New French copyright law gives Apple satisfaction

By EDRi · July 5, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The most controversial DADVSI Law, now colloquially known also as “iTunes
Law”, was finally adopted in the French Parliament with a compromise
allowing Apple to continue operating as before.

The law was adopted by the Parliament under emergency regime, which ended
with a mixed commission, normally made of 7 senators and 7 deputies, from
both the majority and the opposition. But the opposition left the
commission, after 55 more amendments were brought to it by the rapporteurs
at the very final step

The most controversial provision was that of interoperability. In a previous
draft, the law imposed measures to allow interoperability, obliging thus
Apple to give up its DRM system that made “iTunes” products strictly related
to i-Pods.

Apple reacted virulently, accusing of “state sponsored piracy” and
threatening to leave France altogether in case the law was passed as such.

The law as adopted now allows for the DRM and redefines the concept of
interoperability. The text provides for the protection of “the technical
measures meant to prevent or limit non-authorised use” and the fines for
breaking these systems have remained at the level of 3 750 euro. The
producers, distributors or promoters of technical solutions avoiding these
systems can get up to 6 months of imprisonment and 30 000 euro fines.

Interoperability is redefined in the sense that the text now reads: the
technical measures (meant to protect the works) must not result in impeding
interoperability, while observing copyright.

Still stating that all systems must interoperate, the new law allows,
however, for this requirement to be waived with the permission of the rights
holders. It actually means that Apple can continue to operation in the same
way as before with the permission of record labels and artists, only the
balance of power between Apple and the labels may shift more towards the

The idea of creating a group of mediators to deal with private copy
conflicts was changed to that of establishing a regulator of technical
measures as an independent authority.

The regulator will be responsible with seeing that the DRM systems do not
create additional limitations in the use of artistic works to those
explicitly expressed by the copyright holders. The law covers only software
and technical systems producers without saying anything about consumer
associations or the open source creators.

The socialist deputies have already announced their intention to contest the
text of the law at the Constitutional Court.

Dadvsi draft finaly adopted by the Parliament (in French only,

France dilutes plans for iTunes law (26.06.2006)

Zut France drops iTunes bombshell (30.06.2006)

Compromise on copyright (in French only, 23.06.2006),1-0@2-651865,36-787328@51-787425,0.html

EDRI-gram : French draft copyright law continues to be criticised