Written by Natacha Guyot
French fans may find their creativity, or their ability to share fanworks and view works created by others, stifled following the introduction of a new law. On November 10, 2010, the decree regarding the HADOPI (High Authority for the Distribution of Creation and Online Protection of Rights) Law (also known as the Creation and Internet law) was officially published in France, bringing new regulations for the protection of copyrighted content on the Internet, as well as the expansion of legal content platforms for Internet users. However, how this new law will be applied in practice remains uncertain.
This new judicial framework is meant to protect arts industries (mostly musical and video) and to encourage Internet users to behave more responsibly towards artists. But despite the discourse focusing on “respect for the artist”, the new law enforces a view based mostly on commercial interests. There is a danger that the law may push aside alternatives, from Creative Common Licenses to possible fair use for such things as fanworks. This could keep French fans exiled to spaces hosted overseas where English is the lingua franca, even when it comes to French fandoms around French sources which have little to no exposure abroad.