Saturday, 24 January 2009

A Mission To Promote ‘Legal’ Dissemination Of Works On 'Web 2.0'

Press release, French Prime Minister, 20 January 2009

The French Government commissioned Professor Pierre Sirinelli (University of Paris Sorbonne) to prepare a report on the promotion of cultural works on the web 2.0 while complying with intellectual property rights.

The public uses certain services on the “Web 2.0”, in particular community websites such as YouTube, to illegally broadcast or reproduce audiovisual works and music. However, the Government points out that these services can also be a good opportunity for the dissemination of creative works on the internet, provided that the rights of artists are respected. The report will seek practical solutions against abuse, which should be done in discussion with the cinema, music, audiovisual and internet industries.

The report will cover possible avenues: in particular a charter to be signed by the web 2.0 protagonists, under which they would undertake to choose efficient digital marking technologies and apply them for general use in the medium-term.

The report will also study the technical, financial and legal conditions necessary to create a national registry of protected works, which would be used by right owners to register their works. This would oblige the hosting providers to act in accordance with the data collected.

This could in time reinforce the liability of the hosting providers with respect to the registered works. For the time being, Article 6-I-2 of the French Act on Confidence in the Digital Environment provides for a limitation of the liability of the providers, where the providers are not “aware” of the illegal nature of the activity or content.

An intermediary report is due on 30 April 2009, and the final report on 30 June 2009.