Published: Tuesday 31 January 2006

Free Software France

The French National Assembly suddenly reversed its decision to ban all free software by approving a proposal that would make sharing movies and music completely legal. The legislation was passed by a slim majority of 30 in support and 28 against. Many believe the legislation passed because most of the lower house's 577 members were not present. In order for this legislation to become effective, it still needs to pass the upper house, or French Senate.

The amendments come at an added cost of 5 a month for an individual's subscription to the Internet. It's equal to a levy that has plagued recordable media in Canada. Some experts contend it's only fair to offload the cost of music onto the hardware that provides the media in the first place.

The film and music industries are against the proposal. They issued a joint statement describing this as "the expropriation of authors' rights on the Internet" and are calling on the government to look into the matter.

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