Monday, 10 March 2014

French Censorship!!

France Censored Street Artists Criticizing HADOPI Law

French city workers have recently been instructed to remove political messages from the walls in the street. The order also covered a number of paintings protesting against HADOPI anti-piracy law. Ironically enough, street artists’ works are being censored for criticizing a law which is actually supposed to protect artists.

Like almost any other anti-piracy law in today’s world, French “three-strikes” regime has been a steady topic of controversy since its very beginning. For instance, when the French agency meant to handle file-sharers’ copyright infringements was created, its own logo appeared to be infringing.

Now city workers in Paris censored the work of a prominent street artist. Although it is known that the HADOPI office wasn’t directly involved, the censored pieces of art expressed a protest against the much criticized legislation.

The city workers were ordered to remove political statements from art which appeared on public walls, and one of those creations belonged to a Finnish artist known as Sampsa, who painted many of anti-HADOPI statements across Paris. You can see one of his works, displaying the text “The Blood Sucking HADOPI” with a kid being chased by a giant mosquito.

So, the city workers simply removed all the text from the picture – this way, while the main part of the mutilated painting remained in place, its original message has been completely lost. The most ironical part here is that the city censored an artist speaking out against a law supposed to protect artists. Unsurprisingly enough, the move was heavily criticized by many members of the public, and Sampsa was glad for the public support he has received.

For a street artist this wasn’t the first time that his creations have been censored. The same happened a few months ago, when one of his works was supposed to go on display in Russia. The painting featured Putin as a dwarf with the text “Little Brother is watching you”, but the president’s political party took offense to the picture.

However, the street artist isn’t going to stop. Now the French anti-piracy law is about to be transformed into system where suspected infringers will get automatic fines – and the artists don’t like it much. Sampsa already has a new anti-HADOPI work to show the world and will do it soon.

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