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 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.)
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.
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.What do you think? Should open-source software flee France? Are other countries considering similar laws affecting free software?
"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.