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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dictature 2.0 : think global (ACTA) and act local (LOPPSI and HADOPI in France)



We are now entering in the hard part of the new information age (or digital revolution). Creative destruction will lead to wars between the old world (and all people are controlling it) and the new world.

Act 1 - Think global - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

ACTA is a global, cross countries, cross governme>nts stealth initiative. Now we know a little bit more about ACTA. For me this is the most incredible project I ever heard about. All big countries and some big IT and Media companies where part of secrete negotiations to better control Internet and the ever growing information ecosystem. It has now a wikipedia page.

Act 2 - Act Local

Europe is very advanced on trying to control Internet and user free speech. Why, because Europe is loosing its leadership ... The Information age is coming, and Europe is getting old. So lobbies want to protect their assets and government to control what they can not understand (still):
  • Italy has purely forbidden all web TV without a government accreditation.
  • France is putting in place HADOPI to protect artists and force people to buy CD, DVD and Music.
  • Spain is going in the same direction.
  • Bulgaria, not yet.
The strange thing is that for once China and Iran, are on the same page than the USA and most of European countries. Nobody wants a global, world based government.

Information age (revolution) is born

The industrial age is dying and the Information age is growing. We all know who will win. We all know that the firsts being able to manage the destructive creation process will be well positioned for the years to come. We all know that some people in some countries will suffer for the repression. And we all know that never ever it was possible to stop such a change, to control evolution.

Education is key

Dear governments from Europe, you should invest in education, not in repression. Train young people and students and explain them that not everything is free. Tell them that the law should be applied everywhere, and that without a law, we are back to the dark ages. But, please be also coherent and make sure justice and law are applied for all, quickly and with fairness. The latest crisis clearly showed that the people who earned money by putting the world in chaos, still earn money and continue to drive the world to chaos. No information age could survive without laws. But with no clear frontier, laws are difficult to build and make approved. protecting your Intellectual Property in China is nearly impossible. That's part of the innovation process, sometimes innovations are coming from old ideas and products. But some people/country do not want to pay for them.

Business models need to be invented and deployed globally

The information age will change everything and new business model are to be invented (see Amazon offers new royalties program for Kindle). I was amazed to see the public library at Issy Les Moulineaux in France to propose a kindle like appliance to their subscribers. That's great for all people that do not read (they do not know French or they can not read with their own eyes, or are children that prefer to ear stories). Imagine how millions of tree will be saved, it's good for the planet. But what is the business model for digital books? How to protect the author of a book and make sure he will be retributed for its work? For the public library, its is quite simple, each time somebody reads a book, a fee can be given to the author (if copyright still apply). That's fair.

Your privacy and freedom to speech needs to be protected

One airport in the world put in place a huge system, where you can see a car following you on the wall in a giant screen when you walk. Then you stop and the car stops with you. If you look who is driving the car. Guess what, It's you! Stealing your identity was never so easy for a government, a corporation and even for people sometimes.

The new body scanning system to protect travelers in airport could be used to store a digital copy of yourself. Imagine then what people could do with such a digital DNA. A movie can be created with yous as the hero without you, or worse, you can be seen on TV news killing somebody, even if it's not you. Photo, video, your voice could be manipulated easily by any government. How can you ^prove then that it's not you?

Dictature 2.0 or democracy 2.0?

The eternal fight now in its version 2.0: Technologies at your fingertip, no laws to control the virtual world and use of those technologies.
At the same time, people are now used to be free in the virtual world. They are not totally in the real world. Their fight to keep their freedom, and all dangers around it, is beginning. Digital law are better than digital Right Management (DRM). If government could agree on ACTA, they could agree on some rules to govern the virtual world (could we kill someone avatar in the virtual world? Could we earn digital money?). But as usual, the most easy path was chosen: control, dictature and repression.
We need to define global laws and make them applicable by using real world law systems. Or create a virtual court of justice! Why not?

For more on the subject, please take the time to read ReadWriteWeb articles in French or in English.