French Copyright Bill Moves Forward, With A Little Less Teeth
from the politics-makes-the-world-go-round dept
The controversial proposal in France that would have forced content providers to make their DRM technologies interoperable and allow consumers to play back their legally purchased content on any device. Predictably, the entertainment industry said zut alors!, and accused France of state-sponsored piracy. The bill has now been approved in the French senate — though much of the more controversial language has been toned down. However, it still reduces the penalties for piracy to the level of a traffic offense, and requires companies to turn over technical information on their DRM to a government agency, which will ensure interoperability and set terms for digital content, such as how many times it can be copied. As part of all the doomsday talk coming from entertainment companies, the IFPI, the global equivalent of the RIAA, complains that the French have removed any deterrence from piracy, and they’re right — in that they’ve removed legal deterrence. Now it’s up the the IFPI’s members and the rest of the entertainment industry to come up with a competitive deterrent to piracy, to create products and services people would rather pay for than resort to illegal free content. They like to fall back on the saying “you can’t compete with free,” but it’s not an issue of can’t, they simply won’t bother. After all, it’s far easier to lobby for stricter copyright laws and higher penalties than it is to actually come up with some new products and ideas that their customers will pay for.