Free exchange instead of jail in france?

New copyright in France brings surprises. Instead of prison terms for music exchange, this should now be legalized

For a long time France had time left for the implementation of the 2001 EU Copyright Directive. But now the government wanted to peel a law in the express procedure this year, which even banned the use of free software for playing multimedia files, if these can also read copying DVDs. Up to three years imprisonment and fines up to 300.000 Euro threatened. But it came differently: Parliament decided to legalize the exchange for private use over a "cultural flatrate".

The Minister of Culture of the Conservative French Government Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres had to plug a heavy pale at night to Thursday. For this, the 22 deputies of his ruling UMP were responsible. Because they agreed with eight members of the opposition to treat the download from P2P networks like a private copy, which remained punishable. So far, no court in France had seen a criminal offense in the download of movies or music from the Internet.

At around 9 o’clock, when the discussion began the law, only a few of the 577 deputies were present. The brought two amendment to the legislative design for the copyright novel (DADVSI) then in the vote the scarce majority of 30:28 in the National Assembly.

Because an unauthorized file exchange is not to prevent the Internet, he has to be legalized, so that the artists concerned were received, argued the UMP and Burger masters of Beaigne, Alain Sugenot. He had already introduced an application in July to legalize the file sharing.

Sugenot had also used for the "License Global", as a species "cultural flatrate" is called, which has also been discussed in Germany for a long time. The newspaper Liberation talks about a € 4 — 7 euros, which is required for free access to culture. The money should therefore be distributed to the authors over the recycling company SACEM.

As the music and film industry, the SACEM had previously been pronounced against the flatrate because the falling revenues could not be compensated. In contrast, an alliance of consumer associations, artist unions and various associations against the laws had been ruled. About the manifest: "Free the music" had formed a wide rejection front against the repressive maws at the beginning of the year ("Free the music"To).

Still is unclear how the changes affect the actual law, because they are diametrically opposed to the original spirit of the draft. If the exchange of files for private use is allowed, the copying protection can hardly be punished draconiously. Similar, as it is already in Spain (jail for private copies of CDs and DVDs?), the French draft provides for the use of programs for cracking copy protection with up to three years of prison and up to 300.000 Euro penalty. The use of free software for playing multimedia files such as VLC should also be prohibited. These allow, for example, accessing DVDs with DECSS shuttering.

Even the "direct or indirect" spread of knowledge about how used files can be read, should be criminalized. This goes far beyond the EU Directive, criticized the Info Center because it "Tenurs for censorship "were inflated. More than 130.000 signatures had collected the center against the law because it also saw the free community of authors of free software, security experts, academics and journalists in danger.

EMPORT had also shown Internet users on a recent submission proposal intended for general control of the Internet. He sees the ban on software that disseminates copying material. Accordingly, the software manufacturers had to provide their products with digital rights management (DRM) and could be held liable if their software is used "illegal".

Overall, many hope for how the Free Software Foundation France (FSFF) that the new situation brings the government to return the express procedure. So that a serious debate about the law is possible and the opponents received a chance to contradict. The now submitted changes could still be rejected in the Senate or come again to the vote. However, the opponents have achieved a stage victory, the discussion is spotted.

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