Nicolas Sarkozy Caught Mass 'Pirating' DVDs; Time To Kick Him Off The Internet

from the see-ya-later-nicky dept

Why is it always the adamant defenders of silly policies like kicking people off the internet for copyright infringement who are later found to be mass infringers themselves? French President Nicolas Sarkozy, of course, was the first major politician to support the concept of kicking people off the internet for copyright infringement (more commonly called a "three strikes" rule). He took credit for coming up with the idea originally nearly two years ago, and pushed very hard for the law -- which eventually passed but was then tossed out as unconstitutional in France. Sarkozy still stood by it and helped bring back a revised version.

Of course, in the middle of all this, there was a bit of irony in that Sarkozy was caught using music without authorization in some online videos, for which he paid a €30,000 fine. Of course, it now appears that may have just been the tip of the iceberg. Boing Boing points us to the news that Sarkozy's administration has been caught mass "pirating" DVDs of a documentary about Sarkozy. The publisher of the documentary only made 50 copies. Sarkozy's "audiovisual services" group happened to make itself another 400 without permission -- even replacing the name of the original publisher on the cover.

Once again, this should be a "teachable moment," to point out to Sarkozy and other supporters of such plans to kick people off the internet that the issue isn't quite so simple after all. When you're on the other side, sometimes it seems perfectly natural to make a copy of something, without even realizing it's potentially infringing. Unfortunately, why do I get the feeling that Sarkozy won't change his stance one bit -- or even recognize the irony of the situation?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Ed Woychowsky, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:57am

    Sarkozy

    To quote William Shakespeare, "Hoist with his own petard."

    Kick him off the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Rabbit80, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:01am

    Re: Sarkozy

    and fine him 50000 euro for each infringing copy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Because

    Unfortunately, why do I get the feeling that Sarkozy won't change his stance one bit -- or even recognize the irony of the situation?

    Because that's not what his corporate overlords are paying him for. They are paying him to pass laws that defy common sense no matter what era in time you are from.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    imbrucy (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Sarkozy

    I agree. I think a personal fine of 20,000,000 Euros should probably be enough to remove all the money he received from his corporate overlords.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:19am

    An answer from inside the Helmet:

    "Why is it always the adamant defenders of silly policies like kicking people off the internet for copyright infringement who are later found to be mass infringers themselves?"

    Uh, well, I usually like to go off on massive diatribes with tons of quotes and so forth, but this one can be answered simply:

    Because most of them are politicians and politicians as a rule are absolutely 100% mega full of shit.

    Next question, please....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Mechwarrior, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:37am

    Most laws dont apply to French politicians,though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    In my experience, politicians never seem to notice that laws also apply to them. Didn't know that that's actually true in France. Gaming the system is easy. If you make the laws, why make them apply to you? For instance, where I live a member of congress has a limited set of driving rules applying to them (much like ambulances and police cars do, but it makes sense for ambulances and police cars).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:48am

    because thats not the problem

    The problem of P2P is not the copyright infringement is that everybody, anybody can do it so the distribution of information and art is not controllable anymore. The editor-distribution music companies want the control to gain money from the scarcity created by the control and the politician want to control it because thats what all politician want control. Imagine the mess if the politician would have to explain themselves not only to other politician and a couple of journalist but to everybody with a internet conection

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    maclizard (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    this isn't innocent infringment

    While I agree that people infringe without meaning to all the time, this is different. He knowing copied a DVD 400 times AND removed production credit from the case. This is clearly a criminal act.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    RD, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    Yes, but..

    While this is a very worthy revelation about a two-bit hypocrite, this is actually not as much about "piracy" as it is counterfeiting. Yes, he probably "pirated" the source, but once you step out of just file-sharing and go into production, and even removing/changing credits on the covers, you have moved beyond simple infringement into a REAL criminal arena. I would venture to say that counterfeiting is a far worse crime than sharing. Of course, copyright maximalists will disagree, and say that "if it werent for piracy!" etc. being the indoctrined sheep they are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Bryan, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    He will claim he did not know and some poor little guy will have to take the fall for him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Sarkozy

    he'd probably use taxpayer money to pay for it in an indirect fashion.

    coming up with 30 thou euro and clearly not even batting an eye is a ton of money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    spaceman spiff, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    Taking the hipocritic oath seriously

    "Unfortunately, why do I get the feeling that Sarkozy won't change his stance one bit -- or even recognize the irony of the situation?"

    Because he is a politician (liar), has no ethics (sleazeball), and takes the hipocritic oath he swore to when he first ran for public office quite seriously...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Michael Lockyear (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:18am

    He should resign...the world should boycott Belgium until he does.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:23am

    Unfortunately, why do I get the feeling that Sarkozy won't change his stance one bit -- or even recognize the irony of the situation?

    Because he's French and the leader of one of the G8.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    JP_Fife, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:27am

    Lily, Sarkozy, wonder who's next?

    Michael Lockyear ... eh, he's French.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Shuryno, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Kick him off the planet...

    No soup for you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Eponymous Coward, AKA Doug (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    Re:

    Um, he's French. Leave Belgium alone, they make wonderful beer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:32am

    Re: Because he's French and the leader of one of the G8.

    Yeah, because we all know that an American President would change his stance and admit doing wrong...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    He should resign...the world should boycott Belgium until he does


    Intentional or no, that IS quite funny. For the US man on the street Belgium is the "waffle capital of the world". While in Europe Belgium faces the same sort of unreasonable scorn as do rural states and Florida here in the U.S.

