French take DRM opposition to the streets
Between 300 and 800 people have taken
part in a rally (translate here)
at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, France to protest a new copyright
bill. The bill, known as DADVSI ("Copyrights and Related Rights in the
Information Society") in France, suggests radical
measures to avoid copyright infringement. One amendment in
particular would make the distribution in any way whatsoever of methods
to allow illegal access to protected works punishable by a €300,000 fine
($381,270) and three years of imprisonment. Detractors, who dubbed this
amendment the "Vivendi Universal amendment" due to alleged lobbying by
the corporation of the same name, claim
the bill would "render the open-source business model virtually illegal."
To illustrate this notion, one
of the protestors wore a striped prison uniform and carried a sign
that said "I played a DVD in Linux." He was chained and held down by
another man with "Vivendi Universal" plastered across his shirt and
Monopoly board game money stuffed in his sleeves. Other protesters held
signs with slogans such as "boycott protected music," "locking down
culture kills," and "error! you do not have read access to this sign."
The rally finished with the protesters laying a
wreath in front of France's Ministry of Culture "in memory of
private copying and free software in France." The French Senate is
expected to debate the bill this week.