“A promoter wanted to put me in jail for a comment on the internet. Now I want to take it out on NFT” | Technology
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“For three years they have literally put me through whores,” says Diego P., who was accused in 2018 of libel and slander by a developer because of a brief comment on the internet about an urbanization in Valdebebas (Madrid). ”At first I was kind of nervous, but when you see that the judge approves the trial, I started to be very nervous, because it was criminal, jail. And when you see that they ask for the embargo of 50,000 euros, I wondered where the hidden camera was, ”he explains.
Since the end of 2018, Diego lived under the threat of justice for some trivial criticism of the finishes of an apartment development where he moved in 2019. After the investigating judge sent the case to trial, with the increasing risk of conviction, the Provincial Court of Madrid ended up dismissing it last summer. The promoter, Valenor, chose not to raise it to the Supreme Court.
“It annoys me a lot that they go away scot-free, it wouldn’t even matter if they paid me my expenses,” says Diego P., explaining that those expenses have been around 4,000 euros. Despite the fact that the case is now closed, in a personal conversation with this newspaper, Diego has asked to remain anonymous so that the matter does not harm him again in the future.
Now, however, he has had an idea to give his process more visibility and try to recoup some of his expenses: glorify his original comment by turning it into a series of 100 NFTs. An NFT is a digital one-of-a-kind piece, often with artistic connotations, that saw its heyday in 2021. “It’s super visual, it has economic impact, and it highlights the banality of the post. Basically it’s for sticking a finger in the eye,” he says. Diego himself has posted his series on OpenSea, one of the largest platforms for the sale of NFTs. Its titled Diego vs. Goliath and each one costs 0.024 ethereum, around 73 euros at the exchange rate today (the cryptocurrency has risen since Diego posted the series).
Diego himself, who is a computer engineer, has been in charge of programming the 100 copies and generating a specific signature with his name. The NFT is actually a clipping of the November 2017 comment that is at the origin of his drama: “I find it a bit unfortunate that flats with these prices and that boast of being perfectly insulated from the outside for energy savings present these problems. If it happens to us in the second phase, we will take appropriate legal measures :)”.
It is not uncommon for a company to accuse a user or consumer of insults or even slander, which includes jail sentences, but these are cases that affect the right to freedom of expression and usually do not have a course if there is no very evident basis.
As if that were not enough, Diego’s comment was not even the first in the thread that complained about that promotion, baptized as “the most techies from Spain”. The forum user newvecinos.com Lydia thought the house was flawed and went online To complain. “In addition to the insulation problems with the cold and acoustics, on top of that we have leaks, in some houses there are leaks in terraces, bathrooms, kitchen,” he wrote in a message in one of his threads in November 2017. Along with Diego, others affected They were responding with similar criticism.
The law firm that handled his case, De Carlos Remón, did not respond to repeated messages from this newspaper in previous articles. The promoter, for its part, returned a call to say that they were not going to make any statements because they saw the case as “something of the past.”
Diego’s lawyer suggested at the beginning of the case that perhaps they could strike back by suing Valenor for false accusation or even against the judge for not having paid enough attention to a clear case. In both cases they rejected the option. That was when Diego opted for NFTs. “If it had cost them 200,000 euros in damages or repairs, perhaps in the next case they would not do it again,” he says, but it has not cost them anything at all, he adds.
In addition to making amends, he believes that Valenor’s attitude is not fair. “They can repeat this unlimitedly because it has zero cost. They have their lawyers and what it has cost them is a taxi to the Plaza Castilla courts,” she says.
Diego’s difference with the rest of the neighbors who complained on the forum is that he posted the thread in an Idealista article where the promotion was discussed (which he later deleted). He believes that they used him as a scapegoat and that it is an effective strategy: “They manage to silence people. At first he thought that people shut up for fear of headaches, for fear of spending money on lawyers”.
“But apparently people are rightly scared,” he says, because they continue to scare the neighbors: “Now they have threatened to denounce the new president of the community because they say he is exceeding his duties because he has sent a burofax to the contractors who they executed the work because there are finishes in poor condition”, he explains.
The finishes are not minor things. Initial complaints were about water coming out of plugs. Now there are waterfalls on some car in the parking lot. “Not on all cars, of course,” Diego clarifies. But the company’s recourse to justice for dubious reasons is still in force. “It’s from a horror movie,” he says.
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