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French high court squashes fair use right

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Mar 2006 7:33 User comments (43)

French high court squashes fair use right In a very anti-consumer decision, France's highest court ruled that consumers do not have a right to make backup copies of their DVD discs, even if they don't make them with intent to distribute them. The decision over-ruled an earlier decision by a lower court that banned the use of DRM mechanisms on some DVDs because they limited consumers' fair use rights. The decision was made by the Cour de Cassation in Paris. It all started when a consumer could not make a backup copy of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.
The UFC Que Choisir consumer association argued that Vivendi's Studio Canal film-production unit had no right to include mechanisms on the disc that could stop consumers from making a backup to protect their investment. "This means that if one pays 20 euros for a DVD, one is just buying the right to use that one DVD," Ahmed Baladi, a Paris-based lawyer at Allen & Overy, said in an interview today. "This ruling will have an influence on neighboring sets of laws, including those regulating the music industry."

The right to make personal copies can be restricted by copyright holders when duplication "could cause an unjustified damage to the legitimate interests of authors," today's judgment said.


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43 user comments

12.3.2006 9:26

Only because the French don't like the yanks, you would swear the MPAA were involved in this......or did they listen to the guy (can't remeber his name) who said if you want a backup of your DVD, go buy another DVD?

22.3.2006 12:16

"or did they listen to the guy (can't remeber his name) who said if you want a backup of your DVD, go buy another DVD? " That was Jack Valenti. He also argued that the cost and value of the DVD was NOT in the physical dvd but in the rights of the consumer to ruse it. These are incompatable arguments. It is simple. The vaule is NOT in the DVD media. I don't mind paying the $20 for anew release and know that this includes paying the orignal author, the screen writer, the director, actors, crew, post production editing, marketing company, advertising time, and return on investment and compensation for risk of the producers and investors plus a profit (indeed whatever profit the market may bear). But of that $20 about $0.07 is the disk. If I want to make a second disk for back up, or simply wish to watch it on my mobile device which has no dvd reader, it is bogus to say I should pay the rights again. The movie industry uses examples of the the scenery crew, stunt actors, blue collar workers as examples of peopel who lose money through piracy. Hey, fair enough. BUT I paid them omce already. What the anti-backup claim is analogous too is a home seller saying I can't insure my home and I have to buy a new one from them if it is damaged!

32.3.2006 13:46

S2K pretty good argument. The French high court has the stench of lobbying efforts by unnamed figures or organizations. They have denied fair use rights, and have advocated doubling the cost of the dvd in an indirect manner. You have to buy the same dvd twice? Oh! Yuck Fou, the only reason why they would curb the fair use rights law is to promote more sales of the same product from individual buying customers. The industry could add another dvd at almost no expense, but instead they choose an alternative and clearly dishonest strategy to amass more revenue. Its a marketing scheme, they should be ashamed of themselves. Cheap swindlers.

42.3.2006 14:56

Bad french BAD BAD BAD!!! so much for you guys beign the last bastion of user rights 0-o *L* hot_ice to bad we dont know all the lobbying that goes on here 0-o

52.3.2006 15:01

wait wait wait wait ""The right to make personal copies can be restricted by copyright holders when duplication "could cause an unjustified damage to the legitimate interests of authors," today's judgment said. "" this means I can't make a backup becuse they want me to buy a full new copy as the "backup" ....I feel it comming...soon...very soon you can be throwen in jail for makeing a backup of your wedding video 0-o

62.3.2006 16:45

Let's see now, there is another twist to this. How about taxes on the finished product? The ones you would have to pay to replace your DVD. Not to mention just the disc itself, but for everyone who stands to profit from the sales. TC

72.3.2006 17:39

so this is more for the goverment to make money off of....thats the most ridilous way of doing it 0-o I hope there are simaulr laws that have been removed ocne everyone figured out its nothign but a tax scam...

