[A2k] Culture According to Sarkozy: Digital Obscurantism and Contempt for Rights

La Quadrature du Net jz at laquadrature.net
Fri Nov 18 02:50:44 PST 2011

La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/culture-according-to-sarkozy-digital-obscurantism-and-contempt-for-rights

Culture According to Sarkozy: Digital Obscurantism and Contempt for Rights

*** Paris, 18th of November 2011 – Nicolas Sarkozy is attempting a sleight of hand at today's G8/G20 Forum d'Avignon on culture, economy and the media: posing as the defender of digital culture and the Internet. La Quadrature du Net reminds of his disastrous record, and calls on citizens to judge by themselves with the upcoming votes in the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, in particular on the anti-counterfeiting ACTA agreement. ***

Internationally recognised among developed countries as having implemented the worse policy regarding rights, freedoms and digital culture [1], Nicolas Sarkozy is presenting himself as a measured defender of the Internet and copyright, as he already tried to do during last May's eG8 [2].

HADOPI and Net filtering [3], the constant intimidation to stigmatise not-for-profit sharing of culture, the reduction of all immaterial activities to their economic component and subservience towards lobbies and dominant media have all been constants of the overall policy carried these past years.

This policy came into being against a background of poor understanding of the reality of non-market sharing — a lack of understanding unfortunately often seen in other parts of the political class.

The cultural policies carried by Nicolas Sarkozy in the digital sphere serve a small club of interests: in the name of copyright, the government constantly adopted measures in favour of large media groups close to the President, measures which bring neither resources nor new capacities to the authors and contributors who keep culture alive.

“Nicolas Sarkozy has been described as the President of the rich, but he will also be remembered as the President of legacy media and resistance to innovative copyright and cultural policies. With ruthless commodification of the public domain and rejection of non-market cultural practices, the President of the ‘civilized Internet’ actually ignores digital culture.”, said Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

“Culture – real culture – thrives and grows through sharing. For Sarkozy, culture is the formatted works that large industrial groups impose through distribution lockdowns. We are all responsible for protecting the free Internet as an essential tool for cultural diversity and as a meeting place for authors, artists and the public.” concluded Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group.

* References *

1. Some recent developments in the United States such as the SOPA bill are disputing this title.

2. See: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/eg8-forum-a-smokescreen-for-governmental-control-of-the-net

3. During his 2010 greetings to the cultural world, Nicolas Sarkozy already considered that “We must […] experiment promptly filtering schemes which aim to automatically de-pollute networks and servers of all sources of piracy.”
See also French Intellectual Property Code article L336-2, created by the HADOPI law, which authorises a judge to order filtering measures.

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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