A cornerstone in France's internet history

I've been told that a few non French-speaking people are interested in reports on France's new law on the internet (Daniel denounced the both of you). For your reading pleasure, here is the latest round, in synch with my French post about it.

In January, I told you about the LEN, Loi sur la confiance dans l'économie numérique, which provoked a flurry of outraged reactions from the French internet actors, last but not least the francosphere (aka the French blogosphere). Your servitor, in a midst of analysis about this law project, launched the first French Google bomb in the middle of this mess. An anecdote in the history of the French internet, but an ironic one since its victim claims his law will be a cornerstone in said history.

Today I'm happy to report that all the civic rage this project has caused, has had a positive influence on our senators, who reviewed the text for the second time on April 8. They acknowledged the civil reaction and removed two of the most critiqued dispositions, which they even recognized as useless and infeasible (as we kept telling them), namely the obligation made to hosts to preemptively scan all published content for illegal information, and the ability granted to the judge to impose to any ISP the obligation to filter (i.e. prevent access) internet content that's deemed illegal with respect to the French law.

This project is not yet a law, it will have to pass at least three more steps in our legislative process before being granted this status. I don't expect any significant change to it. However, it will indeed mark the history of the French internet by creating a dedicated legal corpus, an almost blank page in which our political personnel will not miss any opportunity to inscribe their thoughts, whether they are motivated by vision, innovation, ambition, reaction, lobbies, moral, denial or fear. Is it the end of France's Internet hysteria, or is it merely the beginning, who knows?

The Padawan is looking forward to writing about other interesting divergence of views between the old Europe (which is proud of its age as the Queen says) and the U.S., notably with respect to privacy policies and spam. Or strange similarities, on the contrary, like on electronic voting. One thing at a time.

2 Comments

Hi, I think this post was really interesting and I'd like to know more. Do you know where I can find a copy or the part of the French legislation regarding internet?
Thanks and keep up the posts :)

Hi Reme,

There's a governement portal at www.internet.gouv.fr

Otherwise here are pointers to the last three main laws impacting electronic communications in France :

1. LCEN : Loi pour la Confiance dans l'Economie Numérique, and the LCEN wikipedia page
2. DADVSI : Droits d'Auteurs et Droits Voisins dans la Société de l'Information and the DADVSI page on wikipedia (there's even one in English)
3. HADOPI : Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet (not adopted, still in discussion) see HADOPI on wikipedia (also here in English)

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