new licensing model

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Sun Dec 18 17:44:45 UTC 2005

From: "Nikolai" <n_k at>
> Philippe, is it possible to read English text of the legal draft (new 
> French law on copyrigtht) you have mentioned?

Unfortunately no. Only the French draft is available on the web site of the Assemblée Nationale, with the list of proposed amendments. But for now, the definitive text is not voted. Even after it is voted, it will bereviewed by the Constitutional Council, andmay also be modified near the Senate. It will then go through the Presidence for enacting it, then France will need to depose the text at the European Commission.

The law will legally enter into full force after at least 3 months, during which constitutional review will occur, and after this period, the government will need to publish decrees for its application (in the interim however courts can still create motivated decision based on that law and the European right). ButI do think that the "accelerated procedure" which will be used in a few days will drive to a single nightly vote at the two chambers of the Parlement, without any debate. So lots of amendments will be passed along with the law, complicating its application, and driving to lots of constitutional procedures to defeat each article andamendment separately.

The principles of amendments is that they rarely remove any article but limit their application. So the draft still announces the objectives (which were also decided under the European EUDC directive adopted in 2001). I really fear that the government chose the accelerated procedure only to avoid paying fees to the European Commission for lack of application of the directive, soit haschosen to depose a very imperfect text, without prior discussion at the parlement (after years during which the debates have always been postponed).

This is insultant for the parlement and the people to have banned the debates since so much time, for something that really impacts the public constituional liberties; the government in fact fears the public debate which lead this year to the cancellation of the European Consitutional Treaty, and profits from the temporary trust it has recently gained after last november events when creating the state of emergency, which allows it to legiferate in unrelated domains, and limits the constitutional procedures to avoid this law).

Today, it seems that only the Greens party will vote against the law, but itsrepresentation at the Parlement is very tiny. Most amendments tying to limit its impact come from the Greens (I note absolutely no action by the Socialist party, despite this law would have merited thousands of amendments, like for the yearly vote on budget; in fact the Socilaist party hasproposed new amendments to give even more power to the public institutions, which seem now to have unlimited rights on the legal depot of all media creation, a sort of nationalization of culture, except that it comes with new required taxes to finance it, and new fees for the legal depot of all creations in France).

The more Iread the law, the more it exasperates me. This is a real threat to open-source in France,because it will not have the necessary credits to finance the depots. It also severely impacts the users that willhave now to pay additional subscription fees to their ISPs that will need to declare all websites created by their users, and for the .fr domainin general whose indexation by robots will be forced (the law will go against the "robots.txt" exclusion), and archived for at least two years to create proof of existence of contents, usable in courts, as well as user access logs (the EUCD required only 6 months of archiving).

There are some information in English on with pointers to official legal sources. (This site was created by the French branch of the Free Software Foundation).

It also includes a petition that has received more than 106,000 users today, and more than 700 organisations in France, and dozens worldwide.
Many of these anti-EUCD organizations are small and medium businesses that highly depend on open-source software andrefuse the dictact caused by this law and which gives lots of privilages to large organizations (it should be notable that these large organizations are the ones that are the least active in innovation, offer the most expensive services, anddo not participate to the creation of jobs; they are a small minority in all the private sector, when the country really needs a competition open to small and medium businesses which are the ones that create the most important number of jobs and finance the country's debt).

Within the petition signatures, you'll find almost all working groups supporting the development of Linux and open-source software, artists, web radios, organizations for the defense of public freedoms: free speech, free press, many associations (you should know that France has LOTS of associations, more than any other country in the world, creating a lot of value for the people, and about one third of the population participates in one or more associations, in away that is very efficient face to the official govermental system, simply because the money collected is spent with much more visible control by the public, orsimply spent by their members that directly control to whom it will be given).

Today, the public search in France is financed directly by association and not by the government whose support has constantly decreased. All those small associations do depend directly on the availability of open-source software and don't want to pay the new billing that the law will create on them.

There are also professional/commercial software editors and service providers, that based their business in their capacity of masterizing the technologies (i.e. knowledge) and efficiency in putting them into application, they highly depend on open-source software because it's the most efficient way to reduce their development cost, by sharing them with their own users, customers, and prospects. There are also many small local ISPs whose objectives are very different from major ones (they don't depend on advertizing revenues, and propose internet accesses which are a bit more expensive, but with services that can't be found elsewhere on major ISPs).

The law may put all of them out of business, unable to continue to offer their legal service, due to the drain of ressources by the legal depot, and this will highly profit to the largest french ISPs traded in stocks exchanges (, Wanadoo/France Telecom, Alice/Telecom Italia, Club-Internet/T-Online, AOL/Cegetel, n9uf/9 Telecom)

There are many "syndicats" (worker unions), cooperatives.

There is another blog/searchresult in English at

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