Christine Treguier on Mon, 27 Mar 2000 02:21:41 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] News from France

> Last year, the french internauts went into actions to defend AlternB

> and Valentin Lacambre who was sued for different web sites hosted on

> his machines.
> An amendment of the audiovisual law proposed by PS deputy Patrick
> Bloche, saying that providers were not responsible for the contents
> place of the authors, finally stopped the judiciary harassment.
> This audiovisual law is under discussion again since december.
> On january 19 the senate rewrote Bloche amendment (Art 43-6-4),
> emptying it from its substance. Senators decided  that the hosting
> server should  give the authors' identities to ANY interested party
> asking for it. If not,  they would risk 50 000F and a 6 months jail
> penalty.
> On march 22, the law went in second lecture before the national
> assembly which added another chapter to the story.
> -----
> The new proposed Art 43-6-4 says : On line services other than
> correspondance,are submitted to an obligation of identification
> can direct or undirect. Every person whose activity is to publish an

> online service other than private correspondance has to make
> available the following elements :
>     - if not a moral personnality, the name, second name, and adress

> of the physical persons owners or co-owners (of the datas)
>     - if a moral personnality, its denomination and registered
>     - the name of the publishing director or editor in chief.
> Every person who is not professionnaly publishing, can make publicly

> available only their pseudo and the name of the provider in charge
> hosting theirs datas. In that case, they must therefore communicate
> the above mentionned  identity elements to the provider.
> The fact of mentionning false informations is punished with a 50
> fine and 6 months jail penalty.
> Moral entities can be declared legally responsible under the
> conditions of article 121-2 of penal code related to the crime
> presently defined.
> -----
> Penalties are then defined by artcile 131-38  - which says the fine
> for a moral entity can be multiply by 5 ( =250 000F)
> and 131-39 - which says definite interdiction of professionnal
> activities for a maximum of 5 years, definite closing of the
> responsible service, and publication of the sentence in the media.
> Considering that if the identity of the author is not clearly
> established by the authors themselves, and not available on request
> the hosting service, the responsabilty is put on the hosting service

> and the last sentences can be applied.
> Before this law is applicable that is in less than one month, there
> will be a second lecture at Senate and a last lecture and vote at
> assembly.
>This law if passed, will have very perverse side effects :

> free, non commercial hosting services  will be under increased
> financial and judicial pressure, and might just decide to close.
> Independant web-publishers and webmasters will be under increased
> financial and judicial pressure, and might decide to give up

>Depending on what is meant by "private correspondance", fora, IRC,
mailing >lists and newsgroups administrators will be under
increased financial and >judicial pressure, and might decide to give
> Individual citizens will be under increased financial and judicial
> pressure, and might decide to shut up.
> The right to free expression,defined by article 11 of the
> of Human Rights, and Article 12 of Universal Declaration of Human
> Rights, will be severely in danger.
> Public expression would be considered as an implicit "trouble to
> public order" and therefore repressed.
> Instead of beeing, according to our fundamental rights, innocent
> (until proven guilty) and responsible citizens, we  would be taken
> de facto non-responsible and guilty citizens
> Seems to be time for "insurgency".
> For more informations :
> the january 19 Senate text and debate
> the march 22 national assembly text and debates
> thread on Slashdot
> Write to the french Prime Minister
> French Associations for free-expression and free Internet
> 6 IRIS
>"> Coordination permanente des Medias
> - ISOC
> Any input is welcome, the more this story gets known in and
> outside France,  the quicker we'll be out of this mess.

PS : The minister responsible for this law is likely to be changed
this week. Let's hope...

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