Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Media Music News

Legal Victory for P2P in France 237

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the all-their-slimey-lawyers-on-loan-to-riaa dept.
nietsch writes "The Register is reporting that a french Kazaa user that had been sued by the SCPP (the french equivalent of the RIAA) has been acquitted by the courts in his county. 'The Judges decided that these acts of downloading and uploading qualified as private copying' Ars Technica has more coverage on the subject, or you can read it in english from the organization that lead the defense."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Legal Victory for P2P in France

Comments Filter:
  • who knew? (Score:4, Funny)

    by ajdowntown (91738) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:39AM (#14670177) Homepage
    Who knew france would be the country to stick up for digital copy rights?
    • Re:who knew? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KaushalParekh (896920)
      refresh your history.. France has always been the country to stick up for rights.
    • Re:who knew? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdot@NOspam.gmail.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:01PM (#14670379) Homepage Journal
      Who knew france would be the country to stick up for digital copy rights?

      Well, they opposed Bush in his "omg teh terroristz lets bomb iraq!" madness.
    • by Brushfireb (635997)
      France has always been notoriously pro-consumer. So much so that it drives businesses away. In droves.

      They are so pro-consumer, who would ever consider even starting a business there?

      Yay socialism.

      (I feel moderator rage building...It's OK. Ive got karma to burn.)
    • Uhh, you got that backwards. They are NOT sticking up for copy rights.

      -Rick
  • Early Days (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MCSEBear (907831) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:42AM (#14670212)
    The music industry is very used to getting their way. They have plenty of money to give to politicians when they aren't giving it to radio stations in illegal pay for play schemes. Give them a while and they will bribe the bad news away...
    • Re:Early Days (Score:5, Insightful)

      by theJML (911853) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:57AM (#14670340) Homepage
      "The music industry is very used to getting their way. They have plenty of money to give to politicians when they aren't giving it to radio stations in illegal pay for play schemes. Give them a while and they will bribe the bad news away..."

      Because God Forbid the music industry actually gives any of that money to the people that write/play/record/produce/create the music that makes them an industry. I figure the artists should actually see some of the money instead of it being spent on lawsuits and red-tape.

      I mean, that's like winning the $100M lottery and only getting $5 out of it because someone decided that they'd use the rest of the money to sue other people to make sure someone doesn't steal my $5.

      I guess I just don't see how the RIAA isn't a wholy owned subsidiary of the Mafia.
      • I guess I just don't see how the RIAA isn't a wholy owned subsidiary of the Mafia.

        I couldn't agree more. How else would they get away with the crap they've been pulling for so long? They've done much worse than cracking down on filesharers; it's just now becoming more apparent to the public. ANY other industry would have long ago faced an anti-trust prosecution for operating in a similar manner as the record cartel.
      • by Shadowlore (10860)
        I guess I just don't see how the RIAA isn't a wholy owned subsidiary of the Mafia.

        That's because you have it backward.
      • Re:Early Days (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)
        I guess I just don't see how the RIAA isn't a wholy owned subsidiary of the Mafia.

        That's really not fair. You're comparing a group of terroristic thugs who sell protection rackets and shady distribution channels with a group of Italian-American businessmen. When was the last time you heard of the mafia putting the beatdown on a single mom, or an old lady with no telephone who lives with a bunch of cats?

        No, I'd much rather pay the mafia than the RIAA; the odds are a lot better of actually getting somet

  • Private Copying (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737)
    That's the most public form of the word "private" I've ever seen.

    Somehow I doubt copying is truly "private" if it involves people you don't know, who could possibly number in the thousands or more...
    • Re:Private Copying (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:14PM (#14670503) Homepage
      Probably, but private has many meanings. private 4 c) [answers.com] Conducted and supported primarily by individuals or groups not affiliated with governmental agencies or corporations: a private college; a private sanatorium. In that context private P2P is correct even if it is open to everyone.
  • Private? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gr8_phk (621180) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:46AM (#14670252)
    I might agree that someone sending a copy to a friend could be considered "private copying" depending on your definition, but to put it on p2p where the whole world can download it seems much more public than private. The french court must have some very interesting definitions indeed.
    • There seem to have been multiple courts making the same ruling in different cases. It makes no sense to me, but IANAFL so what do I know?
    • Um... different definition of "private".

      A number of copyright holders around the world lobbied in the last decades and WON the right to a surcharge on blank media. Every cassette tape, blank CD, etc. would be levied, the proceeds to go to the artists.

      Seemed like a good think at the time, I guess.