82.3.2006 18:38

So I cannot make a copy of a DVD I legitimately purchased and intend on keeping? What it if gets scratched & becomes unuseable....I must buy a *second copy*? Ridiculous! These DVDs are so easily damaged (easier than VHS) and I doubt any will last dozens of years. The whole arguement that the MPAA/RIAA uses is that "if you take good care of the disc, it will last much longer than analog". You know what I say to that? BULLSH*T !! I have an idea for the MPAA/RIAA. Simply not buy your products anymore; I will borrow from friends or rent them. I will *never* buy your DVDs or CDs. Period. And since you must punish me for making an analog copy of music off the radio (the next wave of lawsuits once copying is ruled illegal worldwide), I will stop listening to the radio & listen to Internet radio. Your advertisers will see market share for radio drop & radio stations will become a dinosaur. You will find it much more difficult to track how successful a song is. (We can block cookies and spyware from Internet radio stations). Your marketing efforts will be misplaced & you will spend $$$ promoting concerts/artists that no one listens to. Time to find independent artists who are not liked to the MEGA CORPORATIONS & not watch their movies. Is that painful? Yes. But when market share evaporates & they see revenues drop, they will be begging customers to come back. I look forward to seeing their failure.

92.3.2006 19:50

Amen xhardc0re, i don't think i could have said it better if i thought about it for a week

102.3.2006 19:59

xhardc0re *gives a standing ovation* Even if I thought about it for a year my mind would not have said it any better!

113.3.2006 3:18

When is a copy a copy? Can I rip a DVD to play on my PSP, is that allowed? Can I rip a DVD to my computer's hard drive to watch on the monitor? Is the computers hard drive that different from a duplicate disc. And how about if I rip a copy to my computer and give the DVD to a friend as a gift. Have I broken the french law. The existing law was more than adequate. You make more copies with a view to distribute then thats illegal. Fine. This law is just rubbish. Get a grip France.

123.3.2006 4:02

"And how about if I rip a copy to my computer and give the DVD to a friend as a gift. Have I broken the french law. " I would say that one is wrong. But what is going on is all the legitmate uses are being thrown in with illegitimate uses (keeping a copy or original while giving a way a copy or original). I think everyone who has spent any time thinking about the the issue knows there are potential ethical and unethical practices. Backing up dvd's you purchased or converting them to play in a non DVD device is ethical. The attempt to make you pay twice is UNETHICAL. But the French court, is parroting the MPAA in lumping in CLEARLY ethical practices with piracy/theft.

133.3.2006 4:37

connolly From what I understand a copy is any copy of the DVD's media,thus I am sure they ahve diffrent fines acording to what they are or they just fine you a lump sum or toss your ass in jail..but I get this feelign this bill has no teeth its jsut to get money of the MPAA that will take more money from US..... S2K fiar use is alowly dieing look at most of the DRM shcemes if you lose that file you might have to rebuy it. thier throwing the baby out with the bath water,they should focue on enforceing laws around fair use and the selling of copys not make fiar use illaige

143.3.2006 4:40

Anyone have a link to a english copy of this bill I would love to skim thru it and see if it ahd any teeth,it could be they might have forgot the cosumers in this and just tired of hearing all of the MPAA cases and desideing to tax them *L* if it dosent have any teeth then thats what it ammount to no?

153.3.2006 8:01

So who cares what they ruled. How many people have been cited for making a backup copy of their personal property. I'd say that there is probably no teenager in the world with computer access who has not copied one of his own discs. Needless to say probably 90% of those, copied friends cds. All the judges' kids have done it. What are they gonna do arrest or subpeona all these "lawbreakers"? The courts are so backed up now the right to a speedy trial is a thing of the past. My generation has copied AM music to cheap tape recorders then FM and Vinyls to better tape recorders, 8 track, cassettes now cd and dvds. There's always a new incarnation of media and there will always be copying. Just a fact of life. I've owned all the toys to do this over the years.They never realy stared doing anything until Napster hit. It gave everyone millions of "friends" from whom to borrow! Party over!

