Digital repression : record industry talks nonsense

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Paris, April 30th, 2008. Hervé Rony, spokesperson for the SNEP (french syndicate of the record industry), declared yesterday that « it would not be acceptable » that the “flexible response” would not be examined before summer by the French Parliament. He added that it would be «  a bit late  if the Olivennes law was voted before the end of July [1].

La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the net) reminds the french government and SNEP that one does not make laws in a rush about such important subjects as the regulation of civil liberties on the Internet and the development of digital economy… and that « the coffers are empty » as the french president Nicolas Sarkozy said.

Specifically, the Olivennes law, through which families and companies would be banned from the Internet without any trial, was judged in contradiction with the Human Rights by the European Parliament [2]. The european MPs of countries ranked among the 10 nations best fitted to the digital economy, according to the World Economic Forum (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Holland), have condemned it explicitly, with more than 80% for the first three[3].

And the SNEP pretends that the reading of this text by the French Senate few weeks before the French presidency of the European Union is a matter of emergency  ? While France traipses at the 21st position in the World Economic Forum ranking [4]?

Creating a costly 43rd administrative authority in charge of sending « thousands  of threatening letters and to arbitrarily close an unknown number of Internet accounts is an aberration. Public deficits are at their lowest and it is unconvincing that customers punished this way will revive the french economic growth by buying records – all the more so during the ban they will have to pay their Internet Service Provider  !

«  Record sales drop since French citizens have to make some choices given their purchasing power. The fact producers do not accept this reality must not lead to adopt an extremist text in emergency . It will all the more hinder economic growth as the Attali Commission noticed.  » [5], summarizes Christophe Espern, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the net). He add : «  Coffers cannot be empty for everybody but the record industry, especially when it required such absurd measures!  »

La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net) thus asks French Prime Minister François Fillon not to yield to the pressure of navel-gazing industrialists overtaken by the ongoing progress. Otherwise it is certain that « the discussion in the Parliament will be hard » as M. Rony said.

About la Quadrature du Net / Squaring the Net

La Quadrature du Net / Squaring the Net is a citizen group informing about legislative projects menacing civil liberties as well as economic and social development in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net informs citizens, public authorities, organizations, corporations.

It works with everyone to elaborate balanced alternative solutions.

La Quadrature du Net / Squaring the Net is supported by french, european and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

They support :


[1] AFP, 29/04/2008

[2] European Parliament rejects graduated (or flexible) response

[3] Digital Economy : head or tail ?

[4] Global Information Technology Report 2007-08, World Economic Forum / INSEAD

[5] Report of the Committee for the Liberation of French growth (page 62, in french)

« « Setting up control mechanisms of personal uses (general filter, communications monitoring ) would be a major obstacle for growth in this key sector [the digital one]. Even under the control of an independent authority or a judge, such mechanisms would introduce a surveillance likely to jeopardize privacy and individual liberties, quite contrary to the requirements of the creation and the real nature of the digital economy. ». »