Director Jean-Luc Godard Says 'There's No Such Thing As Intellectual Property,' Donates To MP3 Downloader's Defense

from the good-for-him dept

Robert Ring was the first of a bunch of you to send in this BoingBoing post highlighting how famed movie director Jean-Luc Godard doesn't believe in the concept of "intellectual property," and has also contributed 1,000 euros to a French citizen who has been sued for unauthorized sharing of over 13,000 MP3s. The key quote from Godard in highlighting why he's supporting this guy:
I am against Hadopi [the French internet-copyright law, or its attendant agency], of course. There is no such thing as intellectual property. I'm against the inheritance [of works], for example. An artist's children could benefit from the copyright of their parents' works, say, until they reach the age of majority... But afterward, it's not clear to me why Ravel's children should get any income from Bolero...
It's always nice when successful content creators, who could just suck up to the monopoly privileges the government grants them, recognize that such things may create greater problems for society and culture, and are willing to speak out about it -- or, even better, to put their money behind their beliefs.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    "Make it so, Number 1. I'm going to go number 2...."

     

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  2.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 7:52am

    My first thought: Glad to see another artist on this issue who didn't suddenly become an IP maximalist and authoritarian jackass when he stopped working and began collecting his copyright pension.

    After reading IMDB: Holy sh*t he's still working?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Michael, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    Did you forget your medication again?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Well, I have a new personal hero.

     

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

  5.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Ravel's children

    >>But afterward, it's not clear to me why Ravel's children should get any income from Bolero...

    The only reason is so that Disney can keep copyright on Cinderella.

    Big media has been behind the extension of copyright. The dependents of artist are used as poster children. If big media could figure out a way to extend corporate copyright and cut out the children they would do it in a minute.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    His opinion is philosophicaly (sp?) based, perhaps in part influenced by his early infatuation with Marxism.

     

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  7.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    My, what great big assumptions you have, Grandma....

     

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  8.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    his helmet is just to tight ... its a loss of oxygen

     

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  9.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    Oh, come on....really? I'm the ONLY one that had a Star Trek TNG thought there?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    Flowers! Is there a Jean-Luc Pickard here?

     

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  11.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    Nope you just beat me to the post :P

     

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  12.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re:

    Or maybe he's just a rational person...

     

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  13.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    You're not alone there...

     

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  14.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    Yes, because government-granted monopolies are the summum of capitalism...

     

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  15.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:40am

    I am against Hadopi [the French internet-copyright law, or its attendant agency], of course. There is no such thing as intellectual property. I'm against the inheritance [of works], for example. An artist's children could benefit from the copyright of their parents' works, say, until they reach the age of majority... But afterward, it's not clear to me why Ravel's children should get any income from Bolero...

    It seems to me like he contradicts himself. At first he says there's no such thing as intellectual property (which is itself untrue--there clearly is such a thing). And then he apparently is OK with an artist's children benefiting from IP until the age of majority--so he's OK with IP, at least for a period of time. He can't have it both ways.

    It doesn't make a lot of sense, but hey, if anti-IP people want to call this a victory, then by all means. Whatever floats your boat.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    Nope you are not alone and you beat me to it, and if I had been first I probably be the one being target with attempted jokes too, to which I would reply with fake indignation or another joke.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:46am

    HADOPI is bad, wait until people see the LOPSI 2 that is gaining track on the french buroucracy.

    They want the ability to invade others space in order to spy on them, the French government could become the biggest spreader of legal viruses on the world.

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    Actually first thing to come to mind was an old TNG episode. But a poo joke ... come on really

     

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  19.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Re:

    It's worth noticing that the quote is from a translation of the original French, so arguing semantics is pretty pointless for us non-Francophones - there's definite 2 different connotations depending on whether you read the Google or human translation.

    Anyway, the interpretation I took away from were these:

    1. He doesn't believe that IP exists.

    2. That if it does exist for any length of time, there has to be a limit and not the indefinite period currently being pushed by IP maximalists.

    They're both opinions, of course, but here we see yet another conflict between the IP industry who claim "for the artists" and artists themselves.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    RD, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:00am

    Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    "It seems to me like he contradicts himself. At first he says there's no such thing as intellectual property (which is itself untrue--there clearly is such a thing). And then he apparently is OK with an artist's children benefiting from IP until the age of majority--so he's OK with IP, at least for a period of time. He can't have it both ways."

    Well that might be the case if you actually read what he said with any kind of reading comprehension with regard to the manner in which people phrase things. Let me help you with that by emphasizing the key words in his statement:

    "An artist's children ***COULD*** benefit from the copyright of their parents' works, ***SAY***, until they reach the age of majority... But afterward, it's not clear to me why Ravel's children should get any income from Bolero..."

