The old world just won't let go
Oct 20, 2012
4 minute read

jcfrog is a French software engineer, web artist, and a respected voice in the popular uprise against copyright madness and abusive laws that have been discussed and/or voted in France in the past few years.

This is an approximate translation of his article: Le vieux monde s’accroche, et croit qu’on lui doit tout


How long will they keep at it?

Legacy economic actors cover themselves in ridicule while defending their turf, and like all shopkeepers, those of the printed press, of the record industry, of industrial patents, and others, copyright crazies recently made a request to the already-unpopular French government to do their bidding by racketeering the peaceful population and their competitors, all for their own private interests.

Got a problem? Business not so good anymore? It’s simple. Just lobby your government to increase your “enemies”’ taxes.

It’s already hard enough to imagine a future on the remnants of an arguably selfish and careless past, without having to endure the subsidy demands of agonising mammoths.

Reinvent! React, and we will be brothers in arms, we will help you adapt.

Keep cracking the whip, and you will make enemies out of us.

It’s only logical that trying to increase the revenue streams of supposed rightsholder will foster justified anger. I’m ready to pay more taxe to save the public service, schools and hospitals, not for the “sons of” or the oblivious press barons.

The copyright mafia intends, for example, to increase taxes on storage devices, explaining that one of their main use cases is to store copyrighted products.

Make up your mind, dearies. Either leave it all open and tax mass media storage or fully embrace the hadopian[1] hell of your dreams, and then mass media storage is considered pure - in which case, we don’t want to hear about any taxes.

You know, it’s funny because, because I have exactly zero illegally acquired works on my hard disks. So, I’m paying for a few tracks, and then I should pay again just to keep a copy at home?

It gets worse. I own several large hard drives, because I produce videos, music, all outside of your distribution channels - and I’m proud of it (like many others), and then I need to pay so that your ‘copyright heirs’ get their share? Truth is, you’re just. Too. Good.

Yes, heirs. Yes, “sons of”.

Let’s talk about rightsholders.

The fact that artists’ children can live for 70 years on the rights of their parents’ work seem completely immoral to me. Copyright heirs are the product of aristocratic tendencies. Those are shameful privileges. Did they not get enough money from their parents’ will? Can’t they work like everyone else?

In spite of what we are continuously being told, I think Art doesn’t need managers. It would be a beautiful thing to see children dedicating their lives to promote the work of their parents, if their works had fallen into the public domain, not if it’s only to yield profit! If the works of Claude François or Jacques Brel fell along with this posthumous industry, it would mean that their songs weren’t fit to transcend generations. But I am personally convinced otherwise: Brel’s works in the public domain would have persisted just as well. And, let’s be honest, the same applies to Claude François.

By the way, here’s a bright idea I just had. Since we all agree that these debates have, obviously, one and the same objective - the greatness and support of Art itself, let’s get started on a prodigious adventure: how about giving basic income[2] to artists? Let’s make it even more comfortable: a monthly, unconditional 2000 EUR. Survival is ensured, money is not a worry anymore, all that’s left is Art.

You’ll see. Music stores will see a revival… in quality.

[1] - HADOPI is French law and anti-piracy organism.

[2] - In French: revenu de base / revenu universel.

This is an approximate translation of this article: Le vieux monde s’accroche, et croit qu’on lui doit tout