French IP commission promotes internet-surveillance
On 26 June a special copyright advisory board within the French Ministry of
Culture published a report supporting government plans to increase
surveillance of Internet users as part of a wider bid to stop the online
copying of protected works.
The Superior Council for Artistic and Literary Intellectual Property
(Conseil Supérieur de la Propriété Littéraire et Artistique, or CSPLA)
advises to create a 3 year period of mandatory retention of traffic data by
ISP’s to help track down online copyright violations and counterfeiting.
The legal regime for data retention is set by the law on daily safety (Loi
sur la Sécurité Quotidienne – LSQ) from 15 November 2001, even though the
application decrees have not been adopted yet. In an earlier response to
that law, the French privacy authority CNIL demanded a maximum period of 3
On top of that, in their advice on the implementation of the European
Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC, to be transposed in the law on the digital
economy) the CSPLA wants explicit legal permission to create databases with
the IP-numbers of internet users that share music, films or computer
programs. They call on parliament to ‘find a solution to allow collecting
societies and rightholders to create such files with the sole purpose of
protecting their rights.’
That call seems hardly necessary anymore. Even though the CNIL explicitly
rejected the creation of such a database in an advice from March 2001,
recently the CNIL changed its mind. According to an amendment on the new
privacy law drafted by CNIL vice-president and senator Alex Turk, companies
that are victims of copyright infringements have the right to collect
personal data when related to infringements, judgments and safety measures.
Finally, the commission recommends the future of Digital Rights Management
as a system that won’t just to be able to check whether files are
authorized for legal exchange online, but also able to identify and block
file exchanges in any server and router on its way.
The draft law on the digital economy, approved last February by the lower
house of Parliament and late June by the Senate, is expected to be passed
by the end of this year.
CSPLA report (26.06.2003, in French)
Article in e-zine Transfert (04.07.2003, in French)