Thursday, April 14, 2005

French School (Anti-)Propaganda Clash

This week the Ligue Odebi, a French action group focussed on digital rights, will come with its own internet & P2P anti-propaganda. Its 14 page booklet will be a point-to-point rebuttal of the brochure Music and Film: Adopt the Net Attitude (French), a government and entertainment industry hybrid that has been distributed over 400 French schools.

It is unclear if this booklet will prove to be more subtle than the propaganda it seeks to repel. On Oblique's forum [French] some of the drive behind this initiative is at least revealed:
If this project of school propaganda is by principle unacceptable and revolting, the conditions of drafting of this pseudo-guide are quite as scandalous:

- the government uses public money to promote the economic interests of the industry

- [It is not] believable that the beneficiaries finance this guide without having impact on its content

- Neither associations of parents of pupils nor teachers were consulted on editing such "a guide": instead it has been edited by professional lobbyists...

- Lastly, it is intolerable that this guide can be used to diffuse the interpretation which the beneficiaries of the law have, while at the same time a Court of Appeals has just put forth a contrary judgment. Until now, in France, it is the Judge who judges.
The last point refers to the recent judgement that acquitted a downloader on the private use clause. The gov-industry's propaganda guide rather creates the image that file-sharing as a whole is illegal and can be punished by prison terms and large fines. This while at the moment the debate about the (legality/legalization of) file-sharing is in full force in France. Maybe we'll reach an equilibrium some day, but for now the (anti-)propaganda wars to recruit kid soldiers rage on.
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Ligue Odebi site [French]
Related: Product Placement Propaganda
French Magistrates Speak Out for MP3 Generation

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