|by Flemming Funch|
I was worried that the French government would push through the worst copyright law in the world, making the use of several kinds of open source software an offense with serious prison terms. Now read this article. Seems like it is going in quite the opposite direction.
The French Parliament voted last night to allow free sharing of music and movies on the Internet, setting up a conflict with both the French government and with media companies.
In other words, it is a big fuck-you from the French parliament to the government and the media industry. Note that none of this actually has gone through yet, but this is a very good sign that one can't just sneak through crazy anti-consumer laws here without anybody noticing.
If the amendment survives, France would be the first country to legalize so called peer-to-peer downloading, said Jean-Baptiste Soufron, legal counsel to the Association of Audionautes, a French group that defends people accused of improperly sharing music files.
The law would be a blow to media companies that increasingly use the courts worldwide to sue people for downloading or sharing music and movie files. Entertainment companies such as Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc. and News Corp.'s Fox say free downloading of unauthorized copies of TV shows and movies before they are released on DVD will cost them $5 billion in revenue this year.