Subject: Re: new licensing model
From: "Philippe Verdy" <verdy_p@wanadoo.fr>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 18:44:45 +0100

 Sun, 18 Dec 2005 18:44:45 +0100
From: "Nikolai" <n k@au.ru>
> 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 http://eucd.info/index.php?English-readers
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. http://eucd.info/petitions/sign.html
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 (Free.fr/Proxad, 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 http://www.technorati.com/search/www.boingboing.net%2F2005%2F12%2F02%2Ffrance
about to get .html