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Friday, March 11, 2005

La France! 

Du vin, mousse au chocolat, l'escargot, et Le Petit Prince. As if we needed another reason to love France, we get legal movie sharing! I've translated it below, because that's the kind of guy I am.

A web surfer, sued for having downloaded or have copied nearly 500 films from the Internet or off of DVD, was released by the Court of Appeal of Montpellier, which ruled against the complainants, 17 cinema giants.
The court confirmed the judgment given by the Court of Bankruptcy of Rodez (Aveyron) last October. In its decision, the court recalls that "when a work is released, the author cannot prohibit copies or reproductions strictly reserved for the private use of the copyist and not intended for a collective use", being based on the L122-3 articles to 5 of the code of French penal procedure.
This release constitutes a first breach in the field of the downloading, said Me Joelle Glock, one of the defense lawyers, estimating that the supreme court of appeal will have to weigh in on this business. The public ministry had required a fine of 5,000 euros before the Court of Appeal, following the example of Rodez which had made call of the decision of release.
Prosecuted for "counterfeit of work of the spirit", the defendant, an informatics student at the time, had downloaded on the Internet or had copied from lent DVDs 488 films of all styles. He had admitted to have watched these copies in the presence of one or two friends and to have lent burned CDs to some buddies. It was not done for any collective use, estimated the Court of Appeal.
Among the seventeen complainants, appear companies such as Columbia Pictures Industries, Disney Enterprise, Dreamworks, Gaumont Columbia, MGM Entertainment, Paramount and Warner Bros. The Trade Union of video editors and the national Federation of the film distributors joined.
"Consumers, not pirates:"
At the time of trial, in February, one of the defense counsels, Eric Zapata, had affirmed that his client had the right to copy films on a purely private basis, being based on a European directive of May 2001. He recalled that any Net surfer, while buying a computer or even a CD-ROM, paid a tax for private copy, before concluding: the Net surfers are thus not pirates, just consuming users. "This trial could set precedent, alleviate the debates, and especially reduce the number of suits.
On the other hand, for Christian Soulié, counsel for the plaintiff, the confirmation of the release would risk endangering the whole of the cultural sector: "Downloading is not inevitably illegal. What is illegal, it is to download starting from illicit sources. And the first copy of films on the download sites is always illegal." Currently registered in Assedic, the defendant, who required anonymity, is very relieved. "They demanded 15,000 euros in interest. Finally, I do not owe anything. But considering the commonness of downloading, the law must be changed."
However, the young man, ensuring that he always goes to the cinema and downloads only on legal sites, does not want to incarnate the symbol that one can do anything.

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