kNOw Future Inc.

law, technology and cinema, washed down with wine

Sci-fi Against Hadopi: Who Will Control the Future?

Science-fiction writers have also gotten involved in the debate on Hadopi. On Monday a wide swathe of the sci-fi world – writers, critics and publishers – expressed their opposition to the law, below is a full translation of their open letter to the public.

To see my more recent posts on Hadopi, click here.

Who Will Control the Future?

We the people of science-fiction, writers, translators, illustrators, critics, commentators, essayists, bookshop-owners, bloggers, publishers and collection editors, must express through this text our opposition to the Creation and Internet law.

It would be a truism to state that science-fiction concerns itself with the future and that many of its participants have denounced the possible, even probable, pitfalls (dérives) of industrial and technological societies; George Orwell’s name comes immediately to one’s lips, but also that of John Brunner, Norman Spinrad, Michel Jeury, J.-G. Ballard, Frederik Pohl, Cyril M. Kornbluth, and many others besides.

Science-fiction can detect the seeds of these pitfalls in the present, because it is precisely from the present that possible futures emanate, and it is in the present that the world of tomorrow is decided every day.

The distrust of new technological developments and the changes which result, the fear of the future and the desire for control of a society obsessed with the discourse of security… all that has already been addressed in sci-fi, and if there’s one thing which it has taken into account it’s that the techno-sciences are the principal cause of change in modern societies. From such changes. in course or in germ-form, no-one can know the effects but we do know that erecting barriers or walls against them results only in seeing them fall one day, in a more or less brutal manner. So rather than forbidding, wisdom, but also realism, should spur us to allow free reign to the freedom to innovate and create. The future that we have to invent each day should not be based on fear, but on sharing and respect.

The Creation and Internet law, rejected by the National Assembly on the 9th of April last, will be presented again to our national representatives at the end of the month.

This law, which we are told will protect artists’ rights and copyright in general, seems to us a Trojan horse, deployed to try and establish control over the internet, and is thus a threat to freedom of expression in our country.

Artists, creators, all those cultural actors without whom that word would be emptied of meaning, are being instrumentalised for the benefit of a law which, we must remind everyone, contains measures to filter the net, install spyware on individuals machines, and suspend internet connections without the involvement of a judge on the basis of IP numbers (whose lack of reliability has long been established) collected by private companies, and the extension of measures initially conceived for police anti-terrorist activity to the sharing of files between individuals.

Whilst deeply attached to copyright, which represents the sole or principal source of income for many precarious intellectual workers in our ranks, we protest against those who brandish it incessantly to justify measures which, while technically unfeasible,  are certainly dangerous, and whose potential to erode our rights is only too obvious in the eyes of those of us whose daily work involves the scientific, political and social thought which is at the core of science-fiction.

Likewise, conscious of the interests and value of creative communities, we also protest against the danger that this law poses to the universe of culture distributed and shared under free licenses, which constitutes a wealth accessible to all.

The internet is not a chaos but rather a collective work, where no actor can demand a privileged position, and it is aberrant to legislate on practices born from 21st century technologies on the basis of schemas taken from 19th. Think about it.

Because the future is our trade.”


Joseph Altairac, essayiste, Jean-Pierre Andrevon, auteur, critique, essayiste, Andoryss, scénariste (BD), Ayerdhal, auteur, Raphaël Bardas, auteur, Stéphane Beauverger, auteur, Geneviève Beduneau, auteur, blogueuse, Ugo Bellagamba, auteur, essayiste, Jean-Luc Blary, éditeur, Pierre Bordage, auteur, scénariste, Michel Borderie, illustrateur, Bruno B. Bordier, auteur, Charlotte Bousquet, auteur, Georges Bormand, auteur, critique, Alexis Brun, éditeur, David Calvo, auteur,

