Monday, March 14, 2005

President French Magistrates Speaks Out For MP3 Generation

The recent French court decision that acquitted a student for downloading and burning nearly 500 CDC looks to be part of a trend: Dominique Barella, the president of the "Union syndicale des magistrats" (the French union for judicial magistrates) has an opinion article in the news paper Libération (French) under the title Decriminalize Downloaded Music. I'll provide some outtakes, but it's worth to translate/read it for yourself. My translation is rather rugged at times.
A rupture is being created between the magnetic tape generation of the year 68 and the MP3 generation of the years 2000. Is it healthy in this context to give the penal judge the role of guard of the exclusive interests and codes of a generation that has become economically against the rising generation?

The penal judge is transformed into a generational pressure cooker. Our society mobilizes its data-processing, economic police force and the correctional audiences to track very dangerous delinquents: those which like the music. [...] In these times when a powerful international delinquency prospers, the means of the State should be mobilized for other objectives.

700 complaints are already announced for these illegal file-sharing. Which sociétal stake justifies this penal policy? Why penalize the copying of CD's to the MP3 format, whereas the price of CD's is out of reach for young people.

[The sanctions are] not to protect creation, but to protect some CD multinationals, which have the behavior of contempt that one knows with the artists. Some international stars live very well of this locked system, but the artists who try to advance are choked by the systems of networks which bind launching, promotion and creation in the same hand.

Our generation is projecting its cynicism on young citizens. [...] When an indivisible practice becomes generalized for a whole generation, it is the proof that the application of a text to a particular field is inept. The power of youth is immense, the day when thousands of young people will (re)find the Bastille to protest against CD's downloaded for one euro, no elected official will resist them. It is more than desirable to anticipate by reflection the expression of this generational incomprehension and not to regulate penally what must be regulated technically and economically.
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Thru musique-libre (French)


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