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France Could Legalize Piracy Software

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-11

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Not to the get into the intricacies of French lawmaking, I'll defer to a source nearer to it (thanks ZDNet). French lawmakers have modified proposed legislation on digital rights management (DRM) that will make it legal for hackers to crack copyright protection and distribute the software at will.

Though a relaxing of earlier propositions, it is probably still irksome to "the Elvis of French-speaking world" and to music companies, according to Microsoft's ex-pat blogger John Carroll.

The law would legalize format conversion, says Carroll, which would free up copyright protected digital downloads for transfer to any digital media device (i.e., burning to CD or DVD). But also, it would make it legal to write software that bypasses DRM protections and sell it.

"…legalization would also mean companies could legally create such conversion software, introducing the possibility that real capital could be thrown at finding flaws in DRM solutions. Given the motivational power of profit incentives, that could have some effect."

Carroll expresses doubts that the idealism of the measure (allowing consumers to transfer their own purchased media to other devices) will overcome the reality of it.

"For the handful of legitimate reasons to hack the DRM on a song (to enable playback on all your personal devices, as an example), realistically speaking, most uses won't be so legitimate."


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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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