The IPKat is grateful to Florian Leverve of QMIPRI for tipping him off about this story. The International Herald Tribune reports that the French National Assembly sat late into last night discussing whether to legalise downloading for private use.

Oooh look - it's a French bill (left)

The Socialist Party attached amendments to the copyright bill that is currently going through the French Parliament that would allow unlimited downloads for private use by individuals once they have paid a one-off fee.

Members of the Socialist Party have said:

We are trying to bring the law up to date with reality..It is wrong to describe
the eight million French people who have downloaded music from the Internet as

We are only leading in a direction that is inevitable for the law everywhere…You
will see other European nations adopting such laws in the future because they
just make sense.
Some have condemned the amendments though, pointing out that the moves would severely limit the revenue that artists could obtain from P2P activities. The French film industry is expected to suffer particularly, since it relies on pay-per-view television stations for much of its funding. If the films were legally downloadable from the internet, there would be no incentive to pay to view them.

The IPKat reckons that this proposal makes little sense conceptually unless there are moves to legalise uploading as well (not that he’s recommending that this should be done). If downloading is legalised but uploading isn’t, then France would be recognising a legitimate market for films to download, but then saying that it would be illegal for anyone to meet the needs of that market by uploading the films ready for downloading.
FRANCE TO MAKE DOWNLOADING LEGAL? FRANCE TO MAKE DOWNLOADING LEGAL? Reviewed by Anonymous on Friday, December 23, 2005 Rating: 5

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