Jean-Luc Godard and Bob Marley join up to save the music industry

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Jean-Luc Godard

A well-publicized copyright lawsuit got Jean-Luc Godard to come out of hiding and Bob Marley's family won the rights to his early records — both of these stories show where the fight for (the soul of) the music industry is headed:

A French guy named James Climent was fined 20,000 euros for downloading almost 14,000 mp3s that he did not have the rights to. Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, who will receive an honorary Academy Award next year and is waffling on showing up, popped out of his little man cave and joined Climent's cause.

When first contacted by the nouvelle vague godfather, Climent thought he was being hoaxed. Suspicion turned to elation when he realized one of his heroes was reaching out to assist. Climent has since published an account on his blog: "God(ard) bless us." [Boing Boing]

God(ard) is believed to have paid some or all of Climent's legal fees and even wrote to the press with his thoughts:

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…

Universal Music taught the Marley family about intellectual property this week:

A New York court has ruled that copyrights to Bob Marley albums 'Catch A Fire', 'Burnin'', 'Natty Dread', 'Rastaman Vibrations' and 'Exodus', which were all recorded with his band The Wailers… entitled UMG to be designated the owner of those recordings [as they] were "works made for hire" as defined under US copyright law…
American copyright law was written by record companies and music publishers. Bob's family no longer can claim they inherited his music. The legend's wife and sons had accused UMG… over the company's alleged attempts to "exploit" his recordings. [BigOZine]
Let's all say, in unison, Godard's immortal words: "It's not where you take things from—it's where you take them to."