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French President Violates His Own Copyright Law, Again 356

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been caught violating someone's copyright again. This time, presidential services made 400 unauthorized copies of a DVD when only 50 had been made by the publisher. Mr. Sarkozy, of course, is the one pushing the HADOPI law, which would disconnect the Internet service of an alleged pirate after three allegations of infringement. This isn't the first time he's been connected to copyright violations, either. His party had to pay some €30K for using a song without authorization. If he were he subject to his own law, Mr. Sarkozy would be subject to having his Net disconnected the next time he pirates something."
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French President Violates His Own Copyright Law, Again

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  • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:22AM (#29692483) Homepage

    In this day and age are there still people who think that the laws apply equally to everyone?

  • by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:24AM (#29692529)
    It's all about getting punished. I'm sure this will be swept under the rug in no time, by the French RIAA to boot. You know, don't bite the hand that feeds you...
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:27AM (#29692591) Homepage

    No it should not. Poor people get a slap on the hand, rich presidents get the Guillotine!

    Someone stealing bread to survive should be overlooked, the rich asshole stealing because he cant be bothered needs to be killed on the spot.

    Viva La Revolution'!

  • by kemenaran ( 1129201 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:29AM (#29692641)
    We have an official presidential immunity in France. It sucks.
    I mean, it wasn't that bad when presidents acted reservedly - but now that Sarkozy starts to fuck up, sue people and everything, *while being protected of all judicial proceeding*, man...
  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:34AM (#29692721)

    Now bring me prisoner 24601
    Your time is up
    And your parole's begun
    You know what that means.

    Yes, it means I'm free.

    It means you get
    Your yellow ticket-of-leave
    You are a thief

    I stole a loaf of bread.

    You robbed a house.

    I broke a window pane.
    My sister's child was close to death
    And we were starving.

    You will starve again
    Unless you learn the meaning of the law.

    I know the meaning of those 19 years
    A slave of the law

    Five years for what you did
    The rest because you tried to run
    Yes, 24601.

    My name is Jean Valjean

    And I am Javert
    Do not forget my name!
    Do not forget me,

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) * < minus pi> on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:44AM (#29692919) Homepage

    Fascinating. Though he doesn't say how old they were, as has been pointed out in blogs on this, its not uncommon for an older man to use terms like young boy to refer to people in their teens and 20s. Also there is some question as to... what is too young? or is it about age or about power? The more damning admission for me is NOT age, but the fact that he knew he was in a world of slaves and forced prostitution.

    Thats what gets me about the Polanski thing. So what if she was 13! A 13 year old has probably gone through puberty. Being attracted to 13 year olds and having sex with them is just human nature. Its the fault of stupid ideas in parenting that have caused a culture of sexually retarded 13 year olds. Or as was said in that kinsey movie (I don't know if its an acutal quote by the man) "In an uninhibited society, a 12-year-old
    would know most of the biology which I will have to give you in formal lectures."

    In any case... a paedophile is someone attracted to pre-pubecent children. He is CLEARLY not one of them.

    On the other hand, he got her drunk and she didn't want to do it. Thats rape. Thats wrong at ANY age. I have seen blog post after blog post, and even now this man's defense of polanski who keep mentioning "sex with a 13 year old" and just seem to forget that it was RAPE. Why is sex with a 13 year old somehow worst than RAPE.

    I find that disturbing.

    The only saving grace here for him in my eyes is that it was so long ago. I see no real benefit in prosecurion of 30 year old crimes, unless the offender is believed to still be doing it.


  • by Rennt ( 582550 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:46AM (#29692951)

    No seriously... a country does not suck because they have shitty representatives.

    If they have enough shitty politicians their government might suck, but I don't know if I would be calling that particular kettle black

    Have you even been to France?

  • by Lemming Mark ( 849014 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:53AM (#29693063) Homepage

    I think in an elected official the hypocrisy, though arguably expected by most of us, is probably the worst thing here and makes everything he's done in this instance questionable. Do we need the law to protect content-producers? If so he shouldn't be responsible for piracy himself. Or should we not have such a law, in which case he should come out against it.

    Even if I thought copying were OK, I'd still think that doing it whilst overseeing the introduction of anti-copying legislation was morally wrong.

  • by ansa ( 26988 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:54AM (#29693087)

    Amen to that man. Immunity for politicians in charge is one of the worst things for a democracy, two days ago in Italy we avoided a similar law thanks to the Constitutional Court rejecting Berlusconi's ignominous proposal... we still have a mafia's boss as a Prime Minister, but now he can be prosecuted for his crimes... of course the trials were blocked with ad-personam laws and they have to start them over again, so in the meantime he'll come up with another trick to avoid being prosecuted, but still it's a victory.
    We really should have common rules throughout Europe to protect us all from that kind of things.

  • by frenchbedroom ( 936100 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:57AM (#29693147)

    We didn't make him culture minister, Sarkozy did.

  • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @11:15AM (#29693461) Homepage

    Its called statutory rape, and its a crime for a good reason.

