[PGCanada] [Upd-discuss] French court authorizes P2P transmission as private copying (fwd)

Michael Hart hart at pglaf.org
Tue Feb 7 11:10:08 PST 2006

French judge authorizes downloading and uploading of copyrighted content on the

February 7, 2006

Paris, France--An Internet user defended by the Association of Audionautes (ADA)
was released free of charges by the District Court of Paris after downloading
and uploading music and movies on the Internet.

The decision, dated December 8, 2005 and made public this week, is available
online at: http://www.juriscom.net/documents/tgiparis20051208.pdf

Several Internet users defended by the ADA have already been released free of
charges for having downloaded copyrighted content on Internet on the basis of
the "private copying" doctrine:
- Rodez Tribunal Correctionnel, October 13, 2004: Absolved of charges
- Châteauroux Tribunal de Grande Instance, December 15, 2004: No damages
- Montpellier Cour d'Appel, March 10, 2005: Absolved of charges
- Meaux Tribunal Correctionnel, April 21, 2005: Downloading qualified as private
copying, 70 cents / title for uploading
- Le Havre Tribunal Grande Instance, September 20, 2005: Same as above, but 20
cents / title for uploading
- Créteil Tribunal de Grande Instance, November 2, 2005: Absolved of charges for
downloading as well as uploading using eMule

But this decision is the first one to authorize both the downloading and
uploading of P2P content for Internet users. On September 21, 2004, the
prosecutor's office found 1875 MP3 and DIVX files on the defendant's hard
drive. Based on this discovery, a French record producer association known as
the SCPP (Société Civile des Producteurs Phonographiques) sued him for
downloading and uploading 1212 music tracks.

The District Court of Paris, however, refused to agree with the SCPP's argument.
  Following the line of reasoning utilized by the ADA for nearly two years, the
Judges decided that these acts of downloading and uploading qualified as
"private copying."

While the case has been appealed to a higher court, Aziz Ridouan, President of
the ADA approves of the current verdict and is confident that it will be
affirmed. According to Jean-Baptiste Soufron, Legal Counsel of the ADA, "This
most recent decision is consistent with the definitive decision of the French
Appellate Court of Montpellier. It is an important stepping stone in our fight
to legalize P2P."  France was the first country in the world to propose the
legalization of P2P downloading to Parliament.

About the Association of Audionautes:
The Association of Audionautes is a non-for-profit organization founded by
French high school and college students in order to respond to the abusive
threats of the music industry. It aids more than 100 people in organizing
lawsuit defenses, and consists of more than 6000 members including students,
lawyers, and artists.

Press contact:
+33 624 414 265 (french) / +33 617 962 457 (english)
contact at audionautes.net

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