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P2P under debate again in France

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 Mar 2006 16:15 User comments (12)

The French Government is once again attempting to crackdown on the sharing of copyrighted material online in a bid to overcome a rebellion by its own lawmakers, which aimed to instead introduce a "global license" that would legalise sharing. Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres defended a revised version of the copyright bill ahead of an evening debate at the National Assembly, France's lower house. However, penalties for Internet pirates have been lightened in the latest draft.
Under a Global License, French people could download as much copyrighted material online as they wished for a monthly fee of only a few euros, which would be passed on to rights holders. UFC-Que Choisir, France's largest consumer organization, on Tuesday urged deputies "not to go against the tide of digital history" by abandoning the legalization of file-sharing.

In the initial proposal, jail time and fines of up to 300,000 were proposed as penalties but now the fines have dropped to between 38 and 150. Jail time would be reserved for those who distribute software to circumvent copy protection. "Our objective is reconciliation," Donnedieu de Vabres told lawmakers. The new draft would "ensure that there is a maximum of music and film accessible on the Internet while respecting copyright, the rights of artists and creators who own their work," he added.

There are, of course, more new problems with the latest draft. It would shield DRM technology from challenges under French laws that grant consumers the right to make copies of music and film for private use. Instead a government-appointed panel would supervise DRM mechanisms to make sure they still allow limited private copying. Interestingly it would also force online music stores to sell downloads that can be played on all MP3 players etc. which is bad news for Apple.

A vote is not expected before March 14.


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12 user comments

17.3.2006 20:48

The online music stores having to sell downloads that can be played on all MP3 players is not just bad news for Apple. It is also bad news for ANY online music store selling DRM'ed music in any form, since some devices will not be able to play WMA-DRM music. Apple and Microsoft should be required to give their DRM schemes at no cost or low-cost to anyone who ask for it, so they can make support for it in their players. Really, there shouldn't be any jail time for people that make cracks or hacks for copy protection schemes, unless it can be proven that they were ALSO distributing the thing that they made the crack for illegally or made the crack for the only purpose of facilitating illegal distribution. There are some games that I have, that I cannot play without a No-CD crack, because the disk verification scheme that the game uses is WHACKED, meaning it won't work if I have certain applications even INSTALLED on my hard drive. They don't even take into consideration if the thing is active at the time I play it, just having on the drive is enough to make them not work! Blacklists for applications as a part of DRM schemes should be made illegal, and I hope that someone brings this up in the future, because it is beginning to be a bigger and bigger problem.

28.3.2006 7:07

Fines up to 300000 pounds...are they out of their minds? I've never heard of these same penalties being applied to murderers, rapists and etc. They are ridiculous, and I hope the recording industry goes bankrupt and someone who is fair replaces them.

39.3.2006 5:43

I don't see why the whole internet piracy thing is such a big deal. It's not like the artists are poor or anything. It's also a good way to get a small town band's name out to a lot of other people for free.

49.3.2006 8:29

2 steps forward and 2 steps back....WTF?!?!?! ggaaaaaa and I though our goverment liked to 2 step....*L* half the bill seems OK the other half seems want to treat you like a murderer 0_o

59.3.2006 9:53

This article does not make any sense, and does not describe the proposed french law very well. I guess you have to consider the source. This does not legalise sharing, it is a proposed tax on french media downloading services. It also proposes a lot of other things which will make it impossible to pass.

69.3.2006 10:02

max777 reminds me of the video games as porn or tax video games 100% bills that are poping around in the US.....

710.3.2006 0:19

Slowly the world's getting into the Matrix Mode where Big corporations control the world,legislation policies to suit itself..guess we need a new revolution to protect individual liberties and real democracy. Thye live of the Earth's wealth, resources, peoples money and suck society dry for the billions they earn from us and then talk aboout intellectual property and copyright ...Guess thay have not heard of the old wise and mystic teachings that we are all connected.... no man is an island... nothing is absolutely new...somewhere all society---the electricty guy, the telephone guy, the milkman, the farmer, the siberean or desert worker slogging in sub zero or boiling heat to pump out oil...thay all have a contribution in your discovery and invention.. no man is an from where this fanatic one sided idea of intellectual property...your teachers, schools, parents, friends,society is also responsible in building and supporting your excellence.... there can be no extreme fanatacicm in blindly fighting for copyright... a balanced middle path Yes...that supports the right to live and earn for all but a despotic law that makes criminals of everybody..the very society that supports and makes you rich...this is a onesided linear logic pushed by greedy and power, dollar hungry American Corporations. the world should stop buying and helping such people so that they realise they cannot survive alone with thier ideas ... We should get back to Eastern values where we shared knowledge and wisdom without charging for it and people who profited too much from it were not thought to be wise...And Thankfully there are people who understand this. In software there is a t big movement called Open Source where people contribute and donate thier time and effort to create software for free to give back to society that has given them so much... Mozilla FireFox, and tons of other software are proof that great work can be done for free and still make money from other sources... Amen

810.3.2006 7:37

j4k I liked Marvel comics 99(2099 or whatever their future version of their normal comics was) Large corporations owned 1 or more states it it was freaky and a sign of what is to come if the balance is not kept...

911.3.2006 10:28

I wish the corps would burn.

1011.3.2006 20:11

The corporations at the exponential rate they are going will replace governments.

1112.3.2006 5:25

I think j4k have good point of view up there.Corporations has far too much power in their hands at these days and they are getting much more powerful, whitch is quite scary thing in the long run.

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