I don’t know the ins and outs of this legislation yet, but according to Silicon.com there are moves afoot in France to allow customers to break DRM if it prevents them playing on the device of their choice.
If the legislation passes, it will be great for French digital content. Hopefully this French interpretation will be adopted more broadly in Europe. The DMCA leads to too many chilling effects.
For music company dunces that are bound to cry foul, the legislation apparently also introduces the notion of spot fines for downloading, or posting, digital content illegally, so its not just a sop to pirates. Rather it seems to be an example of legislation that puts the person paying to listen to music in control, if they don’t abuse the copyright holder. A $40 fine for personal downloading seems a lot more reasonable than some of the absurd punitive penalties put forward by representatives of Big Media in the US.
Oh and for those that say France has no business rethinking copyright for the digital age – you should know they invented it in the first place: droite, d’auteurs indeed.
One very interesting part of the law is that France plans to make it illegal to tie a music service to a particular player. That means Apple will potentially need to rethink iTunes in France. See Microsoft, those crazy Europeans don’t just pick on you. They are equal opportunities troublemakers. If you thought it was bad you couldn’t include a media player in the operating system, now you can’t tie media services to Plays For Sure.
Wait. What is that great sucking sound I hear? Oh it must be the sound sound of lawyers and lobbyists descending on Brussels and Paris…
This is going to get very interesting. I am waiting to see what Cory says, though, to work out whether Silicon is reading the runes right, given that as recently as December it looked like France was going to enter a DRM ice age brought on by the European Copyright Directive (EUCD).