Thursday 14 May 2009

"No magic wand", but CISAC praises new French law

It's no surprise that the International Federation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) has welcomed the adoption of the Loi Hadopi by the French Parliament. In a press release the organisation says:
"CISAC welcomes the adoption of the Law on the “Protection of Creation on the Internet” by the French Parliament. The 2.5 million creators and 222 authors’ societies represented by CISAC hail the determination of the French Government and Parliament to guarantee the future of creation and the creative industries in today’s digital world. The law introduces a “graduated response” to tackle piracy of creative works on the Internet through education and is accompanied by an encouragement to expand legitimate offerings of creative content. The text also reaffirms that authors’ rights continue to apply on the Internet and that creators should be remunerated for the use of their works.

Eric Baptiste, Director General of CISAC, the international organisation representing authors’ societies worldwide, declared: “This law is not going to solve everything with the wave of a magic wand. But one of the great virtues of the text lies in the awareness of the value of creative works and the economic system underpinning creation. Today, thousands of people work in the wake of creators and artists. Creative freedom and cultural diversity will have no future if the mass plundering of their works continues, depriving creators of their means of subsistence, the creative industries of their financing and, ultimately, depriving the public itself of new works without which culture is lifeless.”

This law is the result of a will to cooperate shared by the authorities representing creators, the creative industries and Internet service providers...".
CISAC is right about it being "no magic wand" --if this law is to produce the desired changes it will first need to overcome the attitudes and habits of thought of a generation of computer-literature consumers of culture who have so far proved resistant to traditional copyright notions. I also wonder: CISAC's constituent organisations represent 2.5 million creators. What proportion of them while pleased to belong to societies that fight for their copyright interests, are themselves unlawful file-sharers? It's a bit like speed limits on the roads: we all agree that they are a good thing for other people ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is hardly surprising CISAC would support the new French law given its roots within the mainland European ‘authors right’ side of the various issues relating to Copyright. You mention the consumers that are resistant to traditional copyright notions but I would argue this oversimplifies the way this generation of digital consumers understand the way copyright law works. In our research last year (British Music Rights/University of Hertfordshire “Music Experience and Behaviour in Young People “) it was evident participants were very (90%) supportive of measures to compensate and reward creators. There is also a clear sense amongst these young digital music natives that they justify P-2-P behaviour in the belief it merely deprives corporate copyright holders (such as major record labels/ film companies) from making what are seen as exorbitant profits from physical sales. They do not ( or choose not to ) see or understand the value chain within the recorded music and music publishing industry nor the relationship between the owners of rights and the notional beneficiaries of the rights such as recording artists, producers and in this case songwriters.

There are those (notably W Patry in a December 2008 IPkat post) who with some justification argue creators are often used as a “beard” for the corporate commercial owners of copyright but it is non-profit making bodies like CISAC whose views highlight the many others affected by P-2-P that are not in a position to “give” music away for promotion nor subsidise recorded music through merchandise and live income . These others include the vast majority of CISAC’s membership – the multitude of non-performing and non-featured songwriters and composers who rely upon collection societies and music publishers to defend their rights which are currently being obliterated by most P-2-P activity.