Attila Ara-Kovács and Bálint Magyar: On the periphery of empires–a buffer zone of the EU?

Today the European Union is faced with conflicts it has never encountered before either within or beyond its borders. In 2004, when several Eastern European countries were admitted to the EU in the wake of the Drang nach Osten, the democracy deficit of the new member states was considered no more than a children’s disease which—given proper treatment—they would surely outgrow. However, as the post-communist mafia state took shape in Hungary between 2010 and 2014, this assumption proved utterly mistaken. Outside its borders—as in Ukraine for example—the hope that societies will necessarily come nearer to European “civilized” norms turned out to be an illusion.

Within the Borders of the EU

Hungary was once a pioneer of the region in expending efforts to dynamically modernize and democratize the country. Although the “central field” policy was described by Viktor Orbán well before 2010, it has been implemented since he came to power. The main aim of this policy is to prevent any change in the political setup and establish an autocratic regime, while stressing that stabilizing liberal democracy is just one alternative in our region. Eastern European post-communist societies today are under the threat of becoming autocratic regimes, thus stabilizing themselves. It is a moot point whether the EU has the clout to put these countries back on the trajectory of liberal democracy or—failing that—excommunicate them from the EU.

Eastern EuropeThe system of sanctions against democracy deficit as legitimized by Brussels is based on two premises. The first one posits that integration implies a system of values whose effectiveness is dependent on the coherence and homogeneity of these values. According to the second premise the fundamental principle of the policy followed by the member states is underpinned by the shared values of liberal democracies, and deviations from this policy should not be regarded as intentional only as occasional slips. The system of sanctions works only if both of these premises are accepted because—short of the second one—exclusion from the community would automatically come into force as a last resort. In other words, unless the shared values of the member states fail to be harmonized due to the reluctance of certain countries to eliminate those deviances, the community is bound to reject those countries in self-defence, lest for other reasons.

Since the perception of public opinion in Hungary denying the value system of the EU is not incidental but systematic, it is often assumed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s long-term goal is to lead Hungary out of the EU.

Challenging this view, we assert that neither the exclusion of Hungary nor a government attempt to quit the EU is a likely scenario.

Beyond the Borders of the EU

The recent brutal events in Ukraine reveals an increasingly fierce geopolitical competition between the European Union and the “Euro-Asian Union” being formed and led by Russia. This competition is rendered particularly intense owing to the fact that the battle of the great spheres of interest is reinforced in two more dimensions. On the one hand it can be interpreted as a fight between quasi-democratic and quasi-autocratic forces while on the other as a Russian-Ukrainian conflict tinged with a more and more obvious ethnic character. The latter problem also has some cultural undercurrents: after World War II the territory of Ukraine grew, extending its borders from the onion domes of Orthodoxy into the world of Gothic churches of Catholicism.

The lofty goals of fighting for a better value system are mixed with the down-to-earth goals of expanding the empire. This war is not waged with weapons though. Just the opposite, the big powers are trying to win the voters’ sympathy with offering “bonuses”. The Russians dangle the carrot of supplying cheap energy and opening an administratively controlled market in the former Soviet regions whereas the EU is giving the associated countries financial support and access to EU markets operating on a competitive basis. The imperialistic nature of this battle is revealed by attempts at mutually ruling out the possibility to avail of both channels of “bonus”.

If the requirements of homogeneity in value systems were imposed in strict terms, Ukraine would not at all stand a chance of joining the EU. At the same time however the geopolitical aims of the West seem to move towards a policy of increasingly close cooperation with Ukraine.

Value system versus geopolitics

The rationality of common values as declared by the EU on the one hand and the rationality of geopolitics with its pressure of circumstances on the other are mutually exlusive concepts, impossible to realize simultaneously. A move to admit or lure the former communist countries from the Balkans and Eastern Europe which are still outside the EU would lead to a catastrophic inflation of the system of common values. However, a flat rejection of these countries, let alone an expulsion of the quasi-autocratic regimes within the walls of the EU, would give the Russian Empire in the process of reincarnation the opportunity to expand towards the West. An EU decision to draw its geographical borders according to the system of common values would surely result in a reincarnation of Yalta, with the implication that the validity of political community would be overruled by the historical self-movement of value systems. Whereas the post-war Yalta agreement cut Europe into two along the North-South axis largely leaving out of consideration issues of cultural value systems, the axis now seems to move diagonally, from North-East to South-West. Such a move is supposed to irrevocably embed the Baltic states, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and possibly Slovakia into the EU but renders the place of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in this community ambiguous.

