Earlier this year I've reported to you about the political party in France, which also represents French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and how they committed copyright infringement by allowing a musical score to be played on their campaign advertisements without permission from the copyright holders. Then later this past fall, they did it again, in a last ditch effort to provide their guests with a documentary, which they only had ordered 50 copies of, they made over 400 illegal backup copies, in order to meet the demands. Now, for a third time, they've been accused of yet again committing copyright infringement.
The UMP, the political party in power in France, have been very tough on counterfeiting and copyright legislation. They've been a huge part of the push for reform, including the now infamous "Three Strikes" act that's working it's way into a globalization policy.
In their first accusations this year, an American "Indie" music band, known as MGMT, claimed that the UMP, had used their popular song entitled "Kids" on various online campaign videos, as well as other political advertisements, without their prior knowledge or permission. Even after this claim, the UMP, at an event in the French National Congress, still played this song, for an informal meeting being hosted by President Nicolas Sarkozy himself.
The band was very unhappy, not that the song was used just for political messages, but because they were never asked for permission. The attorney for the band, Isabelle Wekstein, stated, "We are dealing with acts of counterfeiting, an infringement of intellectual property", a shocking claim against a party whom have been the main proponents for the violation of ethics when it comes to copyright infringement.
That was only strike one against the French political powerhouse, and more was to come in direct compromise to their approach to copyrights. Strike two, occurred when the French Presidential Audio Services, (Service audiovisual de la présidence de la République), were brought to light for making 400 unauthorized copies of a documentary about the French President, "A visage découvert : Nicolas Sarkozy".
The production company which distributed the DvD, however, stated that he had no problem with the fact that they made additional copies due to the increase in guests for the event in which the DvD was to be handed out, except that the UMP had only ordered 50 copies originally, and that the "Galaxie Press" logo which was on the DvD, was removed, and replaced with the logo of the Presidential Audio Services. Another direct violation of copyrights and ethics.
Now, for a third strike, the party has been exposed yet again, this time for using a re-mix of a copyrighted 1976 song, for a French Canadian event. The party had gained permission to use the original 1976 track, "All Those Who Want To Change The World" for the event, but however, they decided to use a modern hip hop remake of the track, by artist Marie-Mai, instead, without gaining permission to do so.
The Canadian Musicor Quebecois record label, is accusing the French political party of using the track for a lipdup video, without gaining prior permission. Amazing as it is, they actually have committed copyright infringement, on at least three separate occasions now.
According to the "Three-Strikes" policy that Mr. Sarkozy has so strongly supported, now his internet access, and telephone services are to be shut off for up to five years, possibly face severe fines, and even a potential jail sentence. At least that's what the "Three-Strikes" policy said it would do to common people, whom violated it's guidelines.
Will the same happen to the very man who pushed for this tough anti-copyright infringement policy to become rule of law? I somehow doubt it. I just find it extremely amazing, that someone from within the party could allow such huge mistakes when their party has came out many times to state how detrimental copyright infringement has been to damaging the music industry. It's also staunchly stated that file sharing as a whole is a huge threat to the entertainment industry in even the smallest forms.
In the current dispute, the record label's attorney, Christine Me Maestracci, has stated that the "UMP had contacted the producer last October 8 for the rights of this song and they said no", and regardless they still used the song. She went on to say that the record label executive "Luc Plamondon had agreed, but surely not for such use. Musicor does not want to allow artists of our group to be used for political purposes", a statement that can be backed with documents from the UMP sent to the label.
The UMP is in a huge "cover-up" mode, stating that it "regrets the mistake", and that it has already agreed to pay $45,000.00 Canadian Dollars to the label. That amount is similar to the quiet payoff they made to the band MGMT, for their first copyright infringement violation. Both Musicor and Star Academy, whom own the original track rights as well as the rights of the re-mix which was used, have said they will donate the proceeds of the payoff to charity.
With the tough new "Creation and Internet Law" making headlines in France, and officially being signed into legislation this past September, you'd think that even the strong-arm of the French Government would be subject to the rulings of the law of all the nation. Apparently not, as in this case, a few secretive "behind the scenes" payoffs is okay as long as you represent the government.
Sadly that is not how the law is written, nor how it should be interpreted. I feel that the protesters of the current laws which were recently enacted, should use this to their full arsenal, in an attempt to repeal the nonsense laws that apparently only apply to tax paying citizens, and not the government itself. Clearly the new "Creation and Internet" legislation states that any parties being involved in a "third strike" would be disconnected from the internet for up to five years, yet I'm sure the government is online as we speak.
How can anyone take serious a law which is set in motion to disconnect file sharers, or those "accused" of copyright infringement, without being first convicted, when the government who passed that very law actually admitting to illegally breaching copyright laws, and had no punishment what so ever? Of course they cannot take it serious, it's a scam to payoff huge entertainment industry representatives who've made huge political campaign contributions.
Showing once again that the government which is supposed to be "elected by the people to represent the people", in fact only represents it's own financial interests, and in no way, shape, or form, does the law they write affect themselves.
Shame on the French government, and shame on Nicolas Sarkozy, for not condemning this act by his own party, which he leads.
December 18th, 2009
Posted by: Date:
Friday, December 18th, 2009
|posted by (2009-12-18 14:09:29)|
|Thanks Obs, Although as you know I am 100% against "The three strike law", I am also against a 1000 strike law, but for those of you in France that ever get fined I would suggest (as a protest), that you plead guilty and ask that the fine be paid by public monies, as the french government has done. It sure is easy paying fines when its not your money your paying. That would make front page news and you could state you are just doing the same thing the President and his government did.|
|posted by (2009-12-18 14:12:25)|
|posted by (2009-12-18 15:00:14)|
|Great article. I am "shocked" that such hypocrisy can exist in a political party, who would've ever thought such a thing?! More nails in Sarkozy's coffin hopefully and proof that they just don't get the internet and how it works. Isn't it strange that the rich and powerful feel that repressive laws they are trying to pass shouldn't apply to them? In the immortal words of Bill Hicks - "Suck Satan's cock".|
|sarkozy is an hypocrite and a shame of a politician,,look at the present state of france...no respect for such a kind,,and worse hes as well and hypocrite,,politicians-liers, cheaters,,,|
|What I wanna know is why are the music labels accepting this small amount of "hush money"!? Are they not aware of what the french gov. stands for and the laws they are trying to implement. Or perhaps they don't really care about file shareing (us=ET)and knows the french gov. is not to be fu*k with. Personally I think the french gov. is sitting back laughing saying throw the crack heads (labels) some crumbs they'll shut the hell up. thx OBS...peace|
|posted by (2009-12-18 17:27:03)|
|Cw. AP: PARIS - A Paris court ruled Friday that Google Inc. is breaking French law with its policy of digitizing books, handing the U.S. Internet giant a C10,000 ($14,300)-a-day fine until it rids its database of the literary extracts.|
A judge also ordered Google to pay C300,000 ($430,000) in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere, which brought the case on behalf of a group of French publishers.
You gotta love the French!!
|well done obscene...another fine article ...thanks|
|shows you AGAIN what kind of people are in political seats|
|Thanxx for the info Obs:))|
|THX OBS BRILL ARTICLE|
|posted by (2009-12-24 00:25:13)|
|The French are pigs! They and thier Qubec Canadian bretheren cannot be trusted. The only things they exeed at are surrendering and collaboration with the Germans.|