CyberTech Rambler

December 7, 2005

Disgraceful Legislation in France

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 11:59 am

If this article is correct, a disgraceful legislation is being sneak through France’s legislative process. The need to “sneak” the legislation is in itself, a telltale sign that something fishy is going on.

Opponents says undr the law you can be jailed for three-year jail sentence if you lend a CD to a friend or create one’s own compilation of CD. This is probably a bit far-fetch, but do serve to remind us that one needs to defend “Fair Use” rights.

What most troubled me is the criminalization of distribution of software or code that enables copyright infringement and the prohibition of publicising methods for circumventing DRM restrictions.

Prohibition of distribution of software that enables copyright infringement is too strong a wording for any legislation. Simply because I can use a pen to copy a poem, should it mean that the sales/distribution of pens should be banned? Better still, since weighting machine can be used by drug traffickers, they should be prohibited. It is not “Software that enables copyright infringement” (e.g., CD ripping software) that is at fault, but rather the use of the software to make illegal copies. Thus, the law should penalize the guity party (end user), not the innocent party (the software developer).

More chilling is the prohibition of publicising methods for circumventing DRM restriction. This, in effect, means no research is possible into DRM restriction, even for academic reasons. Moreover, this encourage bad DRM implementation. My biggest problem is this means that you cannot enjoy the content your are legally entitled to because some DRM fails. Is this fair?

I think this is related to a similar process in UK which I do plan to comment on.

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