A CD should work on any device, says French court

By EDRi · February 2, 2006

Two French companies, Warner Music France and the FNAC, were condemned on 10
January by the Paris District Court to pay fines and damages of 5.000 and
59,50 euros respectively, to the consumer protection association UFC – Que
Choisir and to a consumer complaining for not having been able to read a
Phil Collins CD on a Macintosh computer. The CD had a copy proof system that
prevented the duplication but which also made it impossible to read the CD
on certain devices.

The Paris court estimated that the respective CD “was affected by a hidden
flaw which made it useless for the purpose it had been created”, that is “to
be read on all types of readers”. The court considered the two companies had
failed in meeting their obligation to provide information. As a result,
Warner Music is forbidden to use a copy-proof system; failing to comply will
cost the company 150 euros per day.

UFC-Que Choisir has expressed its satisfaction in a press release that the
court had again given priority to private copy exception over the
copy-prevention system – two previous similar cases occurred in 2005 judged
by Versailles and Paris courts.

According to the consumer protection association “a principle is established
by now: the technical protection measures must not be an obstacle to
creating a private copy on any means”.

FNAC declared that they would appeal the decision.

Warner Music and the FNAC condemned for a too protected CD (French only,
19.01 2006)

Private copy : no exception for computers ( French only, 19.01.2006)

EDRI-gram : French court forbids DVD copy protection ( 4.05.2005)