Blown To Bits

French Copyright Koyaanisqatsi

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 by Harry Lewis

A law is under consideration in France that would require ISPs to be the monitors and enforcers of copyright law. All Internet traffic would be monitored to make sure there was no copyrighted material among the love letters, business plans, and family photos that residents of that nation were receiving. A complete Big Brother state, at the behest of the movie and music content industries. Penalties would range up to losing your Internet connection — and entry of your name on a national registry of persons not allowed to get another. President Sarkozy is all for it.

The EU is quite skeptical, fundamentally concerned that losing your Internet connection is losing the ability to communicate, a fundamental human right. The EU Parliament debated the matter and has adopted language that causes problems for the French initiative.

It is somewhat amusing to see another nation as much out of balance as the US because of the reaction of the content industry to the digital revolution. The interesting thing is that the matter is being fought out in Europe not on the basis of property and money as in the US, but on the basis of conflicting rights, that of creators to control their works and that of human beings to communicate freely with others.

One Response to “French Copyright Koyaanisqatsi”

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