Saturday, December 24, 2005

French File Sharing

French Assembly Moves to Legalize File Sharing
PARIS, Dec. 22 - A nearly empty midnight session of the French National Assembly voted to add amendments to an antipiracy law that would allow peer-to-peer sharing of films and music over the Internet, a move that would legalize here what is considered piracy nearly everywhere else in the world.

The small group of late-night lawmakers in the assembly, the lower house of Parliament, tacked on amendments that would establish a global license fee of 7 euros ($8.40) a month, according to the Dow Jones news service. That would permit Internet users to download unlimited digital music and films from the Internet for personal use. The funds would be distributed to copyright holders.

"We are trying to bring the law up to date with reality," said Patrick Bloche, a Socialist representing Paris, who was a co-author of the amendments. "It is wrong to describe the eight million French people who have downloaded music from the Internet as delinquents."

I really agree with that last part of that last statement. Person-to-person file sharing should not be treated as if it was city graffiti.

However, I have a problem with how this article depicts this piece of legislation. It's not some crazy liberal move. It's not legalizing file sharing. It's no crazier than some of the pay-for services available. And I don't think file sharers will be really excited about the $8 a month.

And I really don't understand why artists are that upset. It's going to generate a lot of cash if people actually sign up to do this legally. I suppose it's hard to figure out how to distribute it...

(note: after court costs, I wonder how much money recording artists make on that sort of court action anyway... It's probably less than they'd make off of this legislation... ya' think?)

The final lower-house vote is not expected before Jan. 17, when lawmakers return from a winter break.

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