Update on French EUCD Transposition
The DADVSI draft law (French EUCD Transposition) made its first step on 21
March, with 286 votes in favour and 193 votes against. In an unusually
crowded National Assembly, 501 out of the 577 Members of the Parliament took
part in the vote. All the votes in favour came from representatives of the
Conservative government party, which has the absolute majority. The NO votes
repartition is: 7 from the government’s party (14 abstentions), 162 from the
Socio-democrat, Communist and Green opposition (4 abstentions), and 24 from
the Liberal Democrat Centrists (4 abstentions).
The result is largely a victory for the cultural industry majors: the
‘global licence’ idea is over, copyright exceptions granted by law are few
and painless; while downsized, a penalty regime for unauthorized upload or
download of content protected under intellectual property legislation is
still in place for non commercial use; DRMs circumvention is assimilated to
counterfeit, unless for research purpose; an administrative authority has
been created to decide on the allowed number of private copies for cultural
goods, with no minimum granted by law; and, most importantly, the so-called
‘Vivendi Universal amendment’ has been adopted, criminalizing P2P software
edition and dissemination.
However, the draft law brings important progress on the interoperability
side: not only DRM vendors are required to open their technology to
competitors, but also commercial platforms are required to make their files
compatible with any player. This has soon led to strong criticism, with
Apple accusing France of “State-sponsored piracy” and Americans for
Technology Leadership (an industry coalition including members such as
Microsoft) claiming that such measures “strip away the intellectual property
rights of companies”. The issue seems serious to US Commerce Secretary
Carlos Gutierrez, who backed Apple protests.
The draft law will go to the Senate, where discussions are scheduled in
mid-May. Not only copyright, but also competition is clearly at stake now.
No doubt that French Senators already start facing strong lobbying.
EDRI-gram: What’s so special about French EUCD transposition? (15.03.2006)
Sign Of The (Digital) Times: France’s Struggle With A New Copyright Law
Draft law adopted by the National Assembly (in French, 21.03.2006)
A compilation of reactions on the French draft copyright law (since
(Contribution by Meryem Marzouki, EDRI-member IRIS)