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French lawmakers address piracy, adopt three strike policy

TGD Staff April 2, 2009 1,010

Paris (France) – Earlier today, French lawmakers adopted a highly controversial section of an anti-piracy bill designed to shut off Internet access for content pirates. Called The Creation and Internet Law, it allows the state to shut off Internet access for up to one year if caught downloading pirated material more than twice.

The bill is not yet law, though it is heading that way after previously removing a section unanimously that would’ve required those caught downloading pirated material to continue paying for Internet access after it was forcibly shut off. It still has to go before the National Assembly for a vote.

The maximum sentence and fines for the bill are three years in prison, and 300,000 Euros (US$404,000).

The bill was approved by more than 10,000 French artists, musicians and film makers who physically signed a petition in support of it. Several opposition groups believe the bill removes individual liberties and the reigning UMP party is defeating attempts by the socialist opposition parties who have called the bill “an assault on public and individual liberties.”

See the original AFP article republished on Yahoo Tech.

Opinion

I’ll make this as simple as possible. An individual who performs a particular work is not entitled to money beyond the initial agreement made by that artist — including the medium to which it was initially targeted. Every future extension of that work made possible by technology should be given over entirely into the public domain for everyone’s unrestricted consumption. No person or corporation should ever profit from the progress of technology which (today) might open up new avenues for revenue — such as physical film reels giving way to digital media forms which can be disseminated without limit.

When that original artist agreed to perform whatever it was they did (music, acting, modeling, painting, et cetera), they knew they were getting paid for their work. They were going to be showcased on an album, movie, commercial, billboards, whatever it was, and both they and the company involved agreed to it. The fact that some future technology comes along which allows that original work to republished in other forms should not ever be given over as monetary gain to any person or corporation. It should at that point be entirely in the public domain, able to be used for any purpose by anybody.

People do what they do and have control over what they do at that time. No one forces an artist to create their art. They do it because they love it, or because they have some need (employment, money). But the reality is this: Once the thing is done, it’s out there. It exists. It cannot be undone. And it is not right that somebody does something one time, even something which is truly advantageous to mankind, and that they should then profit off it for the rest of their lives. That’s attempting to control something forever that you did one time, and it’s greed and it’s control and it’s not sharing and it’s not right.

People should be people. They should work, continue to work, and do the best they can in everything they do. Desiring to control monetary aspects of your prior work, something you were individually paid for and agreed to at the time, is simply wrong. And this, of course, goes even more so for corporations. They should never profit beyond the initial offering of work performed by some person at some time. Everything beyond that initial format should be forever in the public’s domain.

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