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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Filed Under: europe, france, francois hollande, hadopi, nicolas sarkozy


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 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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