Law in the Internet Society
READY TO BE READ (modified version of my first paper)

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The Global License :Smoke and mirrors.

October 2011 : France has been trying to sue children for the past three years under the HADOPI legislationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HADOPI_law and apparently it is not working the way the French government expected it to work. Not efficient, too burdensome. Fair enough, let’s come up with something else. Here is the way it would work. In order to compensate authors, each and everyone of us will pay an extra 5 and 6 euros a month on our Internet bills. This compensation will be included in the price we pay to Internet Service Providers. Internet users will pay a fixed price to Internet carriers. The money collected would go to collecting societies , somekind of SACEM (the equivalent of the ASCAP in the US). The money will then be dispatched among authors. This would depart from the current Hadopi legislation, under which unlicenced P2P? sharing is prohibited.

The dispatch would be done according to the traffic , meaning that the artists would be compensated according to how many people downloaded their work. That sounds fair, right ? That way we forget about HADOPI, we download and upload freely (well for a few euros at least) and artists get compensated. Why not? But the questions is how is the dispatch of the money going to be handled ? Pro GL say that it would be enough to calculate the traffic of each artist. So the more an artist is shared and downloaded the more money he or she will get. The calculation will be based on popularity. What we are told is that this system will enable small or unknown artists to get something, even a little bit. No more intermediaries (record company, the music industry in general). Authors would get proper compensation, and that is the most important thing, right ? The project is obviously designed to protect unknown or non famous artists. Who is going to calculate the traffic, how is it going to be calculated ? Does it mean that exchanges will be monitored and controlled somehow? Who will operate this control? Internet providers, independent societies?

Surprinsingly the debate around the GL has focused on authors and compensation. Compensating artists seems to be an obssession for the GL advocates. And they try to sell us this concept of GL, because it is fair, because it is right, and because that the way it should be. We cannot turn down a project that protects artists right?

But in the end this looks like just another tax. The only concern is: would artists be fairly compensated ? What I believe is that as long as they don’t want to understand that the structure of all this is wrong we are not going to do anything good. The music industry collapses: face it. The way we access culture is changing : deal with it ! Thinking within a structure of intellectual property does not help at all.

The thinking pattern behind GL is still the same as the one behind Hadopi, art is perceived as a marchandise. Same as Hadopi. But I guess the GL is just a way to sweeten the pill. The fact is that neither the Socialists nor the Conservatives understand that the music industry is slowly dying. The GL is just a honey trap. This being said, France won’t be able to implement the GL anyway. That would require too many resources. GL will fail just like HADOPI. And who cares about what I download or upload apart from collecting societies. So how come France is still wasting its time on such things? What I believe is that it does not matter if it works or not. France is just trying to monitor everything on the net. HADOPI, LOPPSI laws have paved the way for filtering and controling the net. GL is the frosting on the cake. The GL kills two birds with one stone: comforting the dying Music Industry and preparing control of the net.

In order to accomplish its goals, the GL requires that the downloading activity of users be monitored, so that the money be dispatch, in theory, in a fair manner. Whether this would be accomplishing by tracking computer traffic, or whether it would dealt with by the automatic pre-installation of spyware, this still implies that somewhere, government officials have a mean of controlling the activity of all users on French internet network, and, again, we have no guarantees as to the use they will make of this possibility. But this can be dodged.

This is not new though. So why is France persisting in creating this kind of absurd regulations? Non cost effective and non efficient regulations? Because, the system as we know it will soon die, power might change owners and that scares my Government. The French Government is desperate and worried. HADOPI, LOPPSIhttp://www.laquadrature.net/en/french-loppsi-bill-adopted-the-internet-under-control, GL or whatever it can come up with is just a way to postpone the end of their World in which the music and the movie industry are ruling and where the concept of ownership is the keystone. Those regulations are only designed to gain time.

Meanwhile, they monitor us a little bit more, somehow feeling that they control things, it makes them feel better for a while, until they realize that the power is slipping away again.

-- NatachaEsteves - 01 Nov 2011

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r5 - 04 Sep 2012 - 22:02:17 - IanSullivan
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