French MPs vote to penalize illegal downloads

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 3:49 pm

Internet copyright pirates will face prison and large fines after French MPs defied left-wing opposition in pushing through a bill to prevent illegal downloading of music and films.

The controversial bill to stamp out illegal downloads in line with a 2001
European Union directive has highlighted deep divisions in the country over how to balance consumer rights and copyright in the Internet age.

Right-wing UMP party and moderate deputies backed the new law, which was considerably watered down following a stormy passage through parliament and amendments backed by the Socialist party and even some UMP deputies.

It allows a jail term of up to six months and a fine of 30,000 euros (37,000 dollars) for those who supply software enabling users to break copyright protection on DVDs or CDs, helping them to be made available on the Internet.

People possessing or using this software to remove copyright protection will face a fine of 750 euros while hackers caught working individually to break the copyright on discs will face a fine of 3,750 euros.

Source: AFP


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