Lawmakers from France’s ruling conservative party have blocked a move to legalize Internet downloading of movie and music files, after several days of sharp debate in parliament, an AFP report said. The report said the vote by members of the UMP party “signaled a victory for the government as it pushes through a bill that would outlaw the downloading of commercial files as well the breaking of copyright protection on DVDs or CDs.” MPs from the Socialist, Communist, Green and UDF parties walked out in protest ahead of the vote, allowing it to be adopted nearly unanimously. Full article here.
Yesterday, Astrid Wendlandt reported for Reuters that, if passed, the French law “would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management — the codes that protect music, films and other content — if it is to enable to the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France. ‘It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up … You have to be able to download content and play it on any device,’ Vanneste told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday. Music downloaded from Apple’s iTunes online music store currently can only be played on iPods. The law, if enacted, could prompt Apple to shut its iTunes store in France, some industry observers say, to keep from making songs vulnerable to conversion outside France, too.”
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French law would force Apple to open iTunes Music Store to non-iPod devices – March 13, 2006