Thursday, November 29, 2012


Support Europe’s creators – support authors’ rights // Soutenez les créateurs européens - soutenez le droit d’auteur

So many things have been said about copyright. A lot of it nonsense! Over the past few years, copyright has been accused of preventing works from being distributed, creating obstacles to consumer’s access to works, lining the pockets of the rich and worse still, standing in the way of freedom of expression.
Enough is enough!
On 5th December, at the initiative of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, the College of Commissioners will meet to examine initiatives that the Commission might adopt in the field of copyright.
Should the worst be feared? This is a valid question, especially when you consider the interconnections and almost cosiness that exist between some very powerful private anti-copyright lobbyists and certain departments and directorates of the Commission. Let there be no mistake; the message emerging is that copyright is the enemy of consumers and their desire to access culture. This is not just the opinion of a few personalities marginalized within Europe.
The fight against copyright, and against the right of authors to live from their art and receive fair compensation, forms the focus of an entire coalition: namely lobbyists from the leading companies on the Net who seek to exempt themselves both from their tax commitments to Member States and their obligations towards cultural diversity and creation; certain consumer lobbies who consider the total and immediate satisfaction of their constituency a necessity, regardless of the negative, harmful impact for cultural industries, jobs in culture and for the funding of future creativity; European administrative departments and even commissioners who confine authors’ rights and cultural diversity to old boundaries, thus irremediably excluding them from the digital world.
Authors’ rights are, of course, an old concept, several centuries old, but also surprisingly modern, supple and flexible. Modern authors’ rights are the work of a genius, Beaumarchais, who marked his era with all his battles for freedom. For one hundred years, technological developments have proceeded at an ever increasing pace to say the very least. Authors’ rights have kept pace with those developments and have continued to safeguard a key principle, namely the right of authors to enjoy fair compensation for the use made of their works, while facilitating public access to cultural works.
It is hard to imagine an author wanting to prevent his work, film, book, music from being seen, recommended or discussed by the public. It is however easy to imagine that convenience of the digital solution might pose a threat to this particular human right (art.27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights): the author’s right to receive compensation whenever exploitation is made of his/her work.
There are basic principles that no tablet, no smartphone, no new service should undermine. Respecting authors’ rights is one of them.
However, every day in Europe, where authors’ rights began, their influence is being contested, their scope is under attack, their collective management criticized. Every day, new exceptions, or rather expropriations, are being proposed; every day, mechanisms that make it possible to finance creation are being contested in the name of free competition; every day, private copying remuneration is being denigrated. In a nutshell, all sources of revenue for authors are under threat and attack.
For the benefit of whom? Obviously not the creators themselves, whose general situation is becoming more and more precarious in many countries! And certainly not the consumers, whose access to works is not facilitated by the questioning of authors’ rights and for whom the cost of acquiring digital equipment is not reduced in any way by lowering the payments to authors!
Commissioners, you are meeting on 5th December under the watchful eye of creators, who contribute to the future identity of Europe. For these creators, authors’ rights are still the best guarantee of fair remuneration and their greatest hope to be able to continue to create.
‘Europe loves Cinema’, ‘Europe loves culture’? These are catchy slogans, but they must be put into practice and, more importantly, a new one must be coined: ‘Europe loves authors’ rights’!
The following creators have already signed.  Support them, sign the petition!

Robert Alberdingk Thijm, Marco Bellocchio, Lucas Belvaux, FredBreinersdorfer, Jean-Claude Carrière, Nicola Ciralosa, Stijn Coninx, Costa-Gavras, Luc et Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Anna Di Francisca, Hervé Di Rosa, Jacques Fansten, Marco Tullio Giordana, Ugo Gregoretti, Michel Hazanavicius, Jan Hřebejk, Agnès Jaoui, Pavol Kráľ, Paul Laverty, MikeLeigh, Jean-Xavier de LestradeCarlo Lizzani, Ken Loach, FrancescoMaselli, Radu Mihaileanu, Roger Michell, Rebecca O’Brien, Jorge Paixão Da Costa, Andrea Porporati, Paul Powell, Andrea Purgatori, Giovanni Robbiano, Jean-Paul Salomé, Volker Schlöndorff, Ettore Scola, Hugh Stoddart, Bela Tarr, Bertrand Tavernier, Fernando Trueba, Enrique Urbizu, Jaco Van Dormael, A. Vitorino De Almeida, Wim Wenders, SusannaWhite, Krzysztof Zanussi

985       Name: Jacques Coulardeau on Nov 29, 2012
Comments: I support authors' rights because they are attached to a work that has to be protected too against any violation, including from copyright holders.

To avoid that on the main square or squares of European capitals with books and CDs and DVDs andother works of art crucified to the greed of corporations and of the public who both would like to have them free from the authors or artists. I must say it would look nice On Place de la Concorde in Paris or on Trafalgar Square in London.

Thanks for your support!
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