net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Downloads are Forever

http://www.internetmonamour.org

A petition against the bill entitled “Création et Internet” is circulating. Please sign it with me and lots of other French artists.

The French Parliament is currently examining a bill entitled “Création et Internet” (Creation And the Internet). This bill is a matter of great concern to us. It has nothing to do with the reality of our lives or with artistic “creation” let alone with the “Internet” it seeks to regulate. In spite of this, it seems natural enough that a group of filmmakers should “unreservedly support the bill” and that they should have published an open letter entitled “Culture ne rime pas avec gratuité” (Culture Has a Price) in the July 8th edition of Le Monde, France’s leading newspaper. Likewise, it does not come as a surprise that industrial issues are among those the bill most scrupulously takes into account.

We beg to differ.

Sign the petition

Since the World Wide Web came into being, we have taken seriously the transformations to which it has given rise; we have successively lived in a 1.0 and in a 2.0 world, and are preparing to upgrade to 3.0. We may confidently assert that we are tomorrow¹s creators: we know that this is no empty claim. We have long been concerned with copyright issues, with the online visibility and reception of artworks. We take the economic questions raised by artistic creation no less seriously, and not just in relation to the Internet.

The new bill runs counter to our practices and takes an extremely condescending view of what we know to be the reality of the contemporary world.

We ask that this bill, which purports to deal with “Creation and the Internet” be redrafted so as to take into account the actual processes of artistic creation by which our work is guided. This is our right. We want to share our work and allow others to download it without restriction. This is a necessity.

We hope that the democratic principle according to which the recipient alone decides what to make of a work of art will apply to the extremely diverse practices pejoratively known as “hacking.” This is our demand.

Artists, creators and spectators have changed. Works of art are now watched, listened to, and shared as never before in history. Therefore, neither those who create nor those who enjoy them can submit to the obsolete and idiotic restrictions set forth in the bill a bill which, were it to become law, would stifle both “creation” and the “Internet.”

Sign the petition

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Annie Abrahams
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