Even though Brussels declines to consider this option, it looks as if the contradiction between the dream of common values and the reality of geopolitics can be solved only by means of a two-speed EU, introduced under political duress. The euro-zone, a “westernized” form of multi-speed Europe has already been realized. The post-communist member states well entrenched in the EU either belong to the euro-zone already or are intent, irrespective of their ideological commitments on joining the euro-zone within a few years. Others however, including Hungary produce a national ideology to justify their resolve to stay permanently outside. The claim for preserving our autonomy hidden in the rhetoric of “national war of independence” is in fact the euphemistic demand that we be exempted from the norms of liberal democracy. Let there be no mistake: what these countries mean by “the Europe of nations” is an obvious claim to establish or maintain their quasi-autocratic regimes. No one but their own citizens can resist such demands effectively. If there is no resistance or if the resistence turns out to be unsuccessful, the stabilization attempts of “national autocracies” are sure to succeed. Whereas the geopolitical considerations of the EU should not allow the Russian Empire to reach out again as far as the River Leitha on the Western border of Hungary. The Western-European political elite—while giving up its romantic belief and original mission following the collapse of the Berlin Wall—is considering Eastern-Europe falling behind not as a companion in a cultural sense but only as an era to be influenced economically. In fact today’s Eastern-European elite –instead of trying to civilize– only wishes to strenghten its eastern scale of values with the help of national and social populism—in order to build up and preserve their autocratic power.

For some members of the EU to stop this process might seem all the more hopeless since to create a stable democracy is utterly impossible without an autonomous citizenship and a wide middle class.  What’s more, the financial crisis of 2008 even cast light upon the fact how vulnerable EU member South-European societies may be in this respect.

EU buffer zone – the playing field of autocrats

It follows from the above that we are moving towards a buffer zone, an area permanently outside the euro-zone, where unprincipled concessions in EU norms may be made. The new imperial logic defends itself not with the tactic of “scorched earth” but with a policy of giving support in well-proportioned doses while acquiescing in democracy deficits—in the past such behaviour was tolerated only exceptionally.

Why on earth would autocrats like Orbán wish to leave the EU once they can live in this buffer zone by “milking two empires”: regular support arrives through structural and cohesion funds from the EU whereas cheap energy through agreements with the Russian empire? While the former is made to pay for a semblance of showing good manners in politics and espousing the ideals of freedom, the latter for our submission into an Eastern system of dependency.

Attila Ara-Kovács, ex-diplomat

Bálint Magyar, ex-minister of culture and education

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Mikor Volt A Magyar Szabad?
Guest
Mikor Volt A Magyar Szabad?

Sadly, the utility cost reduction appealed to too many Hungarians.
All, who liked it, were hardly interested in living in a free and a prosperous country.
They have sold their freedom for a few forints.
The rest can flee their beloved land.

Istvan
Guest
Is Hungary part of the EU periphery of Europe, yes of course it is. But interestingly Hungary may not be able to continue to play the game it has been playing in relationship to Russia. The time of reckoning may be nearing. Aleksandr Dugin, is the founder of Russia’s Eurasia Party, and he is the ideological godfather of Putin’s current Eurasian economic union. Dugin has become increasingly influential over time and is an adviser to the head of the State Duma and his ideas are taken seriously by people who are close to Putin. Ideologically the Eurasian economic union is the stuff of the Jobbik in Hungary. Orban has a problem because his game has been to use the Jobbik rhetoric in order to undermine it, but now the preverbal chickens may come home to roost. Putin’s vision of the Eurasian Union is going to require a shared ideology to succeed, and while that ideology won’t be communism, as it was in the USSR, the history and rhetoric of the Eurasian movement suggests that it will inevitably be some hodge-podge of anti-Western, antiliberal thought built on gangster capitalist states. On that level Orban fits well with the Eurasian model. But… Read more »
peteybee
Guest

I would urge to be super careful before inviting the US foreign policy people too close. Where they go, bad things follow.

qaz
Guest

Talk is cheap!

Balint Magyar was twice minister of education and was preceded on the job by Gabor Fodor, also from the Free Democrats.

He was in charge of what is arguably the most important portfolio there can be because only education shape a new generation and the next to understand why (liberal) democracies are, to paraphrase Churchill, the least worst of all systems.

