Hadopi, the High Authority in charge of fighting music downloading on the
Internet, made illegal by the law that created it, has just presented an
advertising campaign of great magnitude. It shows in particular an
advertising insert for print media, of a little girl, looking sad, because,
according to the advertisement, she could be threatened, because of piracy,
and thus not be able to publish her first novel in 2032. Then comes the
slogan of the campaign, declined in a thousand ways, on all media: “creating
tomorrow defends himself today.”
I could have chosen not to talk about it, in this week where so many
important issues collide, and thus not do some publicity to advertising; but
I see there a topic of great importance, most revealing of the terrible
evils that weaken our country.
It is indeed quite amusing to see Hadopi speak about threats that would
burden literature, while this authority has no competence on the subject;
and it is scandalous to witness it, via some misleading amalgam, invent an
imaginary threat to make us believe that free Internet access will prevent
the publication of novels.
Certainly, the economy of literature will change, like that of music. But it
can evolve for the greatest benefit of artists.
First, because music creation, Hadopi competency, is absolutely not
penalized, on the contrary, by making it available on the Internet; those at
risk, are the old masters of the old economy and their income, who dare
still call themselves the « majors », and who do nothing more than recycling
their catalogs or creating ephemeral stars. It is even established that
music lovers who download music for free or listen to streaming music are
also those who buy more CDs. In fact, never musicians, and not just the most
famous, have made so much money through their concerts; and the global
license, (public or private, as we begin to see it) will protect the rights
of authors and the income of performers much better than any other system.
Second, because it is an insult to all artists to argue that money is the
driving force behind creation. Art economy must obviously allow artists to
live off their creations with dignity, but it should not be confused with
entertainment economy. In particular, the Internet is not, for writers as for
all the other artists, a threat but a new space of creation and income.
Finally, more generally, because what is threatening now creation in France
is not a hypothetical questioning of copyright, but much deeper
shortcomings: In music, it is the carelessness of medium-sized cities, which
do not provide, for most of them, as in other major countries, some concert
and rehearsal halls, or enough places in the music academies. In literature
it is the inadequate means to enhance the role of prescriber of booksellers
in the digital economy.
More generally, what penalizes creation and innovation in France, is
material forgery, that has absolutely nothing to do with free downloading on
the internet; it is the lilliputian research budgets of the private
industry; and the distrust of change, the fear of any challenge; it is
the overly directive nature of primary and secondary education; which does
not value enough initiative and creativity; and it is finally, our inability
to attract foreign talents.
In France, creation does not need censors, but recruiters