. — it does not exist). His Oxford “diploma” is not an actual bachelor’s degree. So he only has an “associate degree” from a community college in the US.
    He is listing his “harvard extension school” credits as “post graduate” courses from harvard proper. I think that this is an academic offense.
    The worst part is Harvard law school got fooled and invited him to do a luncheon lecture in September 2004.
    And he is trying to use email’s from his extension school professor (who is a Harvard Law School professor) to justify that he is not lying — the last 3 image scans.
    I do think that you have a duty to at least forward these concerns to the dean of harvard extension school to see whether or not he has made any academic offenses — because he is scheduled to speak again at Harvard in July 2005.

  6. Espen

    You may be right, but why don’t you do it yourself?
    One problem here is that the mail address you report bounces and you do not give a name other than “Jack”. I am sure that a request from you to the Harvard Extension School will be seriously considered, but you must do so openly and with weighty documentation.

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