What Does The Election Of France's New President Mean For European Copyright?

from the keeping-everyone-happy dept

Whatever you might have thought of his policies, Nicolas Sarkozy probably had more impact on European copyright policy than any other EU politician. He consciously tried to the lead the way in bringing in more extreme copyright enforcement, most notably with the "three strikes" HADOPI law.

That alone makes his defeat in the recent French presidential elections significant: there are no signs that his successor, François Hollande, will take anything like the personal interest in copyright that Sarkozy did. But that also makes it very hard to predict what effect Hollande's election will have on the French and European copyright scene. Nonetheless, the French site Numerama has published an early attempt to lay down some rough ideas of what happens next (original in French.)

Things are complicated by Hollande's shifts in position on this issue. That's because in the run-up to the election he attempted to sweep up the anti-Sarkozy voters who hated HADOPI without alienating the creative industries who were all for strict enforcement of copyright. The result is a series of vague promises and pronouncements without much in the way of concrete plans.

For example, as Numerama explains, starting on 3 July there will be a "post-HADOPI reflection," led by a government commission that will draw up new measures forming what Hollande has termed "Act 2" for French culture. That commission will have the unenviable task of trying to keep everyone happy -- and probably end up pleasing no one. Meanwhile, it seems, the HADOPI machine will rumble on: Hollande has not announced any plans to suspend the system while the commission draws up its response. That's regrettable, since it implicitly accepts the validity of the "three strikes" punishment system.

However disappointing Hollande's vague policies may be for those looking for a clean break with the past, there is always the hope that now that he is elected, he may bring in bolder measures that restore some balance to copyright in his country. In any case, the fact that France is now taking its time to re-consider copyright and creativity altogether, rather than simply continuing to charge down the road of harsh enforcement, is likely to have a positive knock-on effect in the European Union. With Sarkozy gone, the copyright maximalists there have undoubtedly lost their most outspoken and powerful ally.

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    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2012 @ 2:13am

    Or the new guys are waiting for their purses to be filled

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2012 @ 3:10am

    There are only 3 countries in the world that matter for monopolies called IP laws and those are USA, Britain and France, Germany is being forced to change course because really they have gone to far, Japan is in the shadows and won't do it in public because that mean exposing themselves at home to very bad consequences, Italy is a joke and the rest of Europe is not strong enough to do or say anything.

    So really it doesn't matter that much who is the president, the environment where that president is insert is what will dictate his actions and by the looks of it, the French government didn't change that much.

    To change things today you have to change key positions inside the government machine not only one piece, that is true to any other government.

    People should map government positions and see who is there, those are the career people who stay the course for decades and are those people who advise the people in power on what to do, that is the thing that needs change.

    When you elect someone it also should come as no surprise that you need to fill key positions in order to effect lasting change.

    Those positions is what people should target to see real change.

    That is why keeping an eye on the revolving door is so enlightening.

     

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    Tor (profile), May 9th, 2012 @ 3:31am

    Strike vs. allegation

    Not directly related to this blog post, but just a general reflection:

    isn't "three strikes" a bit of a misnomer when it's actually more of a "three allegation" system? Shouldn't we be more careful with adopting a language that implicitly seem to assume that someone can be guilty of something before being tried?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2012 @ 3:43am

    Teaching the system a lesson

    I never expected that anything would change even with the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy, but the election is a lesson.

    Teach the System politicians that everytime you mess with the internet you'll be taken down. And when François Hollande, fails to deliver as he certainly will, take him down too.


    Promoting copyright maximalist policies should always result in
    hostile electioneering up to total defeat.

    When supporting copyright becomes so toxic that any politician associated with it loses the next election we have won.

     

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      Jake, May 10th, 2012 @ 3:42am

      Re: Teaching the system a lesson

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but the fact that the Sarkozy administration was convinced that "austerity" -which seems to mean cutting services and laying off government officials while giving tax breaks to billionaires- was going to somehow improve the unemployment situation may have had slightly more to do with it.

       

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    abc gum, May 9th, 2012 @ 4:38am

    "... in the run-up to the election he attempted to sweep up the anti-Sarkozy voters who hated HADOPI ..."

    Clearly, François Hollande has received a mandate. This election was a referendum on three strikes policy and France is now leading the world in its rejection of these ham fisted efforts to strangle the creative public.

     

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    Paul Keller (profile), May 9th, 2012 @ 5:05am

    the influence of France on the European level...

    .... is even more profound than portraid in Glyn's post. As i t happens the European Commissioner in charge of copyright policy, Michael Barnier, is French. It is not entirely uncommon that Members of the European Commission tend to fall in line with their home government's policies positions. So there might be some reason to hope that this might have a positive influence the positions taken by the Commission. Barnier has traditionally represented the maximalist position within the Commission.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 9th, 2012 @ 5:43am

    Reflections

    Hmmm...a large bureaucracy that is essentially ineffective and a waste of money? It stays! It is a program any socialist would love.

     

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      Chargone (profile), May 9th, 2012 @ 6:30am

      Re: Reflections

      ...
      gotta love how such are usually implemented by right wing entities, eh?

      left wing ones tend to be effective... often horribly inefficiant, but they usually set out to do what they said they would (even if what they're trying to do is a terrible idea).

      of course, this is before taking into account blatant incompetence and/or bureaucratic inertia, which have NOTHING to do with socialism or left/right wing ideology or anything of the sort and everything to do with people covering their arses, keeping their jobs, empire building, and lining their pockets. this issue crops up Alllll over the place. no matter the ideology, the government which can suppress this behavior will be more successful and more beneficial to it's people than the government which cannot.

      personally, (at least in fictitious environments, there being no other way to ensure 100% conviction of the guilty with 0% false positives) i favour systems which punish corruption in wonderfully ironic, horrendously unpleasant, and utterly lethal, ways.

       

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        Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 9th, 2012 @ 8:10am

        Re: Re: Reflections

        Oh...I could easily change some words around in the statement to make a statement to the goals of a crony capitalist. Hollande is a socialist, though.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2012 @ 5:46am

    I think he has his eye on more important matters, namely opposing the Eurozone austerity package and trying to get a strategy for growth in place.

     

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    MrWilson, May 9th, 2012 @ 6:19am

    I think you mean bureaucrat. Socialists at least nominally want to help the people, so rhe only bureaucracy they would support would be for the social programs instead of 1984-style Ministries of Copyright.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Sarkozy is finally realizing he shouldn't of fucked with the interwebz.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    The Who said it best

    "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."

     

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    Spaceman Spiff, May 9th, 2012 @ 7:47pm

    Don't hold your breath!

    "However disappointing Hollande's vague policies may be for those looking for a clean break with the past, there is always the hope that now that he is elected, he may bring in bolder measures that restore some balance to copyright in his country."

    Well, just don't forget that Hollande is still a politician, and you remember the truth about lawyers, politicians, and liars ... they are the same person!

     

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