The French Disconnection (a.k.a. Vous n'êtes pas un YouTube journaliste)

The French Disconnection (a.k.a. Vous n'êtes pas un YouTube journaliste)

Summary: Lawmaking in France continues to be an enigma. When the country first looked like it was on the verge of forcing Apple to open up its FairPlay digital rights management scheme, lawmakers eventually settled for a toothless policy that accomplished nothing in the end.

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TOPICS: Legal
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Lawmaking in France continues to be an enigma. When the country first looked like it was on the verge of forcing Apple to open up its FairPlay digital rights management scheme, lawmakers eventually settled for a toothless policy that accomplished nothing in the end. Now comes this from Macworld:

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers’ acquittal at the end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.

Are they afraid that a non-professional journalist (whatever that is) might report on some violence of context (whatever that is)?

Topic: Legal

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3 comments
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  • What are they afraid of?

    The French have been pushing for an international convention on regulation of journalists for at least 20 years. The idea is that "responsible journalists" will get licenses and have "freedom of the Press," while the unlicensed ones will be subject to either additional regulation, fines, jail, etc.

    Of course, that [b]does[/b] leave those journalists a bit, shall we say, "cautious?" Especially with regard to reporting anything that might be hazardous to their licenses, no?

    What they're afraid of is another Rodney King episode. They've had enough of that kind of "press freedom" even before video recording.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Afraid of mergence of "Happy Slapping" from UK to France

    This law is a reaction to the emergence of the "Happy Slapping" crimes in France, a contamination from a very bad UK practice by young people that use their mobile phone to organize violence against random people and film them with their mobile phone, to publish the scenes on the Internet.

    Those that film this violence are actively participating to the organized violence, and they are "competing" to produce the "best" films with extreme violence, because this is "fun".

    This law is there to say thay such action is a crime, and those that film and publish those scenes are acting like criminals. They are now criminal!

    the law does not prohibit filming a scene, but the evidences collected should only be used first to assist the work of the police. In other words: the film must be produced by a clearly identifiable person, it must be provided as an evidence to catch those criminals, and help the victims of those violences.

    Some "happy slapping" events have had really dramatic consequences: the suicide of victims, or their murder. What ever they do, those making those films do not consider the fact as they are: they play a role like actors in a film, but nby involving people chosen randomly and not prepared to accept this violence. In addtion, those crimes are organized by "bands" against isolated persons left without defence.

    Some sites (like Youtube) have been used by UK and french organized bands to demonstrate what they can do. They are actively promoting this within schools, and are exchanging their videos between their mobile phones, and are even selling the best ones. This "fun" game must be stopped early before it becomes a real problem.

    MAy be you don't understand what is "happy slapping" and how it can be dangerous for every one.
    PhilippeV
    • related article:

      See also related article here on ZDNet:
      "When 'digital bullying' goes too far"
      http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5756297.html
      PhilippeV