    This was AN EXAMPLE he was giving. He was essentially saying "you know, I could see it if it was XXXX, maybe, but even then, I really dont believe in IP and this system of perpetual and infinite rights that never end."

    And no, there IS NO SUCH THING AS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. Please get this through your thick troll head. IP is an INVENTED term, not something inherent to the human condition. In addition, it is NOT CODIFIED IN LAW anywhere. Its simply a catch-all term created by rights holders to easily describe a set of several laws (copyright, trademark, etc) together with the intent to turn weak minds (thats you) to accepting it as if its a natural law or something.

     

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  21.  
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    interval (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re:

    You mean despite the Marxism?

     

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  22.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    There's no need to act like a child. Good grief.

    So it's OK to him if the children can collect until the age of majority. That's IP, not the lack of IP.

    And there is such a thing as IP, invented or not. It's silly to pretend like it doesn't exist.

     

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  23.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    His point (I think) is that even if there is a law outlining or defining something called "intellectual property" (I'm not aware of any), that thing is not, in fact, property. No matter what you call it. So it's not pretending at all to say there's no such thing as intellectual property.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    "And there is such a thing as IP, invented or not. It's silly to pretend like it doesn't exist."

    Tell that to the billions of pirates in the world :)

    It has to be the dumbest form of property ever devised.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    By the way explain when "rights" became "property"?

     

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  26.  
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    Anon, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    The words, "intellectual property," exist as a phrase. The idea behind owning thoughts is an ignorant attempt at stifling others ability to innovate and use ideas.

     

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  27.  
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    coldbrew, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    You are going to try and convince someone that has chosen the field know as IP law to admit there is no suck thing as IPlaw? 3 years of school, loads of debt, and the prospect of a good salary are a lot to contend with. His entire future income is predicated on its existence.

     

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  28.  
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    statismwatch, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    IP is a scam

    Good for him, and bang on. Carry IP to its intellectual dead end and we'll be sending in micropayments for humming a tune.

    Pretty tenacious, though, for something a European princess and a French writer cooked up to keep booksellers happy.

     

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  29.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Director Jean-Luc Godard Says....

    Did you ever stop to think that maybe the name Jean-Luc Picard was inspired by Jean-Luc Godard? He's kind of a significant figure in film.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Brian, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:31am

    Ravel's Children

    So if Ravel's descendants don't get any money from Bolero, then are they then surrendering that money to the corporate interests who surely would continue to profit from it? Or are we to expect that Bolero will be distributed en masse to the public for free at the expense of these businesses for the sheer love of it?

    Ideology aside, there is a practical component to profit motive and for intellectual property. The answer lies in fairness and balance, not dispensing with IP altogether!

     

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  32.  
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    Brian, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    IMDB Credits

    If there was no IP law, how much would he have earned from the movies he's credited for: 93 movies as director, 78 as writer, 41 as editor, 36 as actor, etc?

    Had there been no IP law, those numbers might not have been even into a dozen, since the studios could have just produced his scripts without his permission and no compensation for anything more than just his time showing up on set.

    He would have had to resort to having a "regular job" to pay the bills and had no momentum in filmmaking.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Brian, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    The native indians said "One does not sell the land people walk on." And yet it has been sold again and again beneath their feet, or even more have been evicted from the areas to accomodate the land's new "owners" so they can be put on "reservations".

    Certainly intellectual property is merely an idea, just as is property itself, such as land ownership. However, unless we live in communal villages where there are no costs for things and no taxes, we will have to barter with what we have.

    For some it is land, material wealth. For others it is their creativity. A person deserves to be compensated for their contribution, be it material or otherwise. Even this site wouldn't exist if the hosting bill wasn't paid for, now would it?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    "For others it is their creativity. A person deserves to be compensated for their contribution, be it material or otherwise."

    People should get paid by the work they do, not for work done that is just a perversion that was allowed to happen.

    More those contributions in the realm of the intangible are really just ideas and nobody should own ideas ever it blocks the productive path and inhibits learning.

     

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  35.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    You don't have to refer to copyrights and patents as property to practice copyright or patent law. It's just a convenient-but-misleading shorthand.

     

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  36.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    What does any of that have to do with whether copyrights are property?

     

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  37.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Ravel's Children

    The idea is that anybody could do whatever they want with it now. Just like everything currently in the public domain.

     

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  38.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Ravel's Children

    Brian spouted:

    So if Ravel's descendants don't get any money from Bolero, then are they then surrendering that money to the corporate interests who surely would continue to profit from it?

    Look around: do you see many “corporate interests” continuing to profit from Bolero?

    I rest my case.