    Of course, maybe you meant "boycott the EU (Brussles)", which is also an interesting concept... bring pressure from his "peers".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    JP_Fife, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re:

    I've changed my mind, I'm with Michael on this one: Boycott Belgium until Sarkozy resigns from the German Parliament. And while we're at it let's ask the Dutch to send soldiers into the Netherlands and drive out the invaders from Holland.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:45am

    He cannot be accused to anything while he is president. So he has green lights to keep pirating and distributing illegal copies without fear of anything:

    Article 67 : The President of The Republic is not responsable for acts accomplised in this quality, [...].

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Sheinen, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    What a prick!

    The funniest thing is that if they'd produced the documentary themselves and stuck it on a p2p network it would have got far more views anyway!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    Re: Yes, but..

    Even in the eyes of the MPAA, RIAA and their international counterparts, "piracy" isn't just about copying things online, that's just the latest iteration. This guy isn't just a pirate because he copied the movie, he took the next step and took credit for the movie.

    He didn't step out of the piracy arena by stepping into the criminal arena, he stepped further into the piracy arena while stepping into the criminal arena (they overlap).

    Even if copyright was limited back to the way it was, this guy would still be slammed by it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:59am

    Kick'em off the World Wide EARTH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Rabbit80, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Re: An answer from inside the Helmet:

    "Why is it always the adamant defenders of silly policies like kicking people off the internet for copyright infringement who are later found to be mass infringers themselves?"

    Because they see copyright as a fence - with us at one side and them at the other. The copyright laws don't apply on "their" side of the fence unless they are in their favour!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: An answer from inside the Helmet:

    yup, If anyone else pirates it , it loses its vAlue to them!

    Like I said,

    Kick'em off the World Wide EARTH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Ah, you funny US americans with your canadian tacos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Why kick him off the internet? Did they do this on the internet?

    Mike REEEEEEEACHES again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:12am

    That's only 2 strikes...

    But on the next strike, I expect the hacker communities of the world to join together to DDOS the French president's internet connection....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:29am

    Re:

    Look, up in the sky, over there, above your head, it's the point!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Sheinen, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    Yeah, and you reeeeeeach around on your mum

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    Good point. How did they distribute these then, by mail? Fine, he should not be allowed to use the mail anymore, neither sending nor receiving. Or was it by truck? OK, no more automobiles for Sarkozy, he can bike or take the subway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    clay, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    The people ought to make money with information have invested interest to shackle down the internet. The evil-doers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Thomas, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    If you kick him off the internet then in turn he could kick you off the internet

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Michael Lockyear (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re:

    Intentional!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    Michael Lockyear (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Searched my house for Belgian, French or German products I could toss on to the bonfire of my disgust...sadly couldn't find any (what DO these guys do for money?)...I really do hope that the Scots never do or say anything stupid as I would really hate to boycott their fine exports :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    De minis infringement, but if it makes people feel better making a mountain out of a molehill then so be it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Internet Soldier, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Im A Pirate

    There is NO way in stopping it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    dumb texan, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    People, let's boycott Uganda till Nikolia pays fines for what he did. Lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 3:32pm

    Wait, I have to ask this question:

    Sarkozy (actually, someone in an office somewhere near his) makes 300 copies of something, and you guys are calling out the hit squads.

    Yet, many of the people posting here have put movies, music, and whatnot that they don't own the rights to on the internet, where perhaps millions of people have copied and profited from it.

    Don't you think maybe you should call the hit squads on yourself first?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 12th, 2009 @ 1:51am

    Re:


    Yet, many of the people posting here have put movies, music, and whatnot that they don't own the rights to on the internet, where perhaps millions of people have copied and profited from it.


    Well, first, I haven't done any of that... but the point isn't that making copies is bad. The point is that if you're going to claim making copies is bad and then pass laws that go against those who make copies... and then it turns out that you are illegally making copies, shouldn't those laws apply to you first?

    I would think that was sorta common sense. The people aren't arguing that the "hit squads" are a good thing. They're just using them to show the hypocrisy from Sarkozy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Sheesh, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    IP law in a new age

    It's time to revisit IP law. I'm reusing the same words that someone else created. I have a quote in my e-mail sig, who should I talk to about paying royalties? I just downloaded Audacity and edited a nice ringtone for my phone. I used a few seconds of Beatles music, and a few seconds of Ella Fitzgerald music. I'm not going to sell ringtones, is this personal use?

    Where is the line drawn? Protection has mutated to control. It's time to overhaul IP law from the ground up, else the present outdated mindset loses control because they refuse to adapt. When communication is available, information will flow. Intellectual property law will change, whether done in a controlled fashion, or having been forced to change because of the things that are reasonable and possible in the modern age of communication.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Pierre, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 8:25am

    French Gov. to protect (rich) PIRATES

    GROUPAMA was caught in a software PIRACY case of $200m and has made an unofficial affidavit (claiming that it was not guilty) to divert BEFTI investigators from the evidences officially collected one month ago at a different office.

    In its affidavit, GROUPAMA argued that bank secrecy entitled it to limit the scope of Police investigations to a building that was not the place where evidences about the infraction were officially collected.

    After the fraud was discovered and denounced by the victim, as GROUPAMA managed to have the General Prosecutor of Paris to state that Police was 'right' to ignore the criminal file and focus only on the irrelevant information provided by GROUPAMA itself, there is room for serious doubts in the way that affair was conducted.

    As a matter of facts, FINAMA and GROUPAMA have reported false information to the markets regarding their own accounts (where the fraud describbed below has never been reported).

    This unfortunate event is more than likely to compromize the confidence ratings of French (bank and insurance) regulated markets on the proven basis that the numbers cannot be trusted.

    All the details, including the General Prosecutor reply, the BEFTI investigation file and the unofficial affidavit cooked by GROUPAMA have been made publicly available:

    http://remoteanything.com/archives/groupama.pdf

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Life Fitness Treadmill, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Sarkozy

    This thing should not be tolerated. People in the internet should learn to practice being responsible and disciplined.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This