Culture is future » Financing and economic models

09.24.2011

DEBATES 2011 - Intellectual property - Law enforcement stakes by Pierre-Yves Gautier

Pierre-Yves Gautier is law professor

Pierre-Yves Gautier explains that the main problem for IP protection is not the evolution of law. The copyright, which describes what an immaterial property in the creative field is, exists since a long time. The existing law has to be enforced, which is not well done in all the countries.

Pierre-Yves Gautier considers that the development of Internet has for consequence a limitation of the intellectual property: consumers behave differently and they want to have creative works for free or as cheaper as possible. Besides, technological innovations are promoting this trend by facilitating free access. The revenues are consequently redirected to the IP providers and not the authors, a situation that cannot be a long term perspective.

The existing law on IP protection is therefore inefficient, because there is no application of penalties. For example, the movie Joyeux Noel has been made available on DailyMotion without authorization. After a notification to DailyMotion, the film was still available. In February 2011, the French Supreme Court decided that DailyMotion was not guilty, by referring to the e-business law (LCEN) and not the IP law. A law suit is in that case too expensive for the authors and their producers because they don’t know if they will win. There is a paradox between the IP law and others law, especially the e-business. This paradox relies on the will of the governments to encourage e-business development, the spread of culture, instead of guaranteeing the efficiency of their right to the rights owners. Besides, it is very difficult to get the efficiency of a decision in other countries.

If new rules have to be imagined, we will need a global framework for agreement between IP providers and right owners in order to organize the revenue sharing and the protection of IP. The technological answer, with DRM, will also be inefficient, even if DRM are useful to manage the rights.

Another option is to develop the education on IP and the need of its protection in order to maintain the creation. But education has limits and the possibility of a free access will continue to satisfy the Internet users, even if it penalizes the right owners. The “clic” can be a proof of content consumption in order to manage the payment and give back to the authors a decent revenue.