Wednesday, May 18, 2005

French Copyrightholders Mail Justice Minister over File-Sharing Remarks Magistrate

In March Dominique Barella, the President of the European Public Service Union for magistrates, published an opinion article in news paper Liberation titled Decriminalize Downloaded Music. He noted that in the current situation "[The sanctions are] not to protect creation, but to protect some CD multinationals". Barella condemned the current prosecution of file-sharers in France in strong words, speaking of a rapture that is being torn between generations, and expressed his preference for technical and economic solutions rather than a penal.

According to Liberation [French] Barella's article made some organisations of copyrightholders more than a little upset. In fact the trade union for the phonographic industry (Snep), the organisation of film producers (ARP) and collective rights organisation SACEM were "extremely surprised and shocked". Apparently they expressed this in an email to the French Minister of Justice, who they thanked in advance for the initiatives he will have take as a consequence.

The Minister hasn't taken any initiatives against Barella over his article, which is "very virulent and offensive to many people" according to the email. The signatories protest that Barella can publish such an article in the press that justifies and encourages file-sharing. Barella is not impressed and keeps to his opinion on the current prosecution of file-sharers, which he thinks harms the credibility of the penal system.

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