French National Assembly approves copyright bill

The French National Assembly approved a copyright bill that will restrict P-to-P software and force DRM developers to reveal details of their systems.

The French National Assembly approved a digital copyright bill on Tuesday that will require DRM (digital rights management) developers to reveal details of their technology to rivals that wish to build interoperable systems. The bill could affect the FairPlay DRM used by Apple Computer in its iTunes Music Store and iPod music players, and Microsoft's Windows Media DRM, used by rival French music stores Fnac.com and Virginmega.fr to lock downloaded tracks to particular music players.

Deputies voted to approve the bill, "Authors' rights and related rights in an information society," by 286 votes to 193. The bill now goes to the Senate for a second reading, and a vote, before it becomes law. The government pushed the bill through under emergency procedures that deprive deputies and senators from their usual right to a third and fourth reading of the bill.

Although the bill will force DRM manufacturers to reveal some details of their systems, it will also legalize the use of DRM in France. Today, CDs with a DRM function that prevents them from playing on some equipment are considered legally to have concealed flaws, and buyers have a right to legal redress. The bill will change that.

In addition, the bill will make it illegal to develop, distribute or promote P-to-P (peer-to-peer) software for purposes other than collaborative working, research purposes or the exchange of noncommercial works. In addition, if French Internet users are found to have traded illicit files using such software, they will face a fine of Euro 38 (US$46) per infraction for downloading, or Euro 150 per infraction for uploading. The bill calls on the Council of State to determine what level of trading constitutes an infraction.

Other measures in the bill could "threaten [the development of] free and open-source software," according to Patrick Bloche, a deputy who opposed the bill, speaking in the Assembly just before the vote. The bill's restrictions on the ways third-party software can interact with proprietary DRM systems mean that French open-source software developers and researchers will lose out, Bloche said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?