Conference : les enseignements politiques des "creative commons"


Mardi 20 octobre 2009 – 18h45
Télécom ParisTech
46 rue Barrault
Paris (13e) – Métro : Corvisart (ligne 6)

Quels enseignements politiques tirer des expériences du logiciel libre et de celle des “creative commons” ?

Philippe Aigrain
Fondateur de Sopinspace (société pour les espaces publics d’information) et de La Quadrature du Net (collectif citoyen),
Ancien chef du secteur technologie du logiciel à la Commission européennne,
Administrateur du Software Freedom Law Center

Patrick Bloche
Député, Maire du 11e arrondissement de Paris, PS

Le deuxième discutant sera précisé ultérieurement.

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Korean documentary film highlights the role of social media in promoting street protests

So you miss some old-school political action. Like, you want corrupt politicians in some faraway country and students protesting in the street. Also, you dig the new futility-ridden Internet political thang. Like, you want to see badass flash mobs and a bunch of socially networked kids that just click their way through a better world.

Then you will love Shall we protest?, the documentary film about the Chotbul (“candlelight”) political rallies that paralysed the city of Seoul from May to August 2008. Written, directed and produced by South Korean mediactivists Sungmi Cho and Dongwon Jo, the film explains with great insight and passion how a small online forum of fashion victims called the SoulDresser managed to bring 1 million citizens in the streets to protest against the South Korea/US FTA (free trade agreements).


"Le gouvernement français doit oublier les droits d’auteur s'il veut éviter le pire"

La Commission pour l’Economie Numérique présidée par Alain Bravo vient de remettre à la Secrétaire d’Etat Nathalie Kosciusko Morizet son rapport sur La société et l’économie à l’aune de la révolution numérique : enjeux et perspectives des prochaines décennies (2015/2025).
De prime abord, ses résultats peuvent ne pas paraître surprenants, mais détrompez-vous. Ils représentent une petite révolution dans le contexte français.


Cambridge researcher says free social use should prevail over copyright protection

identifier4Patricia Akester (University of Cambridge) undertook a project looking at the impact of technological measures on the ability of users to take advantage of the statutory exceptions to copyright. Based on a series of interviews with key organisations and individuals, involved in the use of copyright material and the development of DRM (Digital Rights Management), she provides a sober assessment of the current state of affairs. (more…)

What the Hell am I doing here #2: au Grand Palais

Pendant une heure, je suis resté sagement assis entre le Yann Arthus-Bertrand (absent de la photo parce qu’en retard), Jean-Pierre Doussin (avec qui je discute), Robert Kandel et le journaliste Philippe Petit (lequel a évidemment appris à animer les débats dans une école de dompteurs de lions ;))

Avant le débat au Grand Palais (c) Steve Corcoran

Avant le débat au Grand Palais - Photo by Steve Corcoran

J’ai exprimé mes opinions d’une manière calme et claire. J’ai déclaré mon soutien inconditionnel au Réseau des Pirates pour l’abolition de la loi Hadopi. Je me suis marré parce les écolos me font cet effet-là. A la fin du débat, une nana est venue me dire qu’Internet c’est bien beau mais il faut faire attention à l’environnement parce que “chaque recherche sur Google consomme la même quantité d’énergie que quand on fait chauffer une tasse de thé”. C’est quand même mieux de MSN, où chaque recherche prend l’équivalent du temps de cuisson du gigot d’agneau…

The end of Wikipedia as we know it

“Wiki, c’est fini?” one would ask (if one was a cheesy French singer from the 1960s). More seriously, is the dream of an open access encyclopedia over? According to a recent article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education the wiki model has “run out of steam“. Don’t worry, the article is not a trite invective insisting that Wikipedia is not reliable because the author of the article on Platonism is also the author of the one on Desperate Housewives. The message here is mainly that the participatory knowledge base  model turns out to be a utopian dream (at best). As of today, Wikipedia is mainly just another social network service (with its profiles, friend counts and online grooming rituals) – and not a very performing one, either.

But this is not the worst part. I’m more concerned with Wikipedia losing its liberal street cred and becoming yet another ivory-towering knowledge institution, with its coercing ontologies and its bigbrotheresque rules. If, in the current intellectual debate over scientific authority, we’re actually fighting the academic equivalent of Star Wars, last thing we need here is to discover that the rebel HQ Coruscant has been replaced by the Death Star.  

Wikipedia: the next inevitable step?

Wikipedia's next logo?


Support Prof. Horacio Potel!, or a portrait of the philosopher as a pirate

Addendum, Nov 14, 2009: As of today, we salute the recent decision of the Argentinian court dropping the charges against Prof Potel. Read more about this here (in English). Download court’s sentence here (in Spanish).

