Jean-Luc Godard, master of nouvelle vague cinema, has spoken! But not, however, to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has been waiting for Godard to decide whether or not he will show up to receive his honorary Oscar next year. Instead, the elusive French director has come to the aid of a man fined €20,000 (about $25,000) for illegally downloading music.
French citizen and 37-year-old music lover James Climent (as best we can tell with Google Translate) was investigated for downloading 13,788 MP3s in 2005. His case dragged on for several years until he was ordered to pay the aforementioned hefty fine to SACEM and SDRM, copyright watchdogs based in France. Godard read a story about Climent published in Libération back in August and decided to donate €1,000 (nearly $1,300) to Climent's cause. Speaking to Libération, Godard said (roughly translated), "I am against HADOPI [the recent French law protecting online copyrights]... There is no such thing as intellectual property." Boom! And that's the final word, folks. If you're interested in more broken-English coverage, try the Google Translate version of Climent's blog post about the affair here.