Problematic distribution of P2P clients in France
I don't know if you're aware of the recent adoption in the First
Chamber of a worrisome amendment about distribution of (at least) P2P
clients. This was inserted in a transposition of the EUCD directive :
I'll try to outline the amendment below, but keep in mind that IANAL,
and I am not in any way certified to translate legal text. Here is the
offending bit (Article 12 bis) :
« Sanctions up to 300 000 € and three year imprisonment shall be
required in the following cases :
1° To willingly edit, distribute to the public, or inform the public
about, in any form, a device whose obvious purpose is to permit
unauthorized distribution of protected works
2° To willingly, also through advertising, incite to use of software
mentioned in 1°
These provisions are not applicable to software destined to be used for
collaborative work, for research purposes, or for exchange of files
which are not subjected to copyright-resulting remuneration. »
For french-speaking readers, the draft is here :
Now, since Debian distributes many P2P clients in main, I fear this
could become problematic -- are those to be considered as a device as
mentioned in 1°, or as software used for exchange of unprotected files
as defined in the second paragraph ?
If courts were to go for the first interpretation, my opinion is that
french Debian (and other distributions) mirrors could be endangered.
 Note that this is only the directive, local transpositions may be
much more restrictive
 The French "dispositif" has a broader sense than the English
"device", meaning not only physical devices, but also immaterial ones,
such as software -- that's my understanding.
 Note that 2° says "logiciel" (software), where 1° says "dispositif"
 "droits d'auteur" in french law is more than simple copyright, but
as far as remuneration is concerned, I think the meaning is preserved.
 This draft still has to pass through the second chamber before
becoming applicable law -- there is however little chance that this
article will be removed.
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