Argentinean professor charged criminally for promoting access to knowledge
By the CopySouth Research Group

A philosophy professor in Argentina, Horacio Potel, is facing criminal charges for maintaining a website devoted to translations of works by French philosopher Jacques Derrida. His alleged crime:  copyright infringement. Here is Professor Potel’s sad story.

Prof. Potel usually wears a pirate eye patch while lecturing in philosophy

Prof. Potel usually puts his pirate patch on *before* lecturing in philosophy at UNLA

“I was fascinated at the unlimited possibilities offered by the internet for knowledge exchange”, explains Horacio Potel, a Professor of Philosophy at the Universidad Nacional de Lanús in Buenos Aires. In 1999, he set up a personal website to collect essays and other works of some well-known philosophers, starting with the German Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger. Potel’s websites – Nietzsche in Spanish, Heidegger in Spanish, and Derrida in Spanish – eventually developed into growing online libraries of freely downloadable philosophical texts. Nietzsche in Spanish alone has already received more than four million visitors.


Signez le Pacte des Libertés Numériques contre la Hadopi

(Pour un complément d’information, lisez ce billet (eng))

Vous avez déjà échangé des œuvres? Vous avez déjà téléchargé des films, des tubes, mais aussi des œuvres rares, oubliées ou tombées dans le domaine public? Si tel est le cas, la loi Hadopi va bientôt faire de vous un PIRATE.

Mais si, comme nous, et comme des millions d’autres citoyens en France, vous pensez qu’il est grand temps de reconnaître ces pratiques d’échange comme inscrites dans la révolution numérique, si vous partagez la conviction qu’Internet nous offre de nouveaux espaces de liberté, et qu’il faut les protéger, nous vous invitons à découvrir et signer le Pacte pour les Libertés numériques en cliquant ici :

Pourquoi signer dès aujourd’hui et rejoindre la communauté des pirates? Parce que, dans moins de 4 jours, le débat sur la loi Création & Internet (Hadopi) reprend à l’Assemblée. Le Pacte totalise à ce jour 8000 signatures. Nous pouvons faire mieux, et atteindre 100 000 signataires dans le week-end! Cliquez ici :

Au delà de l’actualité de la loi Hadopi, l’ambition du Pacte est de faire des libertés numériques un élément clé de la campagne des élections européennes de juin prochain… et, plus largement, du débat public, comme Nicolas Hulot l’avait fait pour l’écologie.

Défendons les libertés numériques : prenez le parti des pirates!

Le réseau des pirates

Ils nous soutiennent :, Numerama, L’hebdomadaire Vendredi, Agoravox.

Et de nombreux signataires, visibles sur le site.

March 28th 2008 is Download day: Opposition to French anti-piracy law rises

I dream of a cultural market that includes its customers, instead of suing them.

So far, I have published a couple of books and a certain amount of articles and book chapters: a fair share of them have been put online for readers to download them for free. I didn’t do it, “pirates” did. Well, sometimes Google Books did it, but pirates benefited from it, I guess… Point is: I thank them, because that helped my books being republished and made my articles known to a wider audience.

Just my two cents, but I believe people who freely download online contents are not stealing it. On the contrary, by sharing it within their communities, they are actively adding value to the creative process. I write books. Readers read it. So-called Internet pirates promote, distribute, link, localise, remix, comment and catalogue them. That’s a heck of a job. A job they are not paid for. Ironically, they pay for sharing: they pay hardware and they contribute their time, their disk space and their technical competences.

Given that, I’m all the more insulted by the anti-piracy bill recently proposed by French Minister for Culture and Communication, Christine Albanel.


Should this law pass, Internet users caught “illegally” sharing contents would have their Internet access cut out for one year (plus face fines and other legal ramifications). Backed by record industry and cinema lobbies, this law is not only politically reactionary – it is technically unfeasible. If only French lawmakers had heard about public internet access, wi-fi, cybercafés, cloud computing –  they would know “individual” Internet access is just about as individual as the wall socket one plugs a washing machine in. You bar it off, I can simply go somewhere else.

Consumer associations and Internet access providers have produced a number of other compelling arguments against this law. My only argument is:

Present legislation on so-called intellectual property protection on the Web mimics past century’s legislation on private property. Users downloading mp3, films, software are equated to petty thieves stealing apples, cars, money. But a car and an mp3 file are not the same kind of product. Technically, the former is a rivalrous good, while the latter is a non-rivalrous one. If I’m driving a car, nobody else can at the same time. If I listen to an mp3, anybody else can at that same time. In the first case, we can talk about stealing. In the second case, we should talk about sharing. From a legal and economic point of view, online contents are more similar to public goods than to private ones. Downloading online contents is nothing like driving a car: it is more like riding a bus. The French government is doing something as ridiculous as forbidding public transportation.

This is why I invite you to take part to the Download day that will take place all around France on Sat, March 28th, 2009. The rationale is explained here, and here is the twitter providing directions and details about the venues.