French collective society sues P2P producers

By EDRi · June 20, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Under the cover of the DADVSI law with the so-called Vivendi amendment
(initiated by Vivendi Universal) the French association SPPF (Société civile
des producteurs de phonogramme en France – The French collective society for
phonogram producers representing the independent labels) started a legal
action against P2P software producers.

The Vivendi amendment, strongly debated in the Parliament, but supported by
Nicolas Sarkozy and barely passed by the Joint Committee of the National
Assembly and the Senate, considers as criminal the creation and distribution
of all software obviously intended to provide to public some unauthorised
copyrighted works. The non-compliance is punished by three years of prison
and a 300 000 Euro fine. From a civil law point of view, the amendment
obliges the creators of the P2P software to implement prevention measures in
order to prohibit downloading alleged illegal content.

The amendment gave SPPF the opportunity to file ridiculous actions against
two P2P software producers Morpheus and Azureus with a third, Shareaza,
being next in line to be sued.

SPPF initiated the suit as a civil action, considering the criminal actions
would have been too complicated to organize. Also the civil actions give the
possibility to ask for consistent damages as stated Jérôme Roger, SPPF
director. SPPF asks 16.6 millions Euros from Azureus and 3.7 millions Euros
from Morpheus. The figures are based on a poll carried out by AdVestigo
company, of downloads in the P2P networks over a period of 10 months on a
sample of 4750 titles. Then the results were enlarged for their entire
catalogue of 475 000 titles and the total was multiplied with 2 Euros (1
Euro as the price for a sale and 1 Euro as damages).

France : SPFF attacks Morpheus, Azureus and Shareaza (only in French,

P2P : Details on the legal actions of SPPF (only in French, 12.06.2007)

EDRI-gram : Update on French EUCD Transposition (29.03.2006)