Monday, May 23, 2005

FRENCH MAGISTRATES CALL FOR CALM

Looks like the Big Four might not be able to count on a compliant courts in at least one country: President of the French magistrates association Dominique Barella is calling for the decrimilization of personal use trading of copyright items:

"We are in the process of creating a cultural rupture between a younger generation that uses the technologies that companies and societies have made available, such as the iPod, file download software, peer-to-peer networks, etc.," Judge Dominique Barella told Wired News. "It's like condemning people for driving too fast after selling them cars that go 250 kmh."

We suspect the RIAA response to this would be to suggest that the metaphorical cars be crushed, and the roads ploughed up, and the drivers still left to swing from gibbets. Oh, and indeed, the French Entertainment industry has got together to be outraged en masse. They sent a whining letter to the French Minister of Justice, Dominique Perben:

"We are surprised and shocked that the president of the magistrates union, given the level of influence he has on his (judicial) colleagues, can publish in the press a call to not criminally sanction criminal acts, which contradicts the intentions of government bodies," the letter read. The letter also thanked the minister in advance for "taking actions that he deems appropriate."

Hang about... is that Vivendi-Universal et al calling for the executive to interfere in the deliberations of the judiciary? Obviously, that would normally be unthinkable, but, hey, we're taliking about half-a-dozen unsold copies of Finding Nemo on DVD here. Barella, of course, is unrepetant, insisting that efforts would be much better spent on going after counterfeiters. Indeed, Barella suggests that the entertainment industry might be scoring a huge own-goal by heading after twelve year old girls with quarter-full MP3 players:

"The resources of the police and judges are exhausted by these small cases, and do not take care of the large international (counterfeiting) rings."

In other words, every time the music industry spends its own and taxpayer's cash and money pursuing a teenage downloader, there's three blokes happily loading large boxes of hookey David Bowie LPs into the back of a Toyota Camino to flog down the carboot.