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.

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