      In exchange for the levy, "private copying" was allowed. Basically, you are allowed to exchange music with your friends. Seems that this has been generally interpreted by the courts (in serveral countries) to mean "
    • Re:Private? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swilver (617741)
      But the fact is, the world doesn't download it. There's only so much bandwidth, so in the end a few *private* individuals will actually download it from you directly (and in most cases only part of it).

      The industry would like you to believe that YOU, in making a file available for download, are the SOLE person responsible for every copy downloaded everywhere, not just from you.

      The fact of the matter is, a single individual doesn't have the resources to make a file available for everyone, it takes a lot o

  • by camcorder (759720) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:47AM (#14670257)
    Someone should have checked judges personal computers to understand merits of this verdict.
  • by ursabear (818651) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:47AM (#14670260) Homepage Journal
    I'd like to see a clear definition of private copying.

    At what point does retrieving a file from someone else's computer stop being private? I completely understand someone making copies of all kinds of things within their home. When someone I don't know is making copies of my files - this is when it seems to be anything but private. I'm not advocating a particular POV about copyrighted materials here... I'm thinking in terms of the moment that a file ceases to be "my" file and becomes "someone else's file."
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:47AM (#14670262)
    SCPP:
            Go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he will give us money for the MP3s, he can join us in our quest for the Holy Racketeering Scheme.
    FRENCH JUDGE:
            Well, I'll ask him, but I don't think he'll be very keen. Uh, MP3s are free you see...
    SCPP:
            What?
    RIAA:
            He says MP3s are free!
    SCPP:
            Are you sure they're free?
    FRENCH JUDGE:
            Oh, yes. They're very nice-a. (I told him MP3s are free.)
    POLICEMEN:
            [chuckling]
    SCPP:
            Well, u-- um, can we come up and have a look at your MP3 collection?
    FRENCH JUDGE:
            Of course not! You are English types-a!
    SCPP:
            Well, what are you, then?
    FRENCH JUDGE:
            I'm French! Why do think I have this outrageous accent?!
    RIAA:
            What are you doing in England?
    FRENCH JUDGE:
            Mind your own business!
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:48AM (#14670274)
    It's like placing a stack of burned DVDs on your windowsill, with a big sign saying "Meatloaf and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra", and everyone else on the street doing the same. Maybe somebody will wander past and take one of them. Maybe you'll wander past someone else's window and help yourself to some of their "Bon Jovi: Crush" CD-Rs. Sure, it's private copying, but it's pretty blatant what the intent is.

    I can't help but wonder if that's just going to give legitimate fair-use copying a bad name.
    • Worst Analogy, Ever.
      I usually make it a policy not to be completely negative, but this HAD to be said.
      kthxbye.
    • by ThePhilips (752041) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:07PM (#14670443) Homepage Journal
      ...placing a stack of burned DVDs...

      FYI, CD-R/DVD+/-R/RWs are taxed in Europe, as insisted by artists. IOW, if you have downloaded MP3s or movies and burned them on CD/DVD - you are clear, since you are already compensated artists thru recordable medium tax. (And every CD/DVD burner is taxed too.)

      And to cool off your hot (in legal sense) American heads, I have to remind that European legal system is NOT precedent-based. IOW, one case over here means nothing. Judge decides the case after looking into the circumstances of the case before him, not by searching prehistoric records of how Gutenberg/etc were judged.

      What can you tell from the case, is overall mood over here. People in Europe are sick of taxes. And another association asking for another compensation and protection against competition is just what it is - another association asking for another compensation and another protection against competition. And artist associations here are far from being first in the queue of the beggars, looking for gov't help.

      What is illegal here putting such CD-R pile for a sale. But I think it's illegal everywhere. As long as you give it away for free - you are Okay.

      • It's fine if it's not for sale?

        Hmm. So how about this scenario --

        * Publishing house A releases a record expected to be a top seller.
        * Publishing house B buys one copy, and openly makes it downloadable without charge, in order to reduce the sales of publishing house A.

        Is this legal?
      • Just so you know, there is a tax on hard drives too (yeah, cause you can, like, store music on them. Soooo tax!)
      • "What is illegal here putting such CD-R pile for a sale. But I think it's illegal everywhere. As long as you give it away for free - you are Okay."

        Finally, a SANE ruling. That just makes common sense. I wonder why this took so long?

        • I hate to poop on the party, but the grandparent post is wrong - or at least oversimplified.
          The legality of giving CD-Rs away for free depends heavily on the European country.
          For Germany:
          If you own the original, you may copy CD/DVDs (that don't contain DRM!) and give them to close familiy/friends; IIRC about seven people was a loose definition of "close family/friends". But this right is currently under attack so that no copys are allowed; the "non-DRM" part was the first step in September 2003 and now t
      • And to cool off your hot (in legal sense) American heads, I have to remind that European legal system is NOT precedent-based. IOW, one case over here means nothing. Judge decides the case after looking into the circumstances of the case before him, not by searching prehistoric records of how Gutenberg/etc were judged.

