A French law project harder than DMCA ?

Posted 9 May 2003 at 22:32 UTC by loic Share This

The details of the upcoming french law to implement the EUCD (the European equivalent of the DMCA) were leaked to the public by AEL, a Belgium non-for-profit organisation. France, the original country of "droit d'auteur" is taking a path that leads it very far away from the original spirit advocated by Victor Hugo two centuries ago.

Although the EUCD is considered harmful to the rights of the public, it is generally considered less dangerous than the DMCA. For instance, the EUCD does not say that it is forbidden to talk about circumvention of technical measures. However, the French Ministry of culture proposed an implementation of the EUCD for France that carries that restriction (free translation):

"Article 12: Is considered a counterfeit:

1) The fact that a person purposedly (or with reasonable ground to think she will) circumvents any technical measure protecting a work [...]

2) The act of manufacturing, importing, selling, lending, renting, providing any technology, product, device, apparel or component, or providing any service, information, mean designed for the purpose or having the consequence to facilitate or enable the implementation, in all or in part, of one of the facts described in 1).

3) The act of ordering, designing, organizing, reproducing, distributing, publicizing, bring to the attention of a third party, directly or indirectly any technology, product, device, apparel, component, service or mean in order to enable the implementation in all or in part of the actions described in 1) and 2). "

The scary part can be summarized shortly as "The act of providing information having the consequence to partly facilitate or enable the circumvention of a technical measure is a counterfeit". The scope is so broad that it can virtually include anything more or less related to a technical measure, as long as it can be applied on a copyrighted work.

It is generally understood that researchers should not be bound by such restrictions. It would basically cripple all research related to cryptography or security. However, the French Ministry of Culture does not grant such an exception to schools and research centres. From the long debate that addressed this issue back in December 2002[2], one can conclude that it did so to satisfy the pressing requests of the French representatives of the media industry.

It looks like France is on the verge of having the most crippled "droit d'auteur" in Europe, disastrously ending centuries of good reputation.


[1] 4 April 2003, law project, http://www.ael.be/action/2003/eucd/france/

[2] 5 December 2002, CSPLA debate, http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/cspla/cr051202.pdf

Pave France, posted 10 May 2003 at 18:08 UTC by mglazer » (Journeyer)

"The British Need more Parking!"



The French are El Stupidido`

Re: Pave France, posted 10 May 2003 at 18:37 UTC by Akira » (Master)

"Remarque vraiment trés insightful qui fait avancer le débat".

Advogato falls really very low :-(

To mglazer (Re: Pave France), posted 11 May 2003 at 18:02 UTC by ladypine » (Journeyer)

mglazer, I read your post three times, to make sure you actually wrote what I was reading.

And no, this is not the proper way to make me read what you right. Actually, it is the fastest way to make me ignore what you write from now on.

One more time, posted 11 May 2003 at 19:52 UTC by yeupou » (Master)

Apparently mglazer missed an important point: what is going to be done in France is an European project. That means that this project endanger also UK (really, do they need more parkings ?). And this European project is inspired by USA (Mickey Act, does it mean something to you?)

If boring laws are a good reason for this kind of generalization, well we can say that English and American are stupid too. And then ?

Internet Communications, posted 12 May 2003 at 00:36 UTC by mglazer » (Journeyer)

The one thing computers lack is relevance.

The above is a prime example of how much internet communciations lack from other forms of communication.

The level of interpretation via text is much greater then in-person or even over a phone.

It is pretty funny nonetheless to see people act so silly over text they have no clue or relevance to but only personal (biased) interpretation.

Be happy and go outside; don't be so uptight you sound like librarian spinsters.

threshold for article comments, posted 13 May 2003 at 18:26 UTC by bcully » (Master)

The threshold feature of the recent diary entries page has, I think, turne d out to be a great idea. I wonder if anyone has considered adding a threshold to article comments as well? This is not the first thread that might have been salvaged by such a feature.

I really don't consider it censorship. In fact I would prefer to see a line for each comment below threshold, noting the user but omitting the title and content, so you could click on it if you did wish to read the text.

It's a shame that the advogato community has reached the point where thresholding is useful, but it seems clear that it has. I suppose an interesting question is how thresholding relates to certification. Could certification be tweaked in such a way that thresholding isn't necessary? My instinct is no - certification is about a person's contributions to the tech community at large and not about manners on the advogato site.

I'm sorry to have highjacked the thread. I don't know what to say about the French DMCA other than that it's bad and should be stopped if possible. I don't think we've felt anywhere near the worst results of the DMCA in the US yet.

France is getting closer to the US, posted 16 May 2003 at 07:28 UTC by afayolle » (Master)

Last year, for the first time in a long time, the results of the first turn of the presidential elections left citizens with a real tough choice. They could either give their vote to M. Chirac or to M. Le Pen. In other words, we had the choice to vote for either a right wing candidate or for a extreme right wing candidate, which is very similar to what happens every 4 years in the US.

The good thing is that our "democrat" candidate won the elections. But the fact that he was confronted to someone who made him look democrat in comparison should not make us forget that he is not a left wing candidate at all. Recent laws that were passed last year made this very clear. The worst thing is that there isn't really anyone in the opposition. The Socialist party has been destroyed by the outcome of the first turn of the presidential elections, and the centrists have more or less made an alliance with the majority to have a chance of surviving. Something which is still a great difference between France and the United States of America is that France is still a laic state. But the corruption level at very high level of the executive power, and the lobbying pressures are not that different.

With over clear majority of deputies affiliated to Chirac's party, and the musical recording industry actively lobbying on these deputies, there's nothing much we can do constitutionaly. The vast majority of citizens in France right now is more concerned about pensions (and the vast majority of citizens in Paris and the area is even more concerned about being able to get to work despite the strike in the public transports) to be able to think about their fundamental rights to IP.

This, as a French citizen, I find very sad. I shall send a letter to my deputy, but I doubt that it will have much effect given the current situation.

letter to congressman, posted 16 May 2003 at 08:33 UTC by hub » (Master)

sure you should send a letter to you congressman (député in French). If everyone that feel concerned wrote a detailled letter explaining why it wrong, then something could probably happen. No warranty, but surely if you do nothing, nothing will happen.

My greatest Fear, posted 18 May 2003 at 12:11 UTC by kilmo » (Journeyer)

That this will be copied in other countries.

I can guess that Belgium will copy this almost immediatly, even though there are many famous Belgian cryptographers (the AES designer - Vincent Rijmen and Joan Deaman are Belgians). So they might put in some presure.

But all in all, once France will accept this stupid law, other EU countries will start to accept variants of it.

As a joke raised in CRYPTO'01 (where a lecture was not given due to the DMCA): Next time, we'll have to do crypto conferences in countries which advocate free speeach like Cuba, Chaina and North Korea...

crypto attitudes, posted 28 May 2003 at 17:21 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

france and the US are amongst the countries known to have the most anti-free-speech attitudes towards cryptography.

certainly for the lifetime of NT 3.5 to NT 4.0, encrypted passwords were banned in france!

very useful to know if you wanted to reverse-engineer otherwise encrypted NT protocols: install the french version of NT :) :)

i wonder what will happen to the 1991 EC directive on copyright law (91/EC/250) which has some very specific and very necessary exclusions for interoperability on hardware-hardware, hardware-software and even software-software interfaces.

i presume that it will still apply, and still does apply.

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