French Presidency Accused of Bootlegging DVD

Makes 400 unauthorized copies of the documentary A visage découvert : Nicolas Sarkozy, but CEO of Galaxie Press, which produced the film, insists it’s not piracy since the “DVD is not for sale.”

In an amazing twist of irony, France’s presidential audio services, the Service audiovisual de la présidence de la République, has been exposed making some 400 unauthorized copies of the documentary A visage découvert : Nicolas Sarkozy.

It is Sarkozy who is the driving force behind the country’s controversial “Creation and Internet” law, first proposed back in June of last year, and initially ruled unconstitutional by the country’s Constitutional Council before being revised and passed by the country’s parliament last month.

The DVD’s producer, Galaxie Press, had apparently only shipped 50 copies to the govt agency, well short of what it needed, and so it decided to make additional copies on its own, even going so far as to replace the Galaxie Press logo with its own.

Whether it’s actual copyright infringement remains to be seen for the CEO of Galaxie Press insists all is well.

“The Elysee is not a pirate,”Vaillot Bernard, CEO of Galaxie Press, told The Post. “The DVD is not for sale, so we can not talk about piracy.”

He says it always gives free copies to the subjects of its documentaries, and that if anything the agency is guilty only of not asking for the correct amount it needed.

Bernard’s only qualm is that the agency replaced the Galaxie Press logo with its own on the covers it printed for the bootleg copies, saying that “it would have been nice if Galaxie Press was acknowledged, especially as it struggles with news agencies and channels to exist.”

Either way it’s amazing that a govt agency would so flagrantly violate copyright laws when it wants to see others lose internet access for a similar offense.

It’s also not the first time his govt’s been accused. Earlier this year it was sued by the band MGMT for the unauthorized use of its song Kids at its national congress back in January, in two online videos, and in political advertisements. Sarkozy’s party later settled for €30,000 ($44,292 USD).

Stay tuned.

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