It's always interesting to see how news stories spread these days. These days, it seems like there's a competition to see which stories show up first on Digg or Slashdot, and then seeing how the stories live on after that. But what happens when both sites get the same story wrong? It looks like that happened today. Both Digg and Slashdot have headlines claiming that the French government is looking to ban free or open source software (and, yes, they are different things). Both are pointing to a press release that is poorly worded and difficult to understand. It seems likely that it may have something to do with translation issues between French and English, but as commenters on both Digg and Slashdot pointed out, looking through the source material, it looks like it's really a law banning circumvention of copy protection -- like a French version of the DMCA. It may also be trying to ban "open source" file sharing software that is used to infringe on copyrights. That may be worth complaining about, but it's a different issue. So, now, it will be interesting to see how this story spreads. Will other sites pick up on the story, or will they pick up on the fact that the story doesn't appear to be correct?
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