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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Décembre - Copyright: Europe wants to corset the web (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 22 Dec 2017 08:04:44 +0200

A directive on the extension of intellectual property is being discussed in the European Parliament, which would have the effect of increasing user control and restricting free cultural practices. ---- The copyright law is a gas factory of the right of the property, and the France, shot of its claim of cultural exception carries the torch to the European Parliament which is currently discussing an umpteenth directive "on the right of the author in the digital market". ---- Strengthen control rather than release rights ---- It must be said that the story dates: everything started from the revolutionary cradle, when Beaumarchais decided to oppose the comedians of the Comédie-Française who then had the monopoly of the representation of the works and decided on the (low) remuneration of the authors , no matter the success. He proposed to his colleagues to unite to fight. Shortly after, January 13, 1791, the Constituent established the first legal recognition of the copyright. Faced with a problem of remuneration and balance of power, the institution responded: organization of private property. Since then, the market for works has opened up and become more complex, the legislation has thickened, all the industrialized countries have theirs. Authors have moral rights [1], perpetual, on their works, which are associated with the economic rights to reproduce and disseminate, which can be transmitted to multiple rights holders: heirs (until 70 years after the death of the authors), publishers, merchants. However, after 230 years of experience and a considerable strengthening of the legislation, the problem of the remuneration of small authors against the monopoly of large broadcasters remains.

Little by little, copyright has built its labyrinth around everything that could be imagined to label " creation ", be it works of the mind, written, musical, pictorial, audiovisual, but also those of industry and design, architecture, drastically restricting the free field. So, concretely, if you want to take a picture in head-spin on the Place du Palais-Royal in Paris to invite your friends to the party district, you will have to ask permission from the Ministry, but in addition pay a fee, because Daniel Buren has a right. It was paid to install its columns in the public space but after, this transformed space is a little to him, at least more to him than to you !

If again, to make your friends laugh you made a pastiche of Michel Sardou and to dance, a bootleg [2]on MC Solaar and Etienne Daho, you surf in the ambiguities left by the exceptions to the law. Obviously, it is very unlikely that you will get caught unless you have a lot of friends. This is where the freedom lies, in the not-seen-not-taken, the control and the sanction falling eventually posteriori.

In this context, the explosion of the internet is a breath of fresh air: it has multiplied these possibilities of piracy and offers unprecedented perspectives of transgression. Against such a de facto extension of the free domain, capitalist conglomerates retaliate by invoking a " distortion of competition " resulting from the proliferation of pirate content. In fact, legal access to many works is almost impossible because of the multiplicity of rights to be released and the explosion of transgressive practices because of the freedom cross-border on the internet. Take the example of Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince, the most translated book and the 5 th best selling in the world [3]. The author died " for France " in 1944: the French side is the jackpot for the rights holders, because the work will be released in 2045 (100 after his death instead of the usual 70 ! ), but on the Belgian side, anyone can freely give access to this work.

For the defense and the extension of the public domain
To cope with these contradictions, the European Parliament, pushed by France, chooses to reinforce the control rather than to release the rights. The most controversial article in its directive is that requiring " big " internet platforms to carry out a priori (and no longer a posteriori ) controls on content posted online, making them judges in a field where, one As we have seen, freedom remained until we were caught. For the realization of these controls, these platforms will have to install robots which will mechanically sort the legal contents and the others. What about our pastiches and our bootleg ? Will the robot have a sense of humor ? Nothing is less sure. And free platforms, wiki turning without money because not generating advertising revenue, will they be forced to pay the robotic services of rich predators to implement the directive, because they will not have the means to create their own robots ? Another innovation of the directive: the creation of a neighboring right for the publishers of press which will reinforce of course their weight vis-a-vis the authors and allow them to claim, among others, a part of the redistribution for private copy [4](RCP ) previously reserved for authors only. Last but not least, the directive significantly enhances the role of national heritage agencies, which suddenly have all-round mediation powers.

In the limited space that remains to us, what to do ? For the authors, if we understand the need to provide them with an income giving them the right to autonomy from publishers or broadcasters, the practical implementation of the law does not erase the capitalist logic. On the contrary, like any property, copyright favors accumulation in the hands of those who already have it. And very often, the heritage side of copyright applies without the authors. Thus, would the redistribution of remuneration for authors not be more equitable and more stable if it were not indexed on the exploitation of the property but more simply on the work? ? Would this not solve all the conflicts resulting from the confrontation of the free contents of the amateurs to those paying professionals while leaving the free field to the creation ?

For users and users, escaping this corset could go through the support for free platforms and new co-operatives of authors (Romainelubrique.org or Amicaledeproduction.com among others) that are created for the defense and the extension the public domain and for the proposal of works that come out of the field of individual property. For, nevertheless, many know that works do not come to them from heaven, that they are imbued with the culture of all and all, and that which precedes them, that they are so collective that they do not belong to no one but the people.

Valérie (AL Paris Nord-Est)

[1] Right of first publication and withdrawal, respect for the integrity of the work, and right that the name of the author is associated with the work.

[2] Clandestine recording of a concert.

[3] Behind the Bible and Mao Zedong's Little Red Book ...

[4] Levied on the purchase of tablets and office equipment.

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