What have they done to educate the new generation that is voting Jobbik today?
What have they done to educate the new generation to understand and cherish freedom and democracy?
What have they done to give a moral compass, instill moral values and a sane hatred of tyranny and dictatorship?

Can their answer be summarized as that of a Matav customer service representative: “sajnos nem lehet”?

They miserably failed and now pontificate draped in self-righteousness.

Talk is cheap indeed!

Sorry for the rant

petofi
Guest

@qaz

“…moral compass…moral values..”

Go to a Hungarian university and find a group of students. Ask them how many have read
about Socrates. How did he die, and why. You’ll be lucky to fine 1/20 who might know…

peteybee
Guest

Great article. Adds some nuance on the development of eastern Europe, and gives us much needed depth on why and how the EU policy mechanism can be as conflicted as it is. Thanks for sharing this!!!

petofi
Guest

In Hungary there’s no sense of ‘self-education’. If there was, there would be fewer folks following, mindlessly, the nonsense of a Victor Orban.

beppe
Guest
qaz : Talk is cheap! Balint Magyar was twice minister of education and was preceded on the job by Gabor Fodor, also from the Free Democrats. He was in charge of what is arguably the most important portfolio there can be because only education shape a new generation and the next to understand why (liberal) democracies are, to paraphrase Churchill, the least worst of all systems. What have they done to educate the new generation that is voting Jobbik today? What have they done to educate the new generation to understand and cherish freedom and democracy? What have they done to give a moral compass, instill moral values and a sane hatred of tyranny and dictatorship? Can their answer be summarized as that of a Matav customer service representative: “sajnos nem lehet”? They miserably failed and now pontificate draped in self-righteousness. Talk is cheap indeed! Sorry for the rant You are right, they had not done much. They thought we should give the kids computers and electronic smart boards and they will be educated citizens right away. It turns out kids prefer to use their computers (smartphones) for playing games, watching porn and writing messages on facebook with extremely bad… Read more »
petofi
Guest

peteybee :
I would urge to be super careful before inviting the US foreign policy people too close. Where they go, bad things follow.

Where the Americans involved in the language laws that went out so early?

peteybee
Guest

i wish i knew.

peteybee
Guest

Reblogged this on Spread An Idea and commented:
interesting dive into the relationship of Hungary to the EU. Sheds some light on how Eastern Europe’s politics results in conflicted motivations for the EU in relation to Russia.

azamat tovabag
Guest
I think the authors are fundamentally mistaken. The EU is still at its core a common market. The EU was established as a common market, a free trade zone because economy and business could be sold as – supposedly – value free, objective, non-ideological concept “on which we can all agree”. The political features of the EU came later. However, we see now that politically the EU is still and fundamentally impotent. That is because contrary to all the talk about the demise of nation states and the increase of the role of supranational organizations, globalization etc. — nation states still do matter in Europe. Also, the EU acts as a typical supra-national burocracy full of people who have no interest in anything else than keeping their exceptionally cushy jobs. The EU is actually a good thing, come to think of it, because it does provide a job for thousands of families, who otherwise would be in a worse position living in Spain, Greece or Hungary. Nation states certainly do still matter in Western-Europe, see the recent behavior of the UK vis-a-vis the EU, but we can also mention Iceland and Switzerland which rejected membership and figured going alone fitted… Read more »
Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Very interesting piece, thanks for publishing it.

However, while “buffer states” might be what Russia wants, I’m not so sure they are viable today. Didn’t we just witness the beginning of a revolution in Ukraine, a country the economy thereof is in a horrendous state… largely because it has been a “buffer state” for 25 years?

I do not think we can separate the economical and political systems. “Liberal democracy” and “free and fair markets” are mutually inclusive.

Giacomo
Guest
Thank you for posting this interesting article ! I find it very useful as it deals with a “vision” that EU unfortunately does not have anymore… I mean the great democratization process that took place well before 1989 since the ideals of instilling democracy came from the political thought of Western powers (EU community and USA as well as President Carter and the Helsinky conference and from that moment on ….). In my opinion nowadays, and I speak from inside EU as being an Italian graduating student at University (my thesis deals with “HU, magyar identity and EU”!), EU has to recover those great ideals that drove the process of democratization throughout eastern countries the “periphery of Europe” if it wants to confront with the so called “Eurasian Union”…the geopolitical approach doesn’t work for EU especially if european bureaucrats are thinking of confronting with Putin and its Eurasian strategy by means of Eu funds (structural and cohesion funds)! What EU needs is giving up of thinking about Eu market (the consistance of “cohesion” is sometimes even ridiculous since the EU Commission most of its time is making directives and recommendations on the size’s of Italian cucumbers ! ) …..it just… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

