France: Warner music ordered to pay fine for DRM use

feedback10k used our news submit to tell us about some breaking news concerning Digital Rights Management coming from France. We know that recently there has been some activity in the area of fair use in this country. Well, here is an uplifting victory for the consumer. Whether this kind of decision for the consumer can survive the long haul, is anyones guess. At any rate, we should find the actions in France interesting to monitor as this situation unfolds!

On January 10th, the Paris District Court ruled against Warner Music’s DRM measures included on the ‘Testify” CD from Phil Collins. The court fined the music company 59,50 euros for the plaintiff’s damages and an additional 5000 euros as a punitive fine. In addition and what is most important to the consumer, is that Warner is now forbidden to use a DRM measure if it prohibits the purchaser from making copies.

This decision is not definitive but it was supported by the famous French Consumer Association ‘UFC-Que Choisir” who will not hesitate to defend it in front of the Court of Appeal, if necessary. And especially since its result is not suprising. It upholds the previous 2005 April 15th decision from the Versailles Court of Appeals about a CD from the French singer Alain Souchon, and the 2005 April 22nd decision from the Paris Court of Appeals about a DVD from the French producer Alain Sarde.

For those living in this part of the world or really any of us interested in the fight for fair use rights and the impact upon them by todays DRM measures, you can read the story in it’s entirety at the Audionautes website. There are also some new measures being considered in February by the French Parliament, concerning P2P file sharing that are detailed in the article as well.

Source: Audionautes