Private copy explained by Court of Appeal in Paris

By EDRi · April 12, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A new decision of the Paris Court of Appeal in the case Mulholland Drive
considers that there is no right to the private copy that can forbid the
presence of the DRMs, but the private copy can be a good argument for
defence in cases of counterfeiting.

The case was brought up in 2003 by a consumer joined by the Association
UFC-Que Choisir that made a complaint against the producers of the movie
Mulholland Drive because the legally acquired DVD was protected by DRMs that
did not permit the consumer to make a copy in order to see it on a VHS
cassette at his parents’ home. The DVD had no clear indication that it could
be used only with some specific devices.

After a four year legal battle, with ups and downs, the case was returned to
the Court of Appeal in Paris that decided on 4 April 2007 that the private
copy of a certain work is not a right but “a legal exception to the
principle of copying the entire work without the consent of the copyright
holder”. Therefore a private copy is not a right, but and exception and no
one can start a legal action based on an exception.

However, the Court of Appeal indicated that this exception can be used as a
reasonable defence in the case of alleged counterfeit, if the other legal
conditions are fulfilled.

The court considered that the lack of the information regarding the
impossibility to make a private copy is not an essential feature of such a
product, but reminded that the new law in force – DADVSI – would make
this information obligatory for any product with DRMs.

The decision can be attacked, again, at the Cour de Cassation

There is no right to the private copy (only in French, 6.04.2007)

The court confirms the validity of the DVD’s anti copying mechanisms (only
in French, 5.04.2007),39040745,39368472,00.htm?xtor=EPR-100

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