French courts accept personal downloading of movies

April 2005

Film & Televison, Record Labels

A French appellate court has confirmed that downloading a movie file for personal use is acceptable. A man accused of downloading 500 film and music files has been acquitted by the Montpellier Court of Appeals in the south of France, confirming an earlier ruling by a bankruptcy court in Rodez in October last year. The plaintiff admitted lending CDs made from his copies to friends. But this still fell within the concept of ‘personal use,’ the court ruled. The man’s lawyers argued the CDs had already been bought and paid for before they appeared online. The court said that once the work had been made public it can be copied for personal use.

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