    When a grown man has sex with a teenage girl, she is taking all of the risk (pregnancy, raising the child alone, etc.). But 13-year-olds are not typically aware enough to weight risks vs. reward. That is why it is considered "predatory". Because it is. There is no chance of any sort of "equal footing" in that "relationship."

    I'm only 30, and even 18-year-olds look really young to me. Yes, some of them are attractive, but 13? THIRTEEN? No way. That's not even "barely legal." That's not-even-close to legal.
    Go to a junior high school and take a look at an average 13 year old girl. Even with all the hormones in our milk they still look like little kids.

    I'm betting you don't have a 13-year-old girl of your own, or you wouldn't be sticking up for old men who take advantage of them for sex.

    Polanski is a pedophile and anyone who sticks up for him is not much better.

  • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @11:23AM (#29693591) Homepage

    Who elected your representatives?

    American and French citizens both bear the blame for voting for corrupt people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 09, 2009 @11:23AM (#29693603)

    Polanski is a pedophile and anyone who sticks up for him is not much better.

    I'll let this speak for itself.

  • yes, there are 13 year olds who are more mature than some 33 year olds on some issues. but your average 13 year is not psychologically mature enough for informed consent with an older person. they simply don't understand the long term psychological effects on their self-esteem, their happiness, their sense of identity, etc. maintaining these aspects of self are often not even concepts most of them recognize yet

    15 year olds? 17 year olds? where do we draw the line?

    well, we have to draw it somewhere

    look, there are guys who can speed 110 mph down the highway all year long and not get in an accident. most of us can't do that. is it fair to the guy with amazing advanced driving skills that the speed limit is 70? no. but that's not the point of laws: the point is a standard of justice for society, not the gifted drivers. nor preternaturally mature youngsters

    because what you have to understand about human beings is that even though most of us can't drive 110 mph, a lot of us would say that yes, we can do that. its called hubris, we all suffer from it. at 110 mph speed limits, we'd have a lot of accidents because its a simple human failing that we overestimate our abilities, underestimate our simple human fragility. plenty of 13 year olds would even say "yes, i'm ready for sex with an elder" according to the same human failing of overestimating their abilities. and then later, when they are building their sense of self-esteem and thinking about who they are and what they are here on this planet for, they've done themselves permanent damage: "i'm just a monkey hole. i'm not a future scientist, i'm not a future leader. i'm a port of call for the horny." this is damage to the psyche, they aren't ready yet to incorporate something as potent as sex properly into their self-image. a 13 year simply has no INFORMED CONSENT about what sex means yet to them

    so you err on the side of caution, and you make the age of consent the late teens

    sure, there are historical societies where age of consent like 10 years old. these same societies also had things like human sacrifice, slavery, cannibalism, absolute monarchy... in other words, pointing to what they did in brutal times is no justification for brutality

    and sex with with minors IS brutality. we live in a modern advanced society. we respect concepts like psychological maturity, human dignity, informed consent. this helps us remain an advanced society

    so respect the rules, or be punished for transgression. but fear of being punished shouldn't motivate you to respect the laws against having sex with minors. you yourself, if you have a human conscience, should simply understand that sex with minors is a transgression against your own human conscience, your own abilit yto empathize with the fact that 99% of 13 year olds are not psychologically ready to handle sex with an adult. you need to understand that, and understand why it is simply wrong

  • by insertwackynamehere ( 891357 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @12:09PM (#29694403) Journal
    Polanski probably isn't a pedophile in the sense he doesn't like prepubescent girls, as a 13 year old would have hit puberty. But in our society, 13 is still too young for people much older than her. Don't point to older societies or views because you can go talk about cavemen times all you want but keep in mind you would be lucky to reach 25 or 30. Age is much more spread out now and a 13 year old should be hanging out with other 13 year olds, not creepy old men. It is always disgusting and predatory when an older man finds his way in with a young girl who just hit puberty. Sexually, the attraction may not have been deviant but the motives and acts were in the sense that he abused his position of authority to corrupt a minor. As long as 13 year olds don't have adult rights and have to obey adults and are still treated like children, they are not of age to have sex with (unless you are the same age or within 3 or 4 years).
  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) * < minus pi> on Friday October 09, 2009 @12:28PM (#29694681) Homepage

    > I don't think it's worse, but I do think that having sex with a 13 year old is both predatory and pathetic,
    > if you're a [physically] grown adult anyway. The brain hasn't fully developed at 13.

    When has the organ that changes over the course of your entire life from birth to death "fully developed" in your eyes? As a 31 year old myself, I would put it somewhere around 26 years old.

    As for "predatory and pathetic"... I guess that depends on how you see sex. I don't tend to see it as bad or dirty. Its just something that people do with eachother, and hopefully both enjoy. Danger wise, on par with getting into someones car. In fact, with some people, its probably far less dangerous than getting in the car with them. Especially since we have simple medical protocols for dealing with the most likely possibilities.

    The "dangers" are mostly overblown FUD, and I think comes out of the irrational fears of parents, who want to delay as long as possible their children having to experience the emotional pain that can come from falling in love with someone and having the relationship go sour and end.