Thibaud Canuti, auteur, conservateur des bibliothèques, Flora Cappelluti, journaliste, Thierry Cardinet, illustrateur, Philippe Caza, illustrateur, scénariste, Éric Cervos, auteur, Jérôme Charlet, critique, traducteur, libraire, Lucie Chenu, auteur, anthologiste, directrice de collection, Hélène Collon, traductrice, Christophe Cottier, auteur, Magali Couzigou, auteur, lectrice, Thomas Day, auteur, directeur de collection, Jeanne A. Debats, auteur, Philippe Delestaing, bibliothécaire, Nicolas Delsaux, critique, Irène Delse, auteur, Sylvie Denis, auteur, traductrice, anthologiste, essayiste, critique, Thierry Di Rollo, auteur, Sara Doke, auteur, traductrice, essayiste, René-Marc Dolhen, critique, Lea Honorine Dray, photographe, auteur, Jean-Claude Dunyach, auteur, anthologiste, Claude Ecken, auteur, critique, essayiste, scénariste (BD), Philippe Ethuin, essayiste, blogueur, Hélène Fairmarch, auteur, Fabien Fernandez, illustrateur, Jean-Pierre Fontana, auteur, Gilles Francescano, illustrateur, Alexandre Garcia, auteur, traducteur, critique, Didier Gazoufer, auteur, Thomas Geha, auteur, libraire, Laurent Genefort, auteur, essayiste, directeur de collection, Vincent Gessler, auteur, Laurent Gidon, auteur, Olivier Girard, éditeur, rédacteur en chef, Karine Gobled, blogueuse, Michel Grimaud, auteurs, Gudule, auteur, Julien Guerry, libraire, Denis Guiot, directeur de collection, critique, William Guyard, critique, Vladimir Harkonnen, baron, Henscher, auteur, scénariste (BD), Jean-Christophe Hoël, illustrateur, Aurélien Knockaert, webmestre, Wladimir Kokkinopoulos, auteur, Pénélope Labruyère-Snozzi, auteur, éditeur, Marie-Noëlle Lacassin, décoratrice scénographe, Sylvie Lainé, auteur, Patrice Lajoye, anthologiste, Nathalie Legendre, auteur, Olivier Legendre, libraire, Roland Lehoucq, essayiste, Jonas Lenn, auteur, Jocelyn Leroy, lecteur, Marie Renée Lestoquoy, auteur, Yves Letort, libraire, Eric Lesueur, éditeur, photographe, Li-Cam, auteur, Jean-Marc Ligny, auteur, Christine Luce, critique, Marc Madouraud, essayiste, Bernard Majour, bibliothécaire, Manchu, illustrateur, Nadine Manzagol, auteur, scénariste, vidéaste, Patrick Marcel, traducteur, illustrateur, essayiste, Sybille Marchetto, auteur, anthologiste, Coralie Méïsse, libraire, Nathalie Mège, auteur, traductrice, Natacha Ménard, lectrice, Laurent Million, auteur, Yann Minh, illustrateur, créateur de liens, Pascal Mir, auteur, Charles Moreau, essayiste, Ghislain Morel, auteur, documentaliste, Philippe Morin, auteur, critique, bibliothécaire, Loïc Nicolas, libraire, Richard D. Nolane, auteur, essayiste, scénariste (BD), traducteur, anthologiste, Stéphane Nolhart, auteur, Michel Pagel, auteur, traducteur, Thierry Pagès, adjoint du patrimoine, Claire Panier-Alix, auteur, Olivier Paquet, auteur, Roland Pawlak, bouquiniste spécialisé, Pierre Pelot, auteur, Serje Peronnet, blogueur, Audrey Petit, directrice de collection, Olivier Pezigot, bibliothécaire, Jean-Pierre Planque, auteur, Laurent Queyssi, auteur, Hélène Ramdani, éditeur, Mireille Rivalland, éditeur, André-François Ruaud, auteur, éditeur, Simon Sanahujas, auteur, essayiste, François Schnebelen, critique, Nicolas Serra, auteur, Stéphane Servain, dessinateur (BD), Isabelle Seviran, comédienne, lectrice, Claire Sistach, chercheuse d’arts, Nicolas Soffray, auteur, critique, Bertrand Tesson, documentariste, Hervé Thiellement, auteur, critique, Christian Vilà, auteur, essayiste, Christophe Thill, éditeur, Pascal J. Thomas, essayiste, critique, Olivier Tomasini, auteur, Emmanuel Tollé, chroniqueur, Juan-Manuel Torres-Moreno, auteur, Jean-Louis Trudel, auteur, Selene Verri, journaliste, Jérôme Vincent, éditeur, webmestre, Herveline Vinchon, libraire, Thierry Virga, auteur, Roland C. Wagner, auteur, traducteur, essayiste, critique, Philippe Ward, auteur, directeur de collection, Christine Webster, compositrice, Laurent Whale, auteur, Martin Winckler, auteur, Joëlle Wintrebert, auteur, scénariste, critique, Nicolas B. Wulf, auteur, Pascal Yung, illustrateur


April 30, 2009 - Posted by | /, copyright, France, HADOPI, p2p


  1. […] second, I think you’ll be particularly interested in, as it is a collective letter of protest […]

    Pingback by myReport » French film-makers and science fiction writers protest new anti-P2P law | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks for having translated this open letter. I’ll send it right now to some English-speaking friends.

    Comment by Roland C. Wagner | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] du 30/04: Le texte est désormais traduit en anglais sur kNOw Future, et cité par Boing Boing! Tags : écrivains, éditeurs, Hadopi, imaginaire, […]

    Pingback by Irène Delse » La SF contre Hadopi: pétition “Qui contrôlera le futur?” | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] blog posting that has already translated the news from French to English details the latest developments. The question they ask is, ‘who gets to control the […]

    Pingback by French Arts Community Revolts Against French Three Strikes Legislation | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] blog posting that has already translated the news from French to English details the latest developments. The question they ask is, ‘who gets to control the […]

    Pingback by French Arts Community Revolts Against French Three Strikes Legislation - | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  6. Just a word: the open letter should begin by “we the people”, because the allusion was intentional.

    Comment by Roland C. Wagner | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  7. Fixed, and thanks for the correction. If you would like me to add any other links or detail, just let me know.

    Comment by nonrival | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  8. Great job with the translation! Thanks a lot.

    That insane law is coming again before the parliament on Monday, with little chance of a new repeal. Hopefully, the European Commission won’t sanction it. The next week is going to be very busy.

    Comment by Irene Delse | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  9. […] conducted through the media between pro (Tavernier et al) and anti Hadopi factions (Branco/Denuve, Sci-fi writers). In the last two weeks there have been further salvos: first, another letter from the Tavernier […]

    Pingback by Hadopi: Amendment 138, A Dismissal for Dissent, and More Letters « kNOw Future Inc. | May 7, 2009 | Reply

  10. […] die Liste der Unterzeichner der Resolution “Qui contrôlera le futur ?”  hier (englisch). Aktuelles Heft Nr. 2-2009 […]

    Pingback by Frankreich: Digitaler Hausarrest » Von Richard Schnabl » Beitrag » Redaktionsblog | May 19, 2009 | Reply

  11. […] blog posting that has already translated the news from French to English details the latest developments. The question they ask is, ‘who gets to control the […]

    Pingback by French Arts Community Revolts Against French Three Strikes Legislation | March 12, 2017 | Reply

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