Tuesday, January 04, 2005

France: Anti-Piracy Through P2P Messages

On December 21 the French Minister of Industry, Patrick Devedjian, launched a "piracy" public awareness campaign with the words: "Peer-to-peer is, of course, not the only reason for the public disaffection with CD's". On the French Legalis.net he is quoted that one should not accept pircay, even if the numbers show "that there is not an exact and direct relationship between piracy and lower CD sales".

The Minister does not see "brutal repression" as an effective solution, and instead thinks to counter p2p "piracy" with technology itself. Rather than to "vainly try to prohibit them, to be opposed to them, or to tax them" his solution is to diffuse fake music files on p2p networks that contain a warning message on the risks of copyright infringement. When someone plays these files he hears the voice of television presenter Ariel Wizman, declaring: "This is a message of the Ministry of Industry...", to end by pointing out to the existence of legal download platforms.

It is questionable if downloaders will even come to the end of this message. They will most likely consider the file for what it really is: a spoof, a fake file that tries to obstruct their ability to download genuine files. Current file sharing systems like eDonkey can have a function that points out spoofs, making them more easy to avoid. As a result this technical "solution" hinders its own goal: propaganda. If that really is the goal of this campaign, and not a state funded flooding of p2p networks with spoofs.

In the meantime, another campaign has been started to collect remixes of Ariel Wizman's anti-piracy message on a CD: Propreté intellectuelle : remixez Ariel Wizman ! One of the remixes can be heard here. (thru Copy.cult)


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