French Parliament is making the first step in legalising P2P

By EDRi · January 18, 2006

At the end of 2005 the French National Assembly took a surprising
decision by adopting unexpected amendments on the draft law that
transposes the directive on copyright in the information society. During a
night meeting on
December 21/22, with only 10% of its members present, the National Assembly
adopted (30 pro and 28 against votes) an amendment legalising the exchange
of music and video files on the Internet, as private copies.

The amendment meant to complete paragraph 2 of art. 122-5 of the
Intellectual property Code is as follows:

” The author cannot forbid the reproductions made on any medium from an
on-line communication service by a natural person for his personal use with
no direct or indirect commercial purposes, except for the copies of a
software other than a backup copy, provided the reproductions make the
object of a royalty as stated by article L. 311-4 .”

The amendment comes in total contradiction with the project proposed by the
Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, establishing fines up to
430 000 Euro and three years of imprisonment for natural persons condemned
for publishing copyrighted works.

The decision was saluted by the Association of Audionauts that suggests the
completion of the amendment text with a royalty tax collected from Internet
service providers. Those companies would likely raise the money by levying a
monthly fee ( they suggested 2 to 5 euros ) on customers who engage in a
certain amount of downloading and uploading.

Patrick Bloche, a Socialist representative from Paris who co-authored the
amendments, told the New York Times.” We are trying to bring the law up to
date with reality. It is wrong to describe the eight million French people
who have downloaded music from the Internet as delinquents.”

The draft must be approved also by the Senate in order to become a law
and it is clear that the pressure groups have not yet had their last word in
this. In case of disagreement between the two chambers of the Parliament a
mixed commission will be created to agree on the final text.

In an attempt to make a common ground for the adoption of the draft
copyright law, the Minister of Internal Affairs Nicolas Sarkozy, had a
common meeting on 16 January 2005 with the main actors from cinema, music
and Internet industries and representatives of consumers. The participants
agreed on 7 principles to be followed in the new legislative debates,
including ensuring the private usage of legal acquired works or allowing the
free sharing of the works for which theirs authors choose this option.

The latest news says that the debate will be resumed in the Senate in
February 2006.

France may sanction unfettered P2P downloads ( 22 12 2005)

The National Assembly wants to legalise the peer-to-peer downloading ( only
in French, 22 12 2005)

Draft law on the copyright and the related rights in the information
society, no. 1206 ( only in French )

DADVSI : Nicolas Sarkozy agrees on seven principles (only in French, 17 01