[nexa] Sharing is a cultural right, not a market failure

Philippe Aigrain philippe.aigrain at sopinspace.com
Sat Jun 8 20:28:57 CEST 2013

An endless stream of law proposals, soft-law initiatives and free-trade
agreements keeps trying to eradicate or prevent the non-market sharing
of digital works between individuals. New strategies are pushed using
incentives and threats so that intermediaries will police the Internet
to save the scarcity-based business models of a few from the competition
of abundance. So is it business as usual? Well, no longer.

There are strong signs that citizens and digital rights organizations
have reached a new maturity in what used to be the “piracy” debate. For
many years, they of course stressed the damage that the war against
piracy was doing to the Internet, to freedoms and fundamental rights.
However, many seemed to have forgotten that the initiators of file
sharing … called it file sharing. They feared standing explicitly for
its legitimacy and looked for schemes that would buy peace in the war
against P2P. They pushed for blanket licensing or licence globale
proposals (whether optional or compulsory) that proposed to compensate a
limited set of industries (motion picture, phonographic industry and a
lesser extent TV) for the harm allegedly caused by unauthorized sharing.

This defensive compensatory approach was never the sole one. As early as
2002 the Blur-Banff proposal for instance was looking at a solution for
making a sharing-compatible digital culture sustainable. From 2008,
building on the earlier proposals from Richard Stallmann and Jamie
Love,1 a number of civil society groups starting pushing an agenda that
explicitly endorses sharing digital works between individuals as a
fundamental right, rejects firmly any mention of “piracy” for such
activities, and moves the debate on financing schemes towards addressing
the sustainibility of a digital culture with many participants.

More at http://paigrain.debatpublic.net/?p=7306&lang=en

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