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Global Copyright

Global Copyright

Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to Cyberspace

Edited by Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen and Paul Torremans

This innovative book celebrates the tri-centenary of modern copyright, which began with the enactment of the Statute of Anne by the British Parliament in 1709, and was soon followed by other copyright legislation abroad. The Statute of Anne is traditionally claimed to be the world’s first copyright statute, and is thus viewed as the origin of a system of national laws that today exists in virtually all countries of the world. However, this book illustrates that while there is some truth in this claim, it is also important to treat it with caution.

Chapter 32: The Graduated Response and the Role of Intermediaries: Avoiding the Apocalypse or a Return to the Sources?

Pierre Sirinelli

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


Pierre Sirinelli* 1 INTRODUCTION This is the final presentation of the congress. It is supposed to be part of a historical film, that of a 300-year construction! However, the law I have to tell you about is certainly not the most attractive stone. And I suppose that we will not be talking about it in 300 years. Unless, perhaps, out of curiosity and so on. It is a special law that is worth mentioning because it is indicative of trends. More a law of ‘means’ than content, that is to say what interests us: works and creators. The term ‘graduated response’ has been used in France to describe the possible legal responses to the question of illegal ‘peer-to-peer’ (P2P) exchanges. It is preferable to use the phrase ‘graduated response’ rather than the neighbouring ‘flexible response’, the latter being part of military (one dares not say ‘diplomatic’) language, borrowed from the Cold War and evoking an attitude based on violence and nuclear response.1 This concept of ‘graduated response’ makes it possible to understand the idea of the new sanctions that the French law, voted on 13 May 2009, and entitled ‘Creation and Internet’, was intended to introduce in the case of breach of literary and artistic property rights. These sanctions should be proportional to the offence and appear less severe, as opposed to the * Professor at Paris-I University (Panthéon – Sorbonne). This contribution was originally written in French. The original version, as well as a Spanish translation, can be found on...

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