163.3.2006 10:12

Since I fluently speak French, let me post a reply in that language in honor of this thread hehehe Il me semble que le jugement fait en France n'affectera personne sur une echelle internationale vu que la plupart de leur nouvelle lois rediges recemment coupe a la liberte fondamentale des citoyens. Pourtant, cette loi vise a amasser un surplus de taxes pour le gouvernement et peut etre vu comme un benefice pour les citoyens de France. Quel est mon opinion personelle attribue a ce sujet, c'est simple, le juge est un enfouire qui c'est probablement fait paye en dessous de la table par ces organizations qui essayent de promouvoir leur interets dans la France.

173.3.2006 10:28

Zippy, DRM is different. As I have said I don't think all DRM schemes are bad. If it is explicitly for rental it might not be bad. for example here is my situation today when it comes to DVD's. I can buy or rent. If I rent a netflix movie: 1) I have to wait two days to two weeks (many are reporting Netflix is not buying many new releases becuase of the $0.65/per rental preium they pay the owner for the first month 2) I pay about $1.20 to $2.00 per film depending on my netlfix usage 3) over 2/3 of that money does not go to the rights hodler but to the post office and netflix. If I had the opportunity to download for viewing even with a strong DRM I would be happy if the studio made twice as much as they make when I rent a netflix. I would get a 5 gig movie within 5 hours. I would happily pay the a premium to my broadband priovider of $0.10 or so. The studios would make more, I would get a much bigger selection (indeed we could all watch new relaeses at the same time), faster than I get it now from netflix. So I don't have a problem with DRM in that rental scenario. I think it is win - win. But purchase is a different thing. Forcing a rebuy of a purchased DVD is absurd. They have already been paid. To argue the value is vested in the physical media -- means they are actually arguing the film is worht 007 and not $20! Ie when valenti made his statement he was paroting the argument of the most extreme anti-copyright people here who say the rights holders lose nothing from copies being distributed!

183.3.2006 11:11

Lets face it, Valenti is on the payroll, you can't expect him to say, oh! it prevents people of fair use rights... Anything he says is subjective, so mother truck him.

193.3.2006 11:15

S2K I am not saying ALL are bad merely the ones that go overboard on protecting the data you bought amkeing it where you have to buy said data again. I would think the 5BG data would be DVD format only you would not have many options to burn it or put it on other thigns altho I think downlaod it only burn to DVD then rip it to place onto whatever your media of choice is (mini video palyer,PSP,Laptop,ect,ect) but then you can do this to DRM'd CDs no? so I guess its not to bad I would rather have a fiel format I could put onto DVD or soemthign smaller where I could fit 2 moives onto 1 DVD.

203.3.2006 11:17

DRM'd CDs meaning DRM Music

213.3.2006 12:33

Zippy, I am thinking more like rental via broadband set- top boxes. In that case for rentals I think ultra strong DRM would be welcomed by a lot of consumers including myself. I think $2 for 48 hours would be fair even if it meant I had to watrch it on the tv connected to teh set top box. It is way better all around than Netflix. Owned films are different. If I have paid $20 (or $8 if the title is clearence) I have paid everyone inviolved to watch it as much as I want. If I bust a disk with software (and I have been buying software since it was on 5.25's), every vendor I have ever dealt with will send me a new one for shipping costs. Valenti statement that the MPAA position is that I have to pay full retail means the expectation that customers are going to do nothing but laugh at ALL the MPAA's use assertions generally.

223.3.2006 15:23

So, whooptie frikken doo...its illegal to make backup copies. Who cares? It is also technicly illegal to go 1mph over the speed limit, but people do it anyway. Its not like everyones going to know if youre making copies of a dvd if you keep your mouth shut.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Mar 2006 @ 15:24

