French Politicians Worry That Free Creative Commons Works Devalue 'Legal' Offers
from the what??? dept
As Techdirt noted last year, France has a regrettable habit of dreaming up really bad ideas when it comes to the Internet, most famously with the three-strikes scheme, now known there by the name of the body the oversees it -- Hadopi. Guillaume Champeau points us to a piece in the French newspaper Libération, which contains yet more appalling possibilities (original in French).
The article concerns Pierre Lescure and his team, who have been charged by the French government with coming up with ways to help the world of culture in France adapt to the Internet economy. One idea, kindly suggested by the French recording industry, is to replace Hadopi's court procedures for those accused of unauthorized file sharing with an automatic fine of 140 euros after three strikes. That is, from being guilty until proven innocent, as now, under the proposed scheme those accused would simply be found guilty without any further discussion. And then there's this:
In parallel, no de-penalization for non-commercial sharing, but a desire to "increase the value" of free licences of the Creative Commons kind. The Lescure team believes that letting works circulate freely (as they do now...) would hinder the development of legal offers, particularly VOD [Video On Demand].
Yes, apparently the way to "increase the value" is to no longer allow Creative Commons content to "circulate freely" because it might compete with other business models. Lescure has now taken to Twitter (kudos that at least he's on Twitter) to state that what was reported bears "almost no relation to what we are preparing." But he doesn't explain what exactly they are planning, nor does he deny that their plans involve Creative Commons licenses.
We shall have to wait to see what he has in mind. But it would be hard to find a better symbol of the French establishment's attitude to the Internet and its extraordinary new possibilities than trying to make people pay for works that could be shared freely (because their creators want that), on the grounds that it might hinder a service that turns the Net into television.