Version 0.5 - 11 January 2009

This introduction needs to be revised to be in agreement with the more recent declaration of principles

Global Patronage is a new scheme which could potentially apply to all digital content that is available over the Internet regardless its distribution method (Sites, P2P, Webradios, etc. ..). Regarding Internet users, the Global Patronage features some operational similarities with the Global License , but as far as authors are concerned, the modus operandi is not at all similar.

The philosophy and legal mechanisms of the Global Patronage are completely different.

At the operational level, internet users pay a mandatory fixed contract sum ( not a tax fee) that is collected by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and sent to the various copyright collectives or copyright collection societies and performing rights organizations.

Unlike the statutory license, compulsory license, as well as the global license, where users are not consulted, users are determining themselves their own remuneration distribution key ie way how the collected fixed amount is distributed among content authors.

This remuneration key enables its distribution among the various authors of digital content according to users' assessment of the content, not according to use or consumption. The global patronage does not apply only to music but may implemented for all types of digital content. The global patronage does respect the various ways how individuals are making use of Internet.

Concerning content creators, authors' identification codes as well as specific codes related to specific content (music, art, etc ...) shall be implemented . These codes already exist for music (ISRC-International Standard Recording Code), also help to mange the complex distribution of money among various stakeholders such as authors, performers, interpreters, remixer, etc. .... In France, the ISRC national agency is the SCPP, In another area, for example publishing, one may use ISSNs. For blogs, content creators may also use the ISSN ( ISSN for Weblogs ). Content creators should feature their identification codes on websites, and indicate them the metadata of their content (eg ID3v2 tags for MP3,).We will not go into gory details in this introduction, the important thing is to underline that these codes do exist and to grasp the main principles of operation.

Let us give some practical examples. For music or video, which what is referred most often. Internet users are going to fill up an online form available from his/her ISP account, with references related to content he/she wants to remunerate with a percentage (that should never exceed a set limit, eg. 15%) of the fixed compulsory amount. The Internet user may also refer to an artist, as patron of this specific artist. Concerning media (traditional newspapers, blogs), the Internet user shall indicate either the article reference or the newspaper or blog reference, as a sign of overall appreciation. The ratio between music, video, media and various digital works, must remain completely flexible. For example, there are Internet users that are downloading only music, and do not read any newspaper or blog, and vice versa.

This scheme is extremely flexible and should naturally allow for the remuneration of new types of content, such as digital 3D objects.

An online portal and search engine should be implemented, facilitating the search for creators and their references.

Internet users that have no time to determine and enter their remuneration distribution key may delegate that task to friends, or associations, acting either as permanent or temporary proxies.

As for those negligent that did neither express themselves, nor designate a proxy, their “votes” or remuneration distribution key will be determined by the extrapolated statistics of expressed opinions, that would play, in a way, the role of a large scale poll.

The consequences are very beneficial:

  • 1 / no intrusive ( costly, and nearly impossible..) eavesdropping of Internet data flow that could be detrimental to the privacy and individual freedom,
  • 2 / emerging creators are not going to be drowned in a statistic that identifies, by design, only major creators, and therefore it is extremely positive in terms of artistic and cultural development, and support to creation, national as well as international, while respecting cultural diversity. Because of this scheme, the country that would adopt the Global Patronage could be become a place in the world, where new talents are revealed.

As for the global license, but in a more general manner , the Global Patronage avoids the use of DRMs ( Digital Rights Management ou Digital Restriction Management ) Digital Restriction Management) or Trusted Computing aka Treacherous Computing which constitute unacceptable digital handcuffs or shackles. Any way, DRMs have been rejected by the market, and no longer provide a reliable option.

At the legal level, limitations and exception to exclusive rights of authors, are intended to deprive an author of his/her rights to prohibit the use of her/his work. Works may be used in this case, without having to ask author's consent. Acceptance of an exception to exclusive rights is regulated by the famous Berne three-step test : Members ( states) shall confine limitations and exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the rights holder and has been adopted by the European Copyright Directive 2001/29/EC and included in various national laws in Europe.

The legal mechanism of the Global Patronage does not rely at all on limitations and exception to exclusive rights of authors, as for photocopies or radio, as does the global license that is an intellectual extension. On the contrary, it is clear that broadcast of works through Internet does not constitute a secondary means of dissemination.

Our strategy is therefore not to introduce a new exception but rather to manage exclusive rights through public law statutes or laws of public order, introduced in contractual relations that bind respectively on the one hand internet users with their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and on other hand, content creators through the channel of their various copyright collectives , copyright collection societies and performing rights organizations. Private entities do not have the right to break public law statutes and any attempt to circumvent such laws is void. Many contracts feature public provisions determined by laws or decrees (eg employment, procurement contracts, etc... ). One avoids in this way the famous Berne three-step test. This is legally possible because, in contrast to the radio, one may identify users through their ISP contracts.

The situation may be summarized by the quotation of famous inventor Edwin H. Land : Its not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas. The failure of previous digital content remuneration schemes, is that they are not adapted to the new technology, and they are just trying to extend old ideas. DRMs for example are trying in vain to give digital content the same characteristics as consumers' goods, ie that it is not possible to share a good with somebody else without depriving oneself of its usage, that is assimilating digital content with a piece of bread. With digital content, the miracle of feeding the multitude is possible however !.

At the economic level, the Global Patronage because it provides content creators and businesses, an easy reliable and inexpensive means of payment for all types of digital content, makes it possible to focus on content production. It is expected to save the online Press It makes it possible to draw up business plans that are not based on unlikely financing methods. It will enable the explosion of a new digital economy, much needed right now, in the mist of the serious financial crisis that is shaking the whole world.

At the philosophical level, we un-commercialize art, while allowing remuneration of artists, it is a return to the origins, after an excessive industrialization and exploitation of the first industrial revolution. More generally, we un-commercialize creation while allowing financial remuneration for content creation. The Global Patronage sponsorship is therefore neither an item of the consumer's society nor "collectivist solution." Patronage Global is a step towards a society of assessment, which allows a fair and equitable remuneration, while preserving freedom, individuality and cultural diversity, It is a component of the third industrial revolution.

Short history,: After the surprise initial adoption by the French National Assembly of the global license , and its final rejection after a bitter fight, it seemed necessary propose another approach to remuneration for authors, according to a different philosophy, and consequently a different legal approach.