Government ads/commercials in 2008 vs in 2012

on public areas 10% —-> 25% [Simicska]
on television 45% —-> 28%

in 10^6 forints

Newspapers
—————-
dailies

Metropol [free daily] 636 —-> 1914
Nepszabadsag 631 —-> 92
M. Nemzet 368 —-> 874
Blikk 256 —-> 107
Nepszava 255 —> cca 0
M Hirlap cca 0 —-> 215

weeklies

HVG 182 —> 80
Nok Lapja 167 —-> 123
Szabad fold 161
Pesti Est 142
Heti Valasz 140 —-> 280
168 ora 109

Radio stations
——————-
Slager 1034 —-> 0
Danubius 908 —-> 0
ClassFM 0 —-> 1439
NeoFM 0 —-> 8 [unequal treatment resulted in NeoFM closing down in November 2012]

MusicFM 0 —-> 402
Kossuth [public] 339 —-> 217
Klubradio 218 —-> 2
Petofi [public] 158 —-> 69
Gazdasagi 144 —-> 1
Juventus 130 —-> 146

Television broadcasters
——————————
RTL Klub 4860 —-> 904
TV2 3206 —-> 2560
M1 [public] 2003 —-> 1064
NapTV on M1 566 —-> 0
Viasat3 448 —-> 136

Public areas
—————-
Publimont 0 —-> 2692+509
Euro AWK 0 —-> 594
These two Fidesz oligarch companies got 80% of the government ads in 2012.
Europlakat 775 —-> 0
Epemedia 477+230 —-> 173
Hungaroplakat 334 —-> 0
Mediacontact 267 —-> 278

http://mertek.eu/sites/default/files/reports/allami_reklamkoltes.pdf

Lapp
Guest

OT, for Hungarian-speakers about Orban’s wealth.
http://magyarnarancs.hu/belpol/tizmillios-mercik-suhannak-a-pusztaban-89059

tappanch
Guest

The local government of disctrict 12 banned the campaign ad of the 4K party, because it offended Viktor Orban.

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20140319_4K_Orbant_serti_a_majmos_kampanyfilm_leti

Member

tappanch :
The local government of disctrict 12 banned the campaign ad of the 4K party, because it offended Viktor Orban.
http://hvg.hu/itthon/20140319_4K_Orbant_serti_a_majmos_kampanyfilm_leti

Now that is an interesting argument, but more so from copyright perspective.
Orban has his intellectual property rights to his voice mannerism of his voice. It is not what he said cannot be used but his voice cannot be used in a different media setting than it was intended to! THis is a big difference.
Example, you cannot make a commercial about an item and hire a “cheap” actor who can mimic George Cloney’s voice and mannerisms and try to sell the product that way.

Member

Some1 :

tappanch :
The local government of disctrict 12 banned the campaign ad of the 4K party, because it offended Viktor Orban.
http://hvg.hu/itthon/20140319_4K_Orbant_serti_a_majmos_kampanyfilm_leti

Now that is an interesting argument, but more so from copyright perspective.
Orban has his intellectual property rights to his voice mannerism of his voice. It is not what he said cannot be used but his voice cannot be used in a different media setting than it was intended to! THis is a big difference.
Example, you cannot make a commercial about an item and hire a “cheap” actor who can mimic George Cloney’s voice and mannerisms and try to sell the product that way.

Actually, as a matter of copyright law, I believe this is quite incorrect. It is permissible (despite Orban’s absurd photo law) to take photographs, videos and audiotapes of public figures. (Alas the paparazzi are abusing that right all the time!)

So, no, Orban does not have “intellectual property rights to his voice mannerism [or] his voice.”

He does, however, have the power and crony support to demand whatever he wants — until and unless the Hungarian electorate (or the Geneva judiciary) — deprive him of that power.