     

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  39.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 14th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    I tend to agree with this guy. I'm still not clear on why intellectual property rights became assignable... Oh apart from the economic interest of course :)

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    It should be pointed out that Jean-Luc Godard openly admits to being a socialist. Also, he is French.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 11:44pm

    Re:

    Why are you trying to skew the bias to something that may favor your position more by stating that?

    That might be seen as low blow by a low life, or a good catch depending on who you ask.

    Want to ask me what I do think about?

     

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  42.  
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    Paddy Duke (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 4:10am

    Re:

    Curious how the roles have switched. Socialists are trying to get this government interference out of the economy, and the capitalists are clamouring to pull them further in.

     

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  43.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 4:21am

    Re:

    So, copyright, which is basically a government granted-monopoly, is free-market-think, right?

    Then up is down, left is right, black is white, and you get yourself killed at the next zebra crossing.

     

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  44.  
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    Paul Renault (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    I'm PaulR, who translated the text on BoingBoing..:

    "Il n'y a pas de propriété intellectuelle. Je suis contre l'héritage, par exemple."

    In the first sentence, Godard says that intellectual creations aren't property in the usual sense of the word: houses, pocketknives, bags of carrots. Thus, in the second sentence, to illustrate this point he says he doesn't believe that copyright should be inheritable.

    He does add" "Que les enfants d'un artiste puissent bénéficier des droits de l'oeuvre de leurs parents, pourquoi pas jusqu'â leur majorité...)

    He is willing to concede that the creators' children could/should [I don't have the text that the ellipsis replaces] continue to receive copyright payments until they reach the age of majority. But afterwards? No.

    He does NOT say, or even imply that the creator should not benefit for his/her works - to those of y'all who insist on repeating this straw man, the original text is quite clear.

    But he doesn't believe that copyright should be treated as property.

     

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  45.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    That makes more sense, thanks, but he's still contradicting himself. If he doesn't think it should be heritable, then he should be totally opposed to the author's children receiving payments for their parent's work. What he's trying to say is that he's for shorter copyright terms. Also, if the author and the author's children are to benefit from the work, then presumably he's talking about it happening via exclusive rights. In other words, the work will be treated like property. Of course intellectual property and regular property are different--that's not a controversial thing to say.

    So basically here's what he's saying:

    (1) IP rights shouldn't be heritable, except for when they're heritable.

    (2) IP shouldn't be treated like property, except for when it's treated like property.

    (3) IP is different than regular property, except for the ways that it's the same.

    This guy's great!

     

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  46.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    In France, neither of those is seen as a bad thing. :-)

     

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  47.  
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    Paul Renault (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    Godard doesn't think there is such a thing as IP. Do I need to repeat it?

    Maybe: Godard doesn't think there is such a thing as IP. He believes you can't treat copyright in the same way you treat property.

    The key to understanding the nuance is in the French text: "par exemple" (for example) in "Je suis contre l'héritage, par exemple.".

    He's talking about copyright, not IP. Again, Godard doesn't believe that there is such a thing as IP

    He doesn't have a problem with copyright for the creator's lifetime. Nor for extending the copyright to cover the creator's children until they reach the age of majority.

    Say basically here's what he's saying:

    (1) There is no such thing as IP;

    (2) Copyright should end when the creator dies, plus maybe a maximum of 18 years, for the children;

    (3) A creator's work(s) should not thought of as property, since there's no such thing as IP;

    (4) HADOPI is a bad idea/institution;

    (5) There is no such thing as IP;

    (6) He thinks filesharing is OK; and he's put his money where his mouth is by donating 1,000 eurosn to James Climent to help pay his fine;

    (7) There is no such thing as IP.

     

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  48.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    Copyright is IP, at least it was the last time I checked. ;)

     

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  49.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 15th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

    According to what law? I'm not saying you're wrong, but can you point to a law that actually defines copyright as "intellectual property"?

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Landon, Sep 15th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lemme emphasize that to help you out there....

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    he still contradicts himself, and invalidates his own point
    you cant be against it, and then allow "the children" to get a free paycheck for 18 or 21 years for something they had nothing to do with, that's keeping the status quot.


    Law?? no, IP is not a legal definition, its a word used to lump in trade marks, patents, copyright, etc... IP should never be used, use the appropriate legal term to describe what your talking about, stop scaring the children with invented umbrella words

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re:

    How does he contradict himself? Copyright != IP. One is a government-mandated monopoly on the distribution of creative works. The other is a completely fictitious creation by the big publishers being used to try and force unreasonable terms for copyright thru the legal system, just so they can lock things up to where they can make money off something for eternity +70 years. I'll let you figure out which is which...

     

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


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