Pascal Rogard: “France has given up defending copyright to please Mistral”

Pascal Rogard: “France has given up defending copyright to please Mistral”

Undisputed defender of culture – he fought in particular for the imposition of cultural exceptions in Brussels – Pascal Rogard, general director of the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD), recalls that Paris has always upheld copyright in European debates had defended.

He protests the fact that this was not the case when European legislation on artificial intelligence (AI) was adopted. In his eyes, France has given up this fight to please Mistral, the French unicorn specializing in AI. Paris found itself isolated and having to approve European regulations on artificial intelligence.

You are one of the few who attack the French position taken before the adoption, in Strasbourg, of European legislation on artificial intelligence on March 13. For what?

As part of the trialogue with representatives of the states, Thierry Breton (European Commissioner responsible for industrial policy, internal market, digital, defense and space) proposed, with the support of the European Parliament, that artificial intelligence companies that train generative machines show transparency. That they are obliged to disclose what was used for their learning process and to disclose the list of data retrieved.

Until now, Brussels seemed pro-liberal in all matters related to copyright and the defense of creation, and France favored the regulation and defense of creation. There the roles were reversed for the first time: that of the ‘good guy’ was played by Thierry Breton, while the ‘bad guys’ were Bruno Le Maire. (Minister of Economic Affairs) and Jean-Noël Barrot (delegated minister responsible for digital transition under the Borne government, between 2022 and 2024). France, the country that invented copyright, appeared with an upside-down front, the opposite of what it has always defended. MM. The mayor and Barrot abandoned the defense of copyright in the name of national digital development. But mainly to please Mistral – one of the most important French AI startups – whose lobbyist in Brussels is Cédric O, former minister responsible for digital technology.

To block the adoption of the AI ​​regulation, France tried to create a blocking minority by turning to the Germans, Italians and other countries, but in the end everyone walked away. We have been through a gloomy period. Staying true to its values, France found itself largely isolated and ultimately had to adopt European regulations. It remains very strange to have to rejoice that France has been defeated… Thierry Breton was furious.

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