French Copyright Law Victory to the Movie Industry

Paris Studio Canal and Universal Pictures have won a significant legal fight in the war against DVD copying, and the legal right to use technology to prevent such actions.

A Gallic customer tried to sue Studio Canal and Universal under French copyright law, saying it was his legal right to make a copy of his DVD, “Mulholland Drive,” for private storage. Tuesday, the Supreme Court of France found in favour of the industry, saying copyright law would not allow for the DVD to be copied against the wishes of the movie industry.

Gallic “Consumer Organizations,” attacked the ruling, claiming it was a major defeat in France over consumer freedom.

Minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres will go to French Parliament next week looking to get legistlation approved allowing the industry and crime-fighting forces to crack down on illegal, copyright infringing, downloading of media from the Internet.

Similar legistlation was sent in December, where a range of members of the French Parliament said they would support an amendment to the copyright act which would allow users to pay a fixed fee to legally download any material they want.

In the United States, software such as the immensely popular CloneDVD (previously named DVD X Copy), which allows users to break the DVD encryption mechanisms and copy DVDs for backup purposes, may be ruled legal under the potential amendment to the DMCA which would allow copyright encryption to be broken for non-copyright infringing manners.

You may view the current DMCA at the Library of Congress (see section 1201 for the part that the amendment would adjust), and review or purchase CloneDVD for DVD backup purposes.

See BetaDot’s article on Ripping Copy Protected DVDs to your Computer.

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Copyright is the “hot topic” of the year in this tech. market. A French ruling leaves consumer groups in dismay.

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