        However, precedent is not entirely meaningless - a judge might factor it in when (s)he makes a decision. In some cases a widely known decision might even influence the legislative. So preced
    • It's like placing a stack of burned DVDs on your windowsill, with a big sign saying "Meatloaf and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra", and everyone else on the street doing the same. Maybe somebody will wander past and take one of them. Maybe you'll wander past someone else's window and help yourself to some of their "Bon Jovi: Crush" CD-Rs. Sure, it's private copying, but it's pretty blatant what the intent is.

      Dear God.

      Meatloaf with the MSO + Bon Jovi: Crush.

      These are your examples?

      The french have different
  • They will appeal, for sure. Nuff' said.
  • TFA... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nordelius (947186) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:57AM (#14670345) Homepage Journal
    ... would be worth a look. This should be seen in context with a French initiative to tax access to P2P networks.

    What they seem to be looking at is accepting that people are going to use P2P networks anyway, and look at implementing some kind of revenue model to ensure that music publishers don't get so antsy in france that they sue dead people who have never used a computer.

    "But," I hear you cry, "what's to stop me using Brand X esoteric open source P2P software?". Well, if you are using and not paying, you are now committing an offence against the state.

    Which makes it a damn sight easier to get your arse put in prison.

    Cunning.

    • Bah, what does a rigid P2P network that needs to report in to a central server or be surveilanced at the ISP level provide you over what online stores already provide? If you can let people officially upload, you'll have people with huge flawless collections providing exactly the same goods. And they won't let you undercut online stores, so prices will be equal.

      A far more likely solution is that you'll be taxed for the bandwidth, whether you use it to download MP3s or Linux distros. That has already happene
    • Or they are realizing that their business model, based on being the gateway on the music market, is doomed and want to change it to gathering taxes.

      What artists do you think that will receive this money? Some independent ones? And how much of it goes to the artist anyway? The music labels just want to become some kind of aristocracy.

  • Uh. Not quite. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by torstenvl (769732) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @11:59AM (#14670362)
    The title is misleading. Maybe "Legal Victory for a P2P user in France" would be better.

    France uses the "civil law" system (as opposed to the "common law" system used in the U.S., the U.K., and the Commonwealth, past and present). It's based on the Roman corpus iuris civilis, and it doesn't have any such thing as "precedent." Each and every case is decided purely on the facts of the case, the law as written, and the judge's... erm... well... judgment.

    This doesn't mean P2P is legal in France. It means someone got away with it.
    • Re:Uh. Not quite. (Score:5, Informative)

      by ant-1 (120272) <ant-1@noSPAm.pouch.name> on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:12PM (#14670486)
      We do have precedent. It's called "jurisprudence", and although a judge is not legally bound to apply the same judgment twice for two similar cases, it is was is done in the courts.
      And when the judge deviates (because the precedent is obsolete for example), he better have good reasonning wrapped around its verdict, because higher courts will break the judgment if not.
      • La jurisprudence n'est pas la même chose que notre precedent . Au système de droit commun, si une court supérieure décide un règle de droit, tous les autres doivent non seulement le respecter, mais le suivre. Toute contradiction est strictement interdite. La seule exception est la Cour Suprême, qui n'a aucune obligation. Le système français avec la jurisprudence est plus semblable au principe de stare decisis .

        En France, un juge ne peut ni créer ni démolir
        • Re:Uh. Not quite. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ThinWhiteDuke (464916)
          Congratulations for your excellent French (I sincerely hope that French is NOT your mother tongue and that I'm not currently insulting you). Still this is Slashdot and the rule of the place is that posts should be written in English, or at least should be readable by English-speakers (typos and bad syntax are tolerated, if not encouraged). So, if you don't mind, I'll try and translate your (Informative, IMHO) post. Please feel free to correct any mistake.

          Jurisprudence is not the same as our precedent. U
    • France does not have a pure civil law system, just as so-called "common law" countries don't have a pure precedent-based system. After all one of the sources of US law is a written source : the constitution.

      In theory, the only law applicable in France is written by the legislative branch. The judiciary is supposed to only work as a machine, applying the following pseudo-code:

      foreach (case) {
      check out facts
      look up relevan
  • by aralin (107264) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:00PM (#14670369)
    This made me thinking about joining a social network like Orkut with music sharing and share your music only with your friends and maybe friends of friends. That could get around some legal hurdles in more countries and while you don't get this way any music you want, you still get quite a lot new music and actually improve the relationships with your friends through listening to some of the same music as them.
  • by antonallan (952630) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:07PM (#14670448)
    This latest verdict is probably in line with the current French legislation. But since France is a member of EU, they will eventually have to implement the EU Copyright Directive (EUCD). The French parlament are in fact discussing this, the proposed french law is called "Droit d'Auteur et aux Droits Voisins dans la Société de l'Information" (DADVSI), and though opposition is tough it will certainly come to life soon, as all EU directives must in all member states.