    I tend to believe that emotional growth only comes through those pains and experiences and as someone who did delay that until his 20s, I can say that I don't think I benefited from that. It took me until the age of 30 to mature emotionally enough to have a good stable relationship of the kind most people are starting to have at 24.

    Will 13 year olds get into relationships with older people that will cause them pain. Yes, they will. Its part of being human, growing up, and mating. I think we vastly underestimate them to think that they need to be protected from such things and do them harm by delaying their natural development.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 09, 2009 @12:41PM (#29694919)

    I hope we'll get our Obama in 2012...

    NO YOU DON'T!! Obama is a puppet, and the strings are held by the same people that held Bush's strings. Its scary when most of the population thinks a puppet isn't a puppet, especially the formerly politically active young adults (who are now part of the Obama Youth). I want Bush back so people still think the Government is full of liars and cheaters... because it is.

  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @12:51PM (#29695081) Journal

    A lot of other things have also changed. Including lifespan. And scientific advances. And not dying from diseases we now see as trivial.

    Just because we've made the best part of life last longer doesn't mean we should have to wait longer before we can enjoy it.

  • by alexo ( 9335 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @01:30PM (#29695671) Journal

    I'm fairly certain most kids learn about sex well before they're physically mature enough to have it; I know I did. Understanding it and being able to make the decision to do it are very different. If you would let your 13 year-old children have sex with their peers, let alone adults, then you are the monster, you idiot.

    So according to you, Spain [] and Argentina [] are countries of monsters (age of consent is 13), Not to mention Canada [] (which allows 12 years old to have sex with their peers).

    Let me assume that, in spite of resorting to ad hominem, you are capable of reasonable discussion of complex and emotionally loaded topics.

    The real problem is not sexual relations and age, it is exploitative relations (sexual or otherwise), which should be illegal at any age.

    I agree that most modern 13yo lack the necessary emotional maturity and understanding and therefore an adult entering into sexual relations with them will be, ipso facto, exploiting them. However, that is a consequence of how society treats and shelters young people and not of their age per se.

    So firstly, I suggest that, regardless of the law in your jurisdiction, you spend the time and effort to educate your children to the point where they are able to to give (or, more likely, withhold) their informed consent. It will be much better for them if they choose to avoid sex until they are ready for any consequences that may arise instead of being held back by an arbitrary number set by the legislation.

    And secondly (and I'm going to get a lot of heat for that), I believe that a cookie-cutter approach is not suitable and instead of a hard-coded age, the decision should be made on a case-by-case basis, should the minor in question prove to be mature enough to make these decisions. After all, assuming that all people automagically gain insight and wisdom precisely on their 18th birthday (or a different one, based on their geographical location) is just silly.

  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @01:45PM (#29695897) Journal

    and sex with with minors IS brutality.

    Rubbish. Coercion is mental brutality. Having sex with someone who isn't physically developed is physical brutality. Rape is both physical and emotional brutality. Consensual sex with someone who's physically mature (no, I don't buy the "their mind isn't developed; all sex is non-consensual" idea) is not brutality of any sort. Their body is ready and their mind is willing.

    What is mentally damaging is telling someone they're still a dumb kid, they don't know anything, and they were abused (OMG, really? like they can't decide whether or not they were, and they're too dumb to figure it out) by this old pervert (who they thought cared about them, and who they cared about too). No, since they're just a kid, they're too dumb to even figure out that this person is a perverted creep and they were abused.

    And since everybody thinks so, they have no alternative but to admit that yeah, they must be an idiot to even think of letting some old pervert abuse them like that. Great. Now they have a problem they didn't even know they had, just because everyone agrees that they should.

    so respect the rules, or be punished for transgression.

    Don't misunderstand me. I'm playing by the rules. I just think they're idiotic.

    you yourself, if you have a human conscience, should simply understand that sex with minors is a transgression against your own human conscience, your own abilit yto empathize with the fact that 99% of 13 year olds are not psychologically ready to handle sex with an adult.

    And adults somehow are?

    Nothing magical happened when I turned 18. As I said before, what they're not psychologically ready for is all the guilt and shame that accompanies them being indoctrinated to believe that they willingly allowed themselves to be raped – despite the fact that any sane person would see that's an absurd concoction of contradictory words.

  • by SocratesJedi ( 986460 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @02:51PM (#29696789) Homepage

    Really, that is the truth right there: an imperfect law is much better than no law

    While I appreciate that you're trying to point out that no formal legal system can ever deal with the complexity of civilization (true), I'm not sure that this follows that these types of very simple laws are appropriate. The law (and the legal process) specifies an algorithm for society to handle these complexities, and - frankly - laws of the type "If you are of age X, you may do Y; otherwise not" are horrible in that they have (in my experience, anyway) pretty high false negative rates (a younger person being restricted incommensurate with the ability). A more effective algorithm would be to authorize some group (spreading power away from individual assholes) to determine the capacity of specific minors thus removing some of the obvious failures of the law.

    I'm not saying this is the end-all solution for this, but I'm not exactly a legal scholar and even I see obvious ways to craft better legislation. We pay our legislators enough -- demand better quality!

  • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Friday October 09, 2009 @03:19PM (#29697193)

    Who made Sarkozy president?

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers