This new law will forbid an individual from providing information about how to break any protection system,
or the use of a technology that breaks a protection system. A quick breakdown of the proposed fee structure for
breaking this law:
- 38 Euros: Fine for downloading a copyrighted work, per work.
Euros: Fine for sharing a copyrighted work with someone else.
- 750 Euros: Fine if you have in your
possession and/or use a software that bypasses copyright protection.
- 3,750 Euros: Fine if you write
software or provide information about bypassing copyright protection.
- 30,000 Euros and 6 Months in Prison:
Penalty for those making available software or technology that bypasses copyright protection.
- 300,000 Euros
and up to 3 Years in Prison: Penalty for making available any peer to peer software which "knowingly promotes
An example of a technology that now will be forbidden in France is anything that
bypasses DVD encryption. The technology behind bypassing encryption and any information towards that aim is also
illegal. Software (free and non free) that bypasses any kind of DRM protection is illegal to create or provide to
others. The New York Times' Thomas Crampton writes "The bill, which also proposes to turn individual digital
piracy into a violation no more serious than a parking ticket..." If a parking ticket costs up to 750 Euros (for
example, having the DeCSS on your computer in any form) then yes, that is true.
DVD playback software (free
or non-free), conversion software, backup software, file transfer software, and more are all illegal to create or
distribute and carry heavy penalties. For example, making available Mplayer, VLC, Xine and more would cost 30,000 Euros
and up to 6 months in prison.
This law also includes hundreds of side addenda. One such add-on will take the
restricted size of copyrighted material in schools and research projects to ridiculously low resolutions (400x400
pixels in 72dpi for images) as well as require a large sum payed by the French National Education to authors' rights
New York Times reported about DADVSI
, but only about a clause requiring interoperability of music players which was
subsequently removed before ratification on Thursday evening (a link to this New York Times article was also posted on Slashdot
This law was
jokingly nicknamed "Vivendi Universal" by the members of the Assemblé Nationale, and yet was still
voted in. All in all the law does not penalize Apple, but with all the open source software available for the Mac
platform, it will penalize Apple users.
article by the Associated Press about Thursday's revisions of the law