Chips, shoulders, Sex and the French HADOPI Internet “3-strikes” Law
The French assembly is about to vote a really dumb “three-strikes” anti “Internet piracy” law. Among many other obscenities, it puts the onus on citizens to protect their Internet connections against people who would use it to download copyrighted materials. And the only way you can prove you are innocent is if you install some piece of government-approved snooping software (which doesn’t yet exist) on your computer. Guilty until proven innocent.
Quite an irony really.
Because normally, traditionally, our aging socialists would have proposed this three-strikes law to protect their buddies, the cool, lefty artists of yesteryear. And the right would have screamed bloody murder, too much state intervention, etc.
You see, our president Sarkozy is really a free-marketeer. He liked Bush. He would have sent French troops into Iraq (although it is important to note that he was elected despite these proclivities).
He’s also very “rive droite”, i.e. from the rich, bourgeois part of the Paris area, where people respect wealth over culture. So was his second wife, Cecelia. Who dumped him.
Soon after that, Sarko married former model Carla Bruni, a typical “rive gauche” bourgeois-bohème of the so-called caviar left, who despite their wealth, consider wealth to be vulgar. Her buddies are really cool philosophers and cool artists (many of whom Carla fucked in the past). The kind of people Sarkozy-style bourgeois have a huge inferiority complex towards.
Can you imagine poor, poor president Sarkozy, who represents everything these people despise, hanging out with them? What could he possibly do to fit in?
Why, this fabulous 3-strikes anti “piracy” law of course! With it, he could impress his dear Carlita and ingratiate himself with her left-bank artist buddies (most of whom are not wired, who think their declining sales are due to piracy (ha!), and who don’t realize they are really being screwed by the record-company lobbyists who cooked up the details of the law). Thankfully, many less clueless, more wired artists, movie-makers, independent labels (and Catherine Deneuve) have come out firmly against the law.
Which also explains why Sarko went absolutely apeshit when the law was defeated in the near-empty assembly a couple of weeks ago because a bunch of socialist representatives who happened to be around to vote on another law voted against this one. It’s back on the docket and will be likely be passed today (or it’s off to political-Guantanamo for the government-party representatives who vote their conscience).
France is even holding a major European telecoms package hostage over this. Despite the fact that the European parliament voted several times overwhelmingly for an amendment that would invalidate the French 3-strikes law. Oh, and we’re supposed to believe Sarko when he claims that next month’s European parliamentary election is of the highest importance. Quel cynisme.
And people like me, who make 100% of their living thanks to/over the Internet, be damned.
But back to sex.
So France is ridiculing itself because of Sarko’s Napoleon complex.
But I predict it won’t go much beyond that.
Because assuming the law is promulgated, and then makes it past national and European legal challenges, it is such a grotesque rube-goldberg machine, and would be so technically complex (some say impossible) and expensive to implement, that I for one will not refrain any time soon from downloading stuff, because as the French Fédération des labels indépendants says, “download to discover, buy to support”.
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