233.3.2006 15:48

S2K OUCH I hate tivo I also compltly loath Anythign that forces you to buy and pay for a reciver for each TV....I would have killed for SAT TV if they made a simple SAT to CABLE channle converter that let me hook it up to all my calbe ready TVs I dotn care about digi quilty hell even the current HD is not ture HD and the ture HD has copy protections up the yingyang...I am rambleing.. At the most I am willing to download a file and have it verfiy my account or soemthign akin to Napster/Yahoo or even HD streaming feeds woud be better than a cable box hooked up to the net..but it kinda sounds right even tho I dotn like it *L* esrever So you are saying we cant talk about it anymore? Uurrr oppressing mmeee mmaannnn!!!! *smokes a joint and passes out nawing on stale pizza*

243.3.2006 16:30

Here is what hot_ice said, courtesy of Babelfish:

It seems to me that the judgement made in France will not assign anybody on an international scale considering the majority of their new laws rediges recently cut have the fundamental freedom of the citizens. However, this law aims has to pile up a surplus of taxes for the government and can be seen like a benefit for the citizens of France. Which is my personelle opinion allots on this subject, it is simple, the judge is a "enfouire" which it is probably made pay below the table by these organizations which try to promote their interests in France.

253.3.2006 20:19

Who Cares? I live in the united states where the movie studios are located in california and copying dvds is illegal under the DMCA and i have every decryption tool that is free or for profit that i have ever downloaded off the internet and i do want i want to do any ole' way......... While most of you terribly misquided people were wasting your time writing a bunch of useless posts such as these i spent my time downloading free decryption tools like DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink and dvd fab decyrpter and saved these programs to cds and dvds before they were banned on this website. I have stacks and stacks of these programs on cds and dvds............. YOU PEOPLE CAN CRY ALL YOU WANT AND I SUGGEST YOU START ARCHIVING EVERY DVD DECRYPTION TOOL THAT IS AVAILIBLE ON THE INTERNET BEFORE THESE PROGRAMS DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY.

263.3.2006 20:25

xhardc0re after the shock of it that whats I am begaining to belive,is more a tax on the MPAA sicne they never shut up up about these thigns. chesty *pats you on your head* well arent you specail! *LOL* Altho tis true most of my posts are useless this a comment thread and guse what WE ARE COMMENTING ON THE NEWS shheessshhhhhh

273.3.2006 20:49

Luckily US laws don't apply to all countries of the world. The software will always be available. And chesty what makes you think we didn't save the shrinks and decrypters to discs originally. What are you doing playing catchup?

284.3.2006 10:38

@xhardcore That is probably the worst french translation I have ever seen! LOLLOLLL If you went on an online translating tool, its translation to English wasn't even precise in most cases. I noticed that you still don't know what enfouirer means lloollol

294.3.2006 13:12

French High Court ... I expecturate in your general direction.....

304.3.2006 14:42

What I want to know dose this law have teeth or did the merely pass it to tax DVDs and hurt the coperations sure the taxing will annoying cousmers but it could be pasted a law with no teeth to just shut up the coperations for a bit.

315.3.2006 5:59

I hope that they never get to shut down Slysoft AnyDVD, it's always updated and current from newer protection schemes.

325.3.2006 17:08

Boh, what shuts down restarts, hence the cycle continues.

336.3.2006 0:50

I had to laugh, this is just what the America Courts Said, it's tough if you bought a DVD and it scratched, tough by a new one, but buy then the price woould have gone down. That is not the point, if you own the DVD and it's for personnel use, then if you are prepared to spend time a nd effort, you should make a copy. But, the Money people behind films are losing out, so they have more clout, i am afraid. But, what happend when HD DVD come out, they will be difficult to copy, so then what. Will Toshiba, sell writters and Disc to copy HD, of course they will.....

346.3.2006 8:09

Oh, everything that spawns out of French courts doesn't really make any sense.

356.3.2006 8:50

Unless you distrubute the copies or are just completely obvious and wave your backups around in public, how are they ever going to know if you made a backup for personal use. It's an idiotic law that I can't believe has any teeth at all. It's probably just a stunt to get the MPAA and company off their case. The only way you could get caught is if you sold the backups, and the only ones who do that are fools who deserve to get caught for bringing this on all of us.

366.3.2006 12:23

I think it's fairly obvious at this point, if you are in France, or decide to live in France, that you must boycott their DVD's.

