[pp.int.general] New law in france

Florian Lauté godfloyd at gmail.com
Fri Nov 2 20:39:43 CET 2007

Hello everybody,

As you might already know, on the 30th of October, a new law has been 
approved here in France, and published in the "Journal Officiel", which 
means that it has now just taken effect. Strangely, the government was 
very discrete about this measure; the law has been voted without any 
large media noticing it, and most people don't even know about its 

This law, basically, grants permission for the Majors (especially a 
syndicate known as the ALPA) to seek for people illegally sharing 
copyrighted material on P2P networks. In other words, the ALPA has now 
officially the legal ability to spy on citizens, and sue them whenever 
they fell like doing so.

Before this law was adopted, identifying anybody, based on his IP 
address, was a rather long procedure, entirely controled by the 
authorities. Now, the ALPA will just have to ask the provider; he'll be 
forced to communicate the connection logs, and the full identity of his 

As far as we know, such a law has never been voted anywhere in the E.U. 
We already knew that the French government was willing to delegate his 
power to Majors-related organizations (as you may know, the SACEM, for 
instance, is a totally private society which isn't controled by any 
official institution -- but it's in the authors' and musicians' best 
interests, of course), but now they seem to have just made one step 
towards giving the industries the right to rule the State by themselves!

This takes place in a constant hardening of the French legislation: you 
probably already know about the 2004 LCEN law, and then the famous 
DADVSI law which was adopted in June 2006. The current government, led 
by president Sarkozy and minister of culture Albanel, has recently 
opened a Commision on Internet and copyright issues, and guess who was 
designated to lead this commission... Denis Olivennes, the CEO of the 
biggest French music retailer!

As for Albanel, she's just forced the second French provider company to 
close a filesharing platform, by blackmailing them in exchange of the 
mobile telephony license they're aiming for (we Parti pirate guys must 
be a bit dumb, but we still can't understand how can these topics be 
related in any way; plus, even if we're not economists, we definitely 
know how a fake call for tenders looks like). She obviously doesn't know 
anything about the Internet nor the culture market, but it doesn't seem 
to be a problem to her; neither does the obvious ALPA conflict of interest.

If we may add, since this law has been adopted our servers, personal 
computers and all the bandwidth we can find are overloaded with Libre 
music downloads. All we can do is tell you how we feel, and invite you 
to share whatever Free material you can to help us make things change.

We always used to refer to "free as in freedom" culture: today both 
culture and freedom are at stake, so let's just hit it!

Floyd, MaryPoppins and Pers, for the Parti Pirate.

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