Legal fights in France against CD copy protection

Two French consumers-defense organizations are legally fighting music majors over copy protected CDs. UFC-Que Choisir (the biggest independent, i.e. non governmental, French consumer organization) has filled a complaint against EMI, Virgin and BMG. CLCV has done the same against EMI, BMG and Sony.

They want the end of all technological measures abusively installed on CDs to prevent the right to private copy and use on whatever device consumers see fit (HiFi set, computer, radio-CD, car, etc.)

Sony has announced they would drop those systems on new CDs and is in talks with CLCV. EMI is waiting for the court hearings. The audience for BMG is scheduled late June.

CLCV has chosen to attack on the ground that the consumer is fooled by the lack of information regarding the measures taken and the list of systems on which the CDs will not play (that is a juridic tactic, since they condemn the protection per se). In other words, they argue that majors are deliberately introducing a flaw in the product, which may be a sensible argument to the court. The French civil code offers strong protection to the consumers, without time limit, over hidden flaws.

[source: Transfert]

2 TrackBacks

France 2, citant Libération, rapporte que EMI a été condamné par le tribunal de Nanterre à rembourser un CD rendu illisible par un dispositif anti-copie. La décision a été saluée dans un communiqué de presse par l'UFC-Que Choisir (partie prenante... Read More

DVD Piracy from Thinking Out Loud: Thought Leadership from an Enterprise Architect on February 20, 2005 3:49 PM

Macrovision Corp. today unveiled a technology that the Silicon Valley firm claims can block 97% of the DVD-copying software that pirates use, without interfering with a DVD's playability or picture quality. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is just... Read More

5 Comments

Fabulous!
I'd pay my subs to join any organisation in Australia which was doing the same...
In fact I feel inspired to go and check similar organisations over here to see what they ARE doing...

I used to be so PRO copyright, but I find my feelings are changing.

Free mickey!

My take on all of this is that without copyright protections much of the incentive to produce goods is lost for most of the people that produce them. It is one thing to suffer for your art, but most want to eventually quit suffering and get rich. Nothing like discovering that something you have produced is being bootlegged and you are not seeing any of the profits from it to make you a supporter of any efforts to penalize those taking money out of your pocket. This idea that people are entitled to entertainment and so not paying for it is okay, is just moral laziness. But I'm a realist. The genie is out of the bottle on this one. The record companies, movie studios, and others should just diversify into some area that has not yet been unmade by the new electronic morality and just leave entertainment to those who do it for the sake of the muse as that is all they will soon have anyway.

Copyright protection is not at stake here. France has copyright laws that I believe are even better than the US ones. Nor is a supposed idea that people think entertainement should be free (there is nothing like that in this article). I wrote books and got paid for them. I'm all in favor of copyright.

The problem is the gradual shift to an unbalanced situation where *some* copyright holders are trying everything, including harming the whole legal equilibrium, to make money *except* by enticing people to buy their stuff.

We have, in France, the RIGHT to make private copies, for backups not piracy. But now we have to pay a tax on every recordable tape, floppy, CD, even hard disk drives because one recording organization is crying that without that they'll be dead. Those CD protections are just too much. I cannot see *any* justification for the whole situation, where I shall pay a fortune for a CD that I can't play where I want, plus taxes on anything that's recordable, plus whatnot!

The music industry is sick, not because of copyright problems or even piracy, they are sick from too many middlemen and a blatant incapacity to reinvent themselves.

Yeah, well in my defense I was only responding to "I used to be so PRO copyright" made in the comment previous to mine. Sorry for not including that in my response, but I thought that would be clear. I'll be more careful next time.

Well I have changed my mind... I look at the fact that innovation can also be stunted by copyright.

Take Linux for example. If they have used copyrighted code as a base what does this mean for that whole open source project?

Or the famous copyright on mickey mouse, mentioned at least a couple of times in this very site! Mickey mouse was based on earlier work, but if you want to base future work on mickey, either buy a very expensive restricted license or...

I just think current copyright laws are so very broken for the times we live in, and are only getting worse

peer to peer networks for example have huge potential, but because people currently use them for trading songs the record companies are crushing them as much as possible.

The original copyright term was around 7 years...maybe that is too short, but licensing fees should shrink significantly soon after that, making further usage more possible.

Of course this isn't all black and white, and a comment list is prob not the besty place for a full on discussion...but hey...maybe it is sometimes!

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