    Then P2P networks and the use of them, even to share innocent files, will be illegal. This law will also affect Open Source software development, so it might matter more than you think.

    You can help the French community by signing a petition here:

    http://eucd.info/index.php?English-readers [eucd.info]
    • The French parlament are in fact discussing this, the proposed french law is called "Droit d'Auteur et aux Droits Voisins dans la Société de l'Information" (DADVSI)

      "...for Information Society"? Don't they work for Peace And Love, Inc?

      --Rob

    • EUCD is just a directive (and not a law, btw) which gives, on purpose, a lot of freedom for things such as private copies, fair uses ans so on.

      It means that is the application by the member state legislative bodies who can make very strict rules or lean toward the consumer rights. In this case, the proposed french law implements this EU Directive and will eventually "legalize & tax" peer to peer. Other states have very generous laws (e.g. Belgium), while other are much more strict (UK).

      This seems yet an
  • by bizitch (546406) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:10PM (#14670475) Homepage
    ... we can route all our P2P traffic via proxy/router thru France in order to be immune from prosecution/lawsuits? - sweet!
  • by varkman (818678) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:12PM (#14670482)
    pwnez
  • Cocorico ! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Matlo (824176)
    I think this decision is fair. You guys have to be aware that french people pay a special tax when they buy blank CDs. Where does it go? Into the SACEM's (~RIAA) pockets. So anyone buying CD-R/CD-RW is already paying for the right to make copies. And if you use the CD-R to make a backup of your documents (yes, I know, who does that?), you basically paid the tax for nothing. So let's download citoyens !
    I think also the distinction between private and public is in the money. If you download for your persona
  • So can a person in France stand on a street corner handing out copies of copy righted material too?

    This is the equivilant of saying it's okay for any person to press as many copies of a copyrighted material as they want and hand them out to complete strangers. So long as they don't make a profit.

    That's freaking crazy!

    -Rick
    • Okay, not so crazy. I just saw that media tax the French have to pay. So this isn't crazy, it's just socialized. Which may be dumb, but isn't crazy.

      -Rick
  • The judge only decided that download can be seen as private copy. Several other decisions in France go in the same direction. According to the current law, private copy cannot be prohibited by the copyright holders as long as the copy is intended to be used by the guy making the copy. It means you can rip a CD, put the MP3s on a website with restriced access and send a link to this website to your friends, but not directly send the MP3s by mail (because in this cause, you would be the one who create the cop
  • I am taking my 10 Terabyte RAID on an extended vacation in Nice to get a tan, have a bottle of a 1962 Romanee-Conti, and do some rapant 'private copying.'
  • I think I'm beginning to understand why they call them "freedom fries" instead of "french fries" now.

    However I'm a still bit confused about this "land of the free" stuff.

    • Hmm... last I knew, I still called them french fries. In fact, I think the one time I heard "freedom fries" used, I was mocking that person for the next however long it's been since they said it.

      Mod par^H^H^HFrance UP! +1 Not being bossed around by monopolized corporations.

  • it only takes one (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bizzeh (851225)
    it only takes 1 step to start a thousand mile walk... is this the first step in stoping companies like this?
  • by soupdevil (587476) on Wednesday February 08, 2006 @12:56PM (#14670905)
    It's interesting that France, home of almost-legal p2p for copyrighted files, is also the center of activity for Jamendo [jamendo.com], which is one of the most interesting and innovative, non-controversial ways to use peer file sharing software. It's a music sharing website, but all artists release their music under Creative Commons licenses, and you can download albums on eMule or BitTorrent networks, which saves Jamendo on bandwidth.

    I would have assumed that encouraging legal downloading of mainstream, copyrighted files would have discouraged the growth of shared, open alternatives. But the opposite seems to be true.
  • "French"/"France", etc...

    For posters to have SOME modicum of credibility or open-mindedness or regard for proper casing, PLEASE assist them through taking the liberty to make case proper.

    If anyone KVETCHES, then pass on their article for another. Anyone who can take the time to submit should take the time to correct proper names, and even SLASH CODE should force or enforce it. (Apparently, it is not one of the words caught, but "america" is red-flagged.

    What about these:

    africa
    japan NOT red-flagged
    russia
    asia
    s

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

Working...