French Court Rules in Favor of Downloader


A French Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a student — sued by the movie industry — who downloaded copyrighted movies from the Internet, burned them onto CD ROMs, and watched them with one or two friends. (The student admitted that one third of the content of his 488 CDs-collection was downloaded from the Internet.)
The Montpellier Court applied a provision of the French Intellectual Property Act, which, in essence, states that authors, once a work has been released, may not prohibit private and non-commercial performances carried out within the family circle, and cannot control the making of copies for strictly private use of the copier and not intended for collective use. [Thanks to C�dric Manara for the pointer and the translation via cyberlaw list.]

As far as I can tell, there was no circumvention of technological protection measures involved. In any event, a case to be included in a potential update of this report.

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