An amendment to a copyright bill that would have legalized file sharing in France by collecting a monthly downloading fee from Internet users that would then be paid out to artists, has been withdrawn by the government. The new bill enumerates a nominal monetary fine for illegal downloaders, which still seems much more sensible than the arbitrary lawsuits against file-traders here. The penalties are stiffer for organized criminal groups, while hackers, who show people how to subvert DRM, can still go to jail. A file-sharing tax would have its own problems, but the music industry ought to come up with some alternative way to profit from file sharing, not just attempt to fight it by turning listeners into criminals.
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