Sandrine Rouja, Une deuxième loi "création et internet" pour juillet, versant pénal (25 June 2009)
Le Sénat adopte le projet de loi HADOPI 2 (Juriscom. 9 July 2009)
for the details (in French) on the French Senate website: http://www.senat.fr/dossierleg/pjl08-498.html
The bill has now been approved by Senate. Two main measures: one against the person pirating with the already existing 3 years prison and 300.000 euros fine, but with the additional sentence of forbidden access to the internet; the second measure is against the person who would not have secured her/his connexion once warned that his/her IP address was used for pirating, under the basis of "characterised negligence". The latter offence would be a misdemeanour.
The procedure remains that of the "ordonnance penale" thus an expeditive procedure used for mass offences (contentieux de masse) like driving offences. On that see Masnik's view from the US:
On the general debate on intellectual property and whether the rules should be changed, a.k.a. created products should be available for free, Pierre-Yves Gautier, French Professor at Paris-Assas, was interviewed on 1st July 2009 in the (left-wing) newspaper Liberation. He notes the sociological phenomenom of illegal downloading and criticises the idea that intellectual property is not equivalent to property or is a sub-class of property not worthy of protection, and that their owners/inventors should beg to make a living out of it.
La propriété intellectuelle, un sous-droit (1st July 2009)
I feel it is a very simplified view of the matter, given that the people really opposing piracy are mostly linked with Hollywood and that artists like the Monthy Pythons chose a different route. For my own work, as an academic, I don't like the fact that my articles are not freely available once I published them. Frankly the publisher nowadays does not do much: I am the one typing the article, reviewing all references and proof-reading at least twice (publisher only once). The peer-review is done free of charge for the publisher who rarely pays the reviewers. And the cost of printing is becoming inexistent as most journals are available online or only online. yes there is all the coordination stuff; by experience, I know how time-consuming it can be. But worst of all if the argument of IP is that creators should get their share of the money, well: I am not paid a single bit of a penny to publish. Arguably, as an academic I am paid by the University which employs me, but I am certainly not paid per article, and publishing is just one out of three jobs I am supposed to fulfill. So why should my work not be freely available?