Earlier this month, we noted a development where a French citizen managed to trademark HADOPI faster than the government. Now, we have the great opportunity to interview the man himself who did it.
Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes
His name is Renaud Veeckman and his name is quickly becoming more and more recognizable around the world. When the French government was putting together a three strikes law (also known as HADOPI), Renaud Veeckman was busy trademarking the name HADOPI.
It’s one of the biggest developments that could cause problems for the French government hoping to enforce the new three strikes law because a government organization that would oversee the three strikes law is also named HADOPI. Veeckman trademarked HADOPI as part of his protest to show his disapproval for the new controversial law and now we have the opportunity to sit down with him.
Please note: this interview was made possible by Google translate.
ZeroPaid (ZP): Tell us about yourself.
Renaud Veeckman (RV): My name is Renaud Veeckman. I’m 36 years old and live in the South of France in Avignon, a town of Provence. I am a journalist by training, but I stopped for several years in this business to devote myself to the board in this communication and in particular for local authorities. Let’s say I am a concerned citizen in the life of the city. That is a quick description of my person.
ZP: When You Went to claim ownership of the trademark HADOPI, Did You Know about the Governments plan HADOPI at about the time? If so, are you surprised to Get That ownership with What Is Happening?
RV: At first, I filed the mark by exasperation at the lack of debate and mock democracy that took place at the National Assembly to discuss. I had no idea the impact that could have my gesture.
And then the months passing, my life has changed. Today, I work full time on the project Apiadopi. Some people joined me in the adventure. We have created a company and we will soon launch bids for the Internet.
In fact beyond the question mark is now anecdotal, we are considering the creation of new models for dissemination of digital content. Whatever happens, the road map is written.
ZP: In Some reports, Some Say That the trademark HADOPI Has Been Decided not by a court. Do you think “could challenge has come and are you confident you can defend yourself That? If you win in court, Will You Be Offering a settlement deal with the government of a symbolic Euro?
RV: Legally the situation is complex. Neither the state nor I are actually the trademark owner. This will be a judge to decide. The trial date is set for Nov. 19 at 9:00 am at the Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence. Evil is that which could now predict the verdict.
If I win, I always said – and this since day one – I would ask a symbolic euro and the reimbursement of my legal fees. I have not done this to make money but as an act of resistance citizen.
ZP: People like us in North America can only watch the discussion there HADOPI from the outside. You can see the discussion in your country. What do people think of the law HADOPI? What are your views on HADOPI? Are There Problems With The HADOPI law?
RV: The French have not yet grasped the full extent of the web laws. For them, it remains highly theoretical. It will not be back in action within weeks. However, among the Internet community, it is really very poorly perceived for many reasons: economic, ethical, beyond the digital realities …
For my part, I am fundamentally opposed because it represents a world first concern for the Internet. That in a democracy to allow the integration of spyware on the computers of an entire population. The law creating a permanent insecurity for all Internet users, does this on behalf of the defense of intellectual property. I find this Kafkaesque and Orwellian both.
One could cite other critics in this device strong legal / technical reason but I think the most important.
ZP: Rights Holders in Other Countries say this law in France Should Be Brought in to the Law in Other Countries like England and Canada. From your experience in France, a law IS HADOPI That Should Be Brought in to Other Countries?
RV: The Hadopi was passed and it will soon go into action. However, this does not mean it will be a success. Studies suggest that it will not prevent piracy and it should promote cyber crime because of the widespread use of encryption by means of example. To make a historical analogy, the mafia in the U.S. has never been so prosperous and popular as Prohibition.
It seems to me that if states were planning to follow the French model, they had better wait. At the risk of being ridiculous in a few years …
It is understandable that this is only a single market issue, a significant imbalance between demand more and more important, and an offer that has not evolved to meet new uses.
ZP: You are starting Some websites. It is my understanding “That One Of Them Allows People to sell music to fans They Made At What Price the creator chooser. Can you tell use more about this website?
RV: Today, we believe that the future lies in creating a marketplace open to all artists. A place where artists interact with their fans, build relationships and loyalty sustainable
So we thought we should set up a website and open source software suite that allows artists to get their hands on the selling price of their works and can change it whenever they want. Take the opposite path from that used by iTunes and the Big Four.
We believe in the Direct to Fan, the Creative commons.Apiadopi-music.com (happy hadopi), aims to give artists the prominence they should have in the cultural process and to intermediaries to their own. That is to say in the background.
Technologically, we have the expertise to mount. We work with CBE Technologies Inc. is based in Houston, Texas. The fundraiser for this type of project remains very difficult in France …
ZP: Other websites What are you starting?
RV: Outside the field of digital broadcasting, we decided to create web services to protect and facilitate the use of the Internet both legally and technically. By mid-September, we will launch hadopi.fr-Sos, a helpline for people who have been affected by Internet Piracy or want to prevent it. For this, we created a national network of lawyers. Other projects are under consideration. But I can not tell you more.
ZP: Is the Internet Changing how people find music in France? In France, Is The discussion on Copyright and the Internet in similar or different “any Way to the discussion on Copyright in North America?
RV: We live in an era where we have never listened to much music. New technologies have enabled the works to move across the planet, across borders. Since the radio at the time, she gave birth to a new generation of music lovers, aspiring artists. The problem today is not the appreciation of creation, instead of the artist in society, but the means of financing. Nobody can deny that the creation has a cost, it must provide artists with a fair compensation to enable him to live his art. The disappearance of physical media removes many intermediate production of the CD to its transportation and its application in the bin stores. It’s a win for consumers because the music is cheaper, and winning for the artist who gets a larger share of the sale price.
The problem is that the commercial offer is very low compared to non-commercial offers and prices are too high. How can we accept that it is impossible to listen to streaming title of the Beatles on the Internet in 2010? Also explain how a title that costs $ 0.99 on iTunes USA costs 0.99 â‚¬ in France? A difference of more than 25% for the same product in a globalized market. It is impossible to justify to the public.
In France, progressive proposals have been issued through the Committee Zelnik. Unfortunately they remain dead letters. Only the law enforcement angle is developed. In the Government and among parliamentarians of the majority (the conservative party UMP) dissenting voices are rare. Fortunately, there are the few mavericks, but it is not enough.
Regarding the discussions on copyright in the U.S., I admit I did not be aware of their recent developments.
ZP: What do you think about the Pirate Party Pirate Gold Partiet?
RV: Personally, I think the Pirate Party and its national versions (Germany, France, …) are interesting but limited. Their interest is to put political uses to which they seem totally disconnected. To simplify our old European politicians could say that the concept of “global village” they are not yet reached the brain. Some are still at the age of fax and Minitel. So his party can provide an awareness. However, their program is limited to a limited field. A political party should in my view to have a global vision of society.
ZP: Do you want to add Anything more?
RV: My conclusion will be a sort of cry for help. In France, we have a wealth of talented individuals who have great ideas. Unfortunately, due to the lack of political will and the reluctance of investors the means to achieve them are weak. This largely explains why the Internet services are so poorly developed. On projects of transnational interests that we should go forward together. In my opinion, is for citizens to regain control, to defend their rights and imagine that their models are favorable.
We would like to thank Renaud Veeckman for taking the time out of his busy schedule to break the language barrier and talk to us.
You can check out his current website at APIDOPI.fr (and here’s a Google translation of the site in English)