Inexorable Advance? [2:31 pm]
The National Assembly’s version permitted consumers to ask a court to force companies like Apple to let songs bought from iTunes play on other portable devices. The Senate version would accept such appeals only from companies.
The bill would guarantee that tunes could play on multiple devices in a way that preserves some copy protection and respects rights established when the work was purchased. The real-world application of all this to companies like Apple and Sony will come out of committee actions.
[...] The latest vote comes amid global debate over patents and copyrights in a world where instant Internet distribution of perfect digital copies is being blamed for disrupting conventional media business models. “France has adopted an entirely new and unique approach to managing digital music and films that could be a model for other countries to follow,” said Jonathan Arber, an analyst in London at Ovum, a consulting firm. “Everyone will be watching the impact six months down the line to see whether consumers or companies have benefited.”
The law will set France apart from many Western countries, especially the United States, in its positions on copyright law, digital copying and piracy, several critics said.
“This law risks removing all deterrence against piracy,” said Olivia Regnier, who represents record labels as the European regional counsel for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. “If you can download 1,000 films and songs and only face a 38-euro fine, that’s not much of a penalty.”