Is Putin a Genius?
Guest
Eva, can you translate this short text? Putyin zseniális sakklépése: Oroszország egy zseniális ökonómiai sakklépést tett. Mindenkit a kisujja köré csavart. Néhány nap alatt több mint 20 milliárd dollárt keresett. Ehhez a saját monopóliumának a részvények közel 30%-át visszavette. Putyin az Európai Uniót, és Amerikát is hülyére vette. És milyen szép, az egész világ szeme előtt, úgy tett mintha minden tervszerű lett volna. Korábban a részvények egy része, külföldi befektetők energiatársaságaié voltak, ez azt jelenti, hogy a bevételek majdnem fele,az olaj és gáz iparból nem Oroszország kincstárába került, hanem Európa finánccápáinak a számláira. A krími helyzettel összefüggésben, a rubel elkezdett erősen esni, de a központi bank nem tett semmit annak érdekében hogy a rubelt támogassa. Felmerültek olyan pletykák is, hogy Oroszországnak nincsen semmilyen megtakarítása arra hogy a rubel irányát fent tartsa. Ezek a pletykák, és Putyin magyarázatai, hogy kész arra hogy Ukrajna orosz nyelvű lakosságát védeni kész, ezek vezettek Oroszország energiatársaságai részvényeinek az áreséséhez, és ezek a finánc cápák elkezdték ezeket a részvényeket eladni , mielőtt, azok teljesen elveszítették volna az értéküket. Putyin egész héten várt, és a sajtókonferenciákon csak mosolygott, de amikor az árak és értékek lementek a pincébe azt az utasítást adta hogy ezeket a részvényeket gyorsan és… Read more »
Member
Stevan Harnad : Some1 : tappanch : The local government of disctrict 12 banned the campaign ad of the 4K party, because it offended Viktor Orban. http://hvg.hu/itthon/20140319_4K_Orbant_serti_a_majmos_kampanyfilm_leti Now that is an interesting argument, but more so from copyright perspective. Orban has his intellectual property rights to his voice mannerism of his voice. It is not what he said cannot be used but his voice cannot be used in a different media setting than it was intended to! THis is a big difference. Example, you cannot make a commercial about an item and hire a “cheap” actor who can mimic George Cloney’s voice and mannerisms and try to sell the product that way. Actually, as a matter of copyright law, I believe this is quite incorrect. It is permissible (despite Orban’s absurd photo law) to take photographs, videos and audiotapes of public figures. (Alas the paparazzi are abusing that right all the time!) So, no, Orban does not have “intellectual property rights to his voice mannerism [or] his voice.” He does, however, have the power and crony support to demand whatever he wants — until and unless the Hungarian electorate (or the Geneva judiciary) — deprive him of that power. I… Read more »
Guest

We watched the video and had to laugh …

On pol.hu a commentator rightfully complained that this was an insult to the chimpanzees which are quite intelligent and well behaved animals…

@Some1:

Leonhard Cohen is one of my favourite artists – I still remember that feeling when I heard “Bird on a wire” the first time in 1969!
Btw it marked the end of my long days as a rebellious student – I decided to take my diploma in mathematics and get a job …

Member
Some1 : by North American practices using the name or likeness of another is very regulated. Using Orban’s voice would not fall under “doctrine of fair use” as it used for commercial purposes (even if it could be considered to be a Public Service Announcement, as this is incidental advertising.) The same material could of been used without permission if it i considered as a parody.(Saturday Night Live for example.) Political campaign critique and caricature are certainly not commercial use. (And I was referring to a 1st party recording and remixing of Orban’s voice, not the use or mashup of recordings made and copyrighted by a prior party, kike Disney. (I have been instrumental on obtaining rights to use photographs from the National Archives (of both Canada and the USA as sometimes they do need permission). I obtained rights of photographs and footage taken longer then fifty years ago but currently living person. I have been responsible for the release of music by the Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Leonard Cohen, and by many other musicians for animation, commercial, and documentary purposes.) I worked with WB, Sony, and many other producers. I think those 3rd party (and commercial) uses are very… Read more »
Member
Apologies, bad html for quotes: re-posting: Some1 : “by North American practices using the name or likeness of another is very regulated. Using Orban’s voice would not fall under “doctrine of fair use” as it used for commercial purposes (even if it could be considered to be a Public Service Announcement, as this is incidental advertising.) The same material could of been used without permission if it i considered as a parody.(Saturday Night Live for example.)” Political campaign critique and caricature are certainly not commercial use. (And I was referring to a 1st party recording and remixing of Orban’s voice, not the use or mashup of recordings made and copyrighted by a prior party, like Disney. ”>i>(I have been instrumental on obtaining rights to use photographs from the National Archives (of both Canada and the USA as sometimes they do need permission). I obtained rights of photographs and footage taken longer then fifty years ago but currently living person. I have been responsible for the release of music by the Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Leonard Cohen, and by many other musicians for animation, commercial, and documentary purposes.) I worked with WB, Sony, and many other producers.” I think those 3rd… Read more »
Member

OT for most of you, but:

wolfi :
this was an insult to the chimpanzees which are quite intelligent and well behaved animals…

I know you meant this as a joke, but I think it is quite literally true.

