French parliament continues moves to legalise file sharing

March 2006

Internet, film, television, record labels, music publishers

After opposition members and some members of the ruling party hijacked a bill meant to strengthen anti-piracy laws, the French parliament is resisting heavy pressure from the major record labels and pressing on with plans to legalise the sharing of music and movie files. Parliamentary deputies will question the country’s culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres about the draft legislation that proposes to allow unlimited file sharing in return for the payment of a monthly fee of ‘several euros’ – a ‘P2P tax in effect. Consumer groups back the move, but the record industry is staunchly opposed. ‘If France continues down this road, it could jeopardise the promising growth we’re now seeing in the legitimate online market,’ said EMI chairman Eric Nicoli. ‘Many French artists, authors, indies, majors, film producers and entertainment retailers have expressed their strong opposition to the proposed “global licence” and to other detrimental proposal.’

And a French court has ruled that using P2Ps is legal providing it is for personal use rather than for commercial reasons. The French record producer association, SCPP (Société Civile des Producteurs Phonographiques) sued a French national for downloading and uploading 1,212 music tracks. The District Court of Paris decided that these acts of downloading and uploading qualified as “private copying”.

See also Music Law Updates Archive 2005 for another similar French decision

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