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News: Laws affecting open source adoption?

  1. Laws affecting open source adoption? (7 messages)

    According to various IDG news sites (including MacWorld.com), France's government is considering a bill that would punish software that was "manifestly intended" for the unauthorized use of copyrighted works. Open source proponents say that the language of the bill is too broadly worded, and might have unintended consequences for other projects as well - including such projects as the Apache web server.

    According to the MacWorld article:
    France has been a strong supporter of open-source software, with many publicly funded bodies either using it or developing it. Legislation that punishes development and distribution of open-source applications could weaken projects based there, and tarnish the image of the open-source movement with users.

    The text of the bill, entitled "Authors' rights and related rights in an information society," aims to transpose the requirements of the European Copyright Directive into French law. France is one of the last countries to transpose this European directive into national law, a situation that prompted the French government to rush the bill through its first reading in the National Assembly using emergency procedures. The bill will have its second and final reading in the Senate beginning May 4, and then must be approved by the president and finally published in the government's Official Journal before it can become law.
    The ObjectWeb project, which hosts such products as JoNaS and the Celtix ESB, is based in France, and might be directly affected if the projects are considered to be "manifestly intended" for the distribution of copyrighted works. While this conclusion is not likely from casual observation, law isn't always subjective, and might affect these projects nonetheless. (It's also unclear how ObjectWeb might be affected despite such a reading, because it has various state schools as majour sponsors, therefore France's government itself might be participating in the distribution of potentially illegal software.)

    Open-source supporters have created "reserves" for the hosting of open-source projects in France in preparation for the bill's passage. As the source article says:
    ...the campaigners have also placed the Linux kernel and the Web server Apache in the reserve, a move which they hope demonstrates how ridiculous the bill’s provisions could be.

    "The Linux kernel contains a component necessary for any exchange over the Internet: the TCP/IP stack. All the pirates utilize TCP/IP, and can't commit their illegal acts without this component. Are French publishers distributing the Linux kernel targeted by Article 12bis of the bill? Maybe, maybe not. We just don’t know," the reserve’s creators write, explaining its inclusion.
    What do you think? Should open-source software flee France? Are other countries considering similar laws affecting free software?

    Threaded Messages (7)

  2. Good idea[ Go to top ]

    So France is considering an alternative method of dealing with the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. Given that nobody is really satisfied with the various approaches in the US at this point, this seems like a good idea.

    It's probably best to worry about this problem when and if it actually become a problem. It will take a while to find a good way of dealing with piracy but we will all live throught the missteps ;-)

    Nobody involved cares about open source, Apache, or the Linux kernel - and there is, of course, no such thing as 'THE' TCP/IP stack. The particular open-source software chozzballs mentioned in this article are free to leave France and try to get publicity elsewhere if the dimensions of this crisis are overwhelming to them.
  3. Fight it, of course.[ Go to top ]

    http://eucd.info/

    http://www.fsf.org/news/dadvsi-letter.html

    cheers,
    dalibor topic
  4. Zoot alor. Let them eat Microsoft!
  5. Zoot alor.
    Zut alors! :)
  6. Huh ?[ Go to top ]

    What's zut you are saying ?
  7. Corporight[ Go to top ]

    I think they refer to "corporight", the monopoly and income managed by some commercial entity for years after the creator's death, not "copyright", which was a limited (16 years?) monopoly, renewable once for a short period.

    Copyright hasn't existed for years now.
  8. Politicians[ Go to top ]

    Like many countries, France doesnt escape the rule :
    Its politicians behave like morons