MEP Gallo´s and Commissioner Barnier´s
crusade against access to our cultural legacy
French Member of the European Parliament Marielle Gallo is leading a destructive political campaign to close the door on easing access to the vast cultural legacy of millions of books, films and songs that are not presently available to citizens due to being out of print, off the market and whose authors are often not known or not able to be located.
MEP Gallo along with her French political companions Sarkozy and EU Commissioner Barnier are determined to prevent mass digitization of our heritage, which is the only way to recover this knowledge and culture for broad social use and innovation. According to Gallo, Barnier and Sarkozy these unaccessible works are “better dead than read” in order to protect the business of their friends in the copyright industry.
Gallo and her allies have pushed forward a series of obstructive legislative amendments aimed at making practically impossible for libraries, universities, broadcasters and IT industries to easily identify and clear for cultural use “orphan works”. By proposing a series of torturous and expensive procedures to be followed by public libraries Gallo hopes to render totally useless the Orphan Works Directive now being considered before the European Parliament. The objective of Gallo, Barnier and the French Government is to try to block a series of mass digitization contracts between libraries, universities and Google. Without any other viable plan for mass digitization the French right has opted for a “scorched earth” policy to assure that the the pages flake, the celluloids disintegrate and the sound recordings fade. Instead of a EU framework that would encourage a digital renaissance of our inaccessible heritage through easy author search mechanisms, balanced public-private partnerships and clear limits on claims and renumeration, the fervent Gallo brigades of copyright extremists insist on enforcing cultural euthanasia.