INCITING MURDER ON THE INTERNET
A new problem in France
In march 1997, Jean Louis Costes has been sued by the uejf (French Jewish students organization) for supposedly trying to incite racist murder by publishing on his web the lyrics to his CDs 'Livrez Les Blanches Aux Bicots' (Throw the white women to the Arabs) and 'Jap Jew' (lyrics in english).
His internet provider Altern.org has been sued too, for providing Costes with the technical tools to publish his web.
An emergency court date of 11 June 1997 has been declared due to Costes being "a danger to society."
THIS WAS THE FIRST CASE OF ITS KIND IN FRANCE.
The sentence was given the 10th of july 1997. The lawsuit was cancelled because, in France, the protection of freedom of speech makes it impossible for a civil court to judge such offences. So, Costes was judged again in 1998 in front of a criminal court.
At the end of 1997, in order to prosecute him again, Costes was put under a police investigation about his artistic activities to determine if there was any sufficient reason to charge him in front of a criminal court for racist speech (which is an offense in France) and inciting racist murder...
Costes, a leading figure in the international music underground, has recorded 15 CDs in French and English and has toured the U.S., Europe and Japan with his theatrical, confrontational, and mostly nude troupes, performing more than 200 shows since 1988.
"Costes is the ultimate French absurdist, and he and Lisa Carver wrote operas together and performed them at punk clubs. The mixture of personality and identity was fierce and mind-boggling and far more complex and intelligent than just accidental genius." Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth.
Available to the press:
*detailed list of events leading up to the court date.
*CDs, videos, photos, press clippings.
*interviews with Costes, an outspoken commentator on censorship, race, sex, music and politics.
Costes-13 quai du square-93200-saint denis-france
tel+fax : 33 1 42 43 69 24
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
web site : http://costes.org