22 December 2005

This is how we do it in France

In a completely unpredictable and incredible turn of event, the parliament of France just legalized yesterday night non-commercial peer-to peer exchanges. This miracle might last only for few more hours as the government is decided to pass the law which allows the exact opposite, mainly the control and the restriction of private copies (by legalizing for instance Digital Rights Management softwares and somehow threatening some open source systems).
Debates have been quite fierce at the Assembly for few reasons: first, the government decided to submit the law to vote in "emergency", meaning it would only be read once instead of twice, and this just a couple of days before Christmas (when it's been on the table for 4 years). This cynical procedure hasn't produced the expected result. There were still 60 deputees ready to fight until late in the night. What more, in a very rare movement, deputees from the majority itself (right wing) and from the "centre" (usually supporting the right-wing) have joined left-wing amendments to counter-act what the government tries to impose on us.
This just shows that the questions of authors rights and peer-to-peer "philosophy" cannot be reduced to a hidden way of making a Xmas present to the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Virgin and EMI.

-- Joëlle

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