Jean-Luc Godard: 'There Is No Such Thing as Intellectual Property'

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Intellectual property has been a hot-button issue for years now. As more and more people continue to download -- illegally -- free music, books, software and other forms of media, the debate keeps growing. Many of those affected by the enforcement of IP laws, which provide legal protection for works created and owned by an individual or group, have expressed outrage at "freeloaders," a term The Atlantic's own Megan McArdle gave to a generation of file-sharers in a piece for the May 2010 magazine.

A handful, though, have bucked the trend. French-Swiss film director and screenwriter Jean-Luc Godard, who certainly has some works you might think he has an interest in protecting as a member of the French New Wave -- Breathless (1960), Contempt (1963), Hail Mary (1986) -- recently gave 1,000 euros (approximately $1,300 US) to help defend a man accused of downloading more than 13,000 MP3 files. Godard, in a translation of a French news story:

I am against Hadopi [the French internet-copyright law, or its attendant agency], of course. There is no such thing as intellectual property. I'm against the inheritance [of works], for example. An artist's children could benefit from the copyright of their parents' works, say, until they reach the age of majority.... But afterward, it's not clear to me why Ravel's children should get any income from Bolero....

Read the full story at Boing Boing.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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