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A View from Brad King

French Judges Take Stand Against File-Sharing Convictions

Wired News has a story about French judges engaging in a little judicial activism by suspending the sentences of people previously convicted of swapping files over P2P networks. Now, in a widening rift, the powerful president of the French magistrates…

  • May 26, 2005

Wired News has a story about French judges engaging in a little judicial activism by suspending the sentences of people previously convicted of swapping files over P2P networks.

Now, in a widening rift, the powerful president of the French magistrates union has begun to openly advocate decriminalizing online trading in copyrighted works for personal use.

In an amazing (alarming) sense of rationality, one of the magistrates says that new laws must be enacted that can appropriately deal with the protection of intellectual property in the digital age, while also protecting the “weak” (read: cash-strapped) generation of MP3 downloaders who have become the target of multinational corporate lawsuits.

And, if I can add a thought: these corporations are hoping to twist IP laws created in an analog time-period to fit the current digital age. And they are doing this, by and large, through court cases against ill-funded opponents, which makes for, I think, bad law.

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