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Wednesday, 8 March 2006

FRENCH ONLINE COPYRIGHT BILL: ROUND 2


Businessweek reports that the French Government is trying to push through an amended version of its online copyright bill again. DRMs would get stronger protection, but a panel would oversee the measures to ensure that certain private use exceptions would be maintained. Penalties for internet ‘piracy’ would range between 38 and 150 euros, rather than 300,000 euros as originally proposed. Online sellers of music and films would have to make them available in formats that can be played on all types of devices, rather than just on devices made by a single manufacturer, such as an iPod. However, one of the key amendments called for by the Bill’s opponents has been scrapped. The new draft does not contain provisions for a ‘global licence’, which would have enabled users to pay a small fee of a few euros that would have entitled them to unlimited internet downloads of copyright material.


The IPKat notes that this certainly gives weaker protection to copyright owners and the ‘owners’ of DRM-protected works that the original French proposal, but it still gives strong protection to them while evening out the balance by placing requirements on them that will be of benefit to users.

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