377.3.2006 6:17

Hey, it's not "who cares? you can't get caught anyway" ! If the law makes normal consumers criminals, then the law sucks and does not serve a proper purpose and should thus get removed. If we keep saying "you can't get caught anyway" and then you DO get caught, it's not so "who cares?" anymore!

387.3.2006 11:09

The law is written by the elite for the elite, it never favors the little people in society. Personally, there should be mass protest to remove that crappy law.

397.3.2006 11:19

Hot_ice its as simple as that.and to think they would not be elite wihtout money and guess where the money comes from? 0_o

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

Check out my crappy creations

409.3.2006 16:27

I agree that the law should be removed, because the reason it exists is to push the MPAA's point. The their point being that no one should be able to copy, sell, or even watch their movies without paying them for the privilege. But I don't think the law has any actual power. It can't be enforced so it won't be enforced.

419.3.2006 18:30

Its all about perception. 1 court ruling in favor of the MPAA will scare a good number of people from downloading movies and such from the internet. Let throw a number out there. 20,000,000 people download movies. They sue 100 people and win. The local news talks about 100 people being fined. Lets say 5% of the 20M stop downloading. That's 400K that will revert to old spending habits. My numbers are all made up, but the truth of the matter is, they don't want to catch everyone. They know they can't and never will stop it. But they also know its a numbers game. If they can make enough noise to bring part of their profit margins back. I belive the way we use media today is going away. I believe it 10 yrs, going to a video store is going to be a thing of the past. The industry is having a hard time couping with change. Especially since it is effecting their wallets. The sad thing is, once laws are on the books, its very tough to have them removed. The actions of the MPAA will hinder the future of content delivery. So there will always be pirates.

429.3.2006 19:25

Digital Rights Management(DRM) is here to stay, unfortunately. The MPAA with its' DeCss encryption placed on DVDs for sale is only a subset of the DRM. Microsoft is working on placing DRM in it's upcoming VISTA operating system. Intel is working on hardware methods of incorporatimg DRM into its CPUs. (Remember the old Intel Pentium III, with its 'enabled' serial number I.D. for every CPU chip? Only with people raising hell did Intel offer a software solution to turning off the I.D.) Hardware implemented DRM will REALLY put a damper on duplicating purchased software, DVDs, & CDs. in the future. Since the U.S., where I'm from, passed the DMCA, other Countries have followed suit. THEREFORE, there will be no outcry from any of these countries when hardware DRM fixes begin showing up on new television sets, motherboards, cpu's, CD and DVD burners, etc. Here in the U.S. our Congress tried to implement a system whereby new high-definition digital television transmissions would carry a digital 'fingerprint' which would tell the televisions and digital video recorders NOT to allow the copying of specific broadcast signals if the digital 'fingerprint' basically said no. These 'fingerprints' would accompany ALL televised activity. The proposed legislation did not pass. I have no doubt that with the RIAA and MPAA spending millions of dollars lobbying Congressmen in Washington, DC. and contributing to their future (Congressional politions)re-election campaign drives that we are ALL going to be screwed in the States. This is also being done in many of the EU countries.

4310.3.2006 2:16

"Which is my personelle opinion allots on this subject, it is simple, the judge is a "enfouire" which it is probably made pay below the table by these organizations which try to promote their interests in France." I don't know what "enfouire" means, but I think your point is that the judge is probably on the payroll too. I agree. It's that way just about everywhere. chesty, what's your problem? We're all on the same side here. So don't be screechin and preachin. Go an have another beer. So they're always going to be making laws to screw consumers out of our bread. If you want some little, tiny bit of justice, you're forced to break a law once in a while. That's life. It's probably always been like that. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The conglomerations & corporations, and the rest of those bastards and their pocket-sized politicians & judges & lawyers can screw themselves. No matter what kind of copyright consumer-cheating protection they come up with, I'll trust that the smart boys & girls out there will come up with a way to beat it. If I buy it once, it's mine. If I can't copy, I don't buy.

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