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?

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Comments on “Nicolas Sarkozy Caught Mass 'Pirating' DVDs; Time To Kick Him Off The Internet”

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45 Comments
Dark Helmet (profile) says:

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….

Rabbit80 says:

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!

Anonymous Coward says:

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).

Anonymous Coward says:

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

RD says:

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.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

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.

spaceman spiff says:

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…

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: 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”.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Sheesh says:

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.

Pierre (user link) says:

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

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