I am not a prude, nor humorless, nor a political correctionist.

But while we keep treating innocent, helpless animals in the horrifically cruel way that we do, everywhere, without so much as a second thought about what we are really doing, it is adding callous insult to grievous injury to say “he’s a pig” or an “ape” — or “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

Not that the cat or pig or monkey is further hurt by the derisive talk — they are already at maximal maltreatment and suffering, and they don’t understand language.

But this kind of contempt masks our own monstrosity, and reinforces it.

(Apologies for this OT, but please imagine what you would do if the butt of the joke were those we were in the habit of enslaving, torturing, and slaughtering…)

petofi
Guest

@Eva

I’d be extremely interested in a comparison of how the Hungarian legal system handled the cases of Csatary Laszlo and Biszku Bela.

Istvan
Guest
Regarding “Putin’s brilliant chess moves” article posted in Hungarian. If the value of Russian oil and gas stocks continue to tank as the article indicated it will not be good for Russia. But does Putin become more compliant or reasonable in such a situation? I would argue he becomes even more dangerous, because various adventures serve the purpose of taking people’s minds off of economic reality. I know many readers of Eva’s blog are anything but pro-military but the problem is if you wage economic war on Putin even in relatively minor ways there could be military consequences for NATO members including Hungary. NATO can’t continue to reiterate to the public that military intervention in relation to Russian moves in the Ukraine are off the table if economic moves against Russia are being made and are having negative effects. In order to raise the stakes the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) between Russia and the US needs to be totally put on hold with none of the planned further reductions by the US taking place. All verification plans should also be frozen. The US should immediately stop using Russian air space for resupply of troops in Afghanistan, not a… Read more »
Member

@Steven Harnad: I believe that it is a commercial. A funny and satirical commercial but regardless it is a commercial for 4K.

Even if Orban’s speech is public domain (as it was released publicly) as far as copyright goes you could use it. You can distribute copies, stream it, print it, etc. BUT if you want to use it in advertisement, Orban’s voice is as distinct as his look, so you are infringing on his rights by using his voice for non-monetary gains.

Even if you would hire an impersonator you would be wrong. I copied this because it recaptures very much what I think:
“A voice, or other distinctive uncopyrightable features, is deemed as part of someones identity who is famous for that feature and is thus controllable against unauthorized use. Impersonation of a voice, or similarly distinctive feature, must be granted permission by the original artist for a public impersonation, even for copyrighted materials.”

Member
Some1 : @Steven Harnad: I believe that it is a commercial. A funny and satirical commercial but regardless it is a commercial for 4K. Even if Orban’s speech is public domain (as it was released publicly) as far as copyright goes you could use it. You can distribute copies, stream it, print it, etc. BUT if you want to use it in advertisement, Orban’s voice is as distinct as his look, so you are infringing on his rights by using his voice for non-monetary gains. Even if you would hire an impersonator you would be wrong. I copied this because it recaptures very much what I think: “A voice, or other distinctive uncopyrightable features, is deemed as part of someones identity who is famous for that feature and is thus controllable against unauthorized use. Impersonation of a voice, or similarly distinctive feature, must be granted permission by the original artist for a public impersonation, even for copyrighted materials.” No contest on commercial use. My misunderstanding. I had no idea who or what 4K might be! I assumed that it was either some political satire or one of the many extra little parties on that long bogus list padded to confuse… Read more »
Member

Stevan Harnad :
No contest on commercial use. My misunderstanding.
I had no idea who or what 4K might be!
I assumed that it was either some political satire or one of the many extra little parties on that long bogus list padded to confuse the Hungarian voters.
If 4K is a company trying to make money out of others’ voice, image, or copyright content, you are 100% right.

LOL 4K is around for 6 or 7 years. It is an “alternative” party for Generation Y. I know what you saying as so many “parties” just popped up suddenly. (THe ad also has Gyurcsany’s voice by the way.) Although it is a critic and a spoof, at the end there is the name of the representative 4K wants people to vote for, and it contains their logo. It is a very smart ad, and I like it a lot for that matter. (It makes me wonder, if it would not be election time, could the same video used as a “social commentary”. That would be legal….)

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