France set to legalize P2P

A measure to legalize P2P file sharing has passed through France’s lower house amidst a storm of protest from the country’s film, music, and audiovisual industries. If the measure passes through the government’s upper house, France would become the first nation to legalize P2P file sharing during a time in which most Western nations are attempting to reduce its widespread use.

Introduced as a pair of amendments to a bill aimed at toughening the country’s digital copyright laws, the vote passed by 30-28 at around midnight Wednesday night, with a vast majority of the National Assembly’s 577 members absent. The amendments recommend that internet users pay an $8.50 a month royalty fee for unlimited P2P downloading for private use.

France’s top artists and entertainers fervently oppose the bill, threatening to “march to the National Assembly if need be” to stop the bill from becoming a law, according to a spokesperson for audiovisual production union USPA.

I don’t get it, if the bill passes, and more people pay $8.50 dollar per month, the “industry” will gain more money than in the current situation where everyone downloads for free. So what’s the problem? Ah yes, the industry is greedy …

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