Zee French, zay are a funny race

FROM TECHDIRT

Nicolas Sarkozy Caught Mass ‘Pirating’ DVDs; Time To Kick Him Off The Internet (Failures)

by Michael Masnick from the see-ya-later-nicky dept on Friday, October 9th, 2009 @ 5:40AM

Why is it always the adamant defenders of silly policies like kicking people off the internet for copyright infringement who are later found to be mass infringers themselves? French President Nicolas Sarkozy, of course, was the first major politician to support the concept of kicking people off the internet for copyright infringement (more commonly called a “three strikes” rule). He took credit for coming up with the idea originally nearly two years ago, and pushed very hard for the law — which eventually passed but was then tossed out as unconstitutional in France. Sarkozy still stood by it and helped bring back a revised version.

Of course, in the middle of all this, there was a bit of irony in that Sarkozy was caught using music without authorization in some online videos, for which he paid a €30,000 fine. Of course, it now appears that may have just been the tip of the iceberg. Boing Boing points us to the news that Sarkozy’s administration has been caught mass “pirating” DVDs of a documentary about Sarkozy. The publisher of the documentary only made 50 copies. Sarkozy’s “audiovisual services” group happened to make itself another 400 without permission — even replacing the name of the original publisher on the cover.

Once again, this should be a “teachable moment,” to point out to Sarkozy and other supporters of such plans to kick people off the internet that the issue isn’t quite so simple after all. When you’re on the other side, sometimes it seems perfectly natural to make a copy of something, without even realizing it’s potentially infringing. Unfortunately, why do I get the feeling that Sarkozy won’t change his stance one bit — or even recognize the irony of the situation?

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