Christine Treguier on Thu, 6 Apr 2000 11:02:03 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] France - Burn the e-books ?


Reminder :
On march 22, the audiovisuel law, including an internet chapter, went
in second lecture before the national assembly. The resulting modified
articles state :
----- Art 43-6-4  : On line services other than private
correspondance,are submitted to an obligation of identification which
can be direct or undirect, wheter they are published by an individual
or a moral personality. The penalty goes from 6 months jail and 50
000F to the closing of the service and interdiction of activity for a
moral person. Identities have to be collected by  hosting services or
by  third parties.
If there are no ID datas available, the hosting service or third party
will be held responsible, and a 6 months jail and 50 000F penalty will
If the ID datas are false, the author/publisher will be held
responsible, and penalty applied

----Art 43-6-2 : The hosting service are submitted to an obligation to
proceed to the "appropriate diligencies" on any request after a simple
That is to close the "incriminated" pages or suppress the litigious
content. The law says that the judge is ultimately responsable for
declaraing the content licit or illicit. (this point is very unclear)

Apart from the obvious banning of anonymity for web authors and
publishers, and a severe restriction of freedom of expression on the
web in general, this law turns the hsoting services into police
auxiliaries. The fact that they can legally collect datas that are
submitted to penalties raises questions.
The fact that one has to give his identity before speaking and before
there is a proved trouble to public order is also questionnable.

What's going on now :
After the change of governement, the minister in charge of this law
will be Mr Chritian Paul, already in charge of the consultation for an
information society law based on auto-regulation.
A mixed commission (Senate/assembly) should gather to homogenise the
texts before the vote, which will happen before the end of the
parliementary session, in june this year.
Internet associations have published communiques against this law
project. But we have to say there is a poor consensus, or let's say a
majority consensus in favor of a priori identification. Under the
usual arguments "why protect yourself if you have nothing to hide".
All people with juridic competences, in France AND abroad,  should
scrutinize these texts and find out ways to overcome them.

We are very worried about the situation considering that :
- France is going to take the presidence of the EU commssion and seems
to be eager to take a leader's position on Internet policy
- there are serious cases of liberty infringement in other european
- England has proposed the RIP (obligation to give your encryption
keyson request of a judge) and has come with a bad jurisprudence on a
newgroup case.
- Belgium, relying on a french jurisprudence of "non prescription on
internet content" obtained in appeal court against artist JL Costes,
tries to condemn supposedly diffamatory words written in a newsgroup.
- USA, which is bound by a strong first article,  is wanting to
install a systematic surveillance system for all internet traffic and
has asked the top ten providers to evaluate the cost of the necessary

The question is : DO THEY WANT TO BURN THE BOOKS AGAIN, in order to
keep the Net safe and clean for kids, families and e-grocerers ?
The zero-politically-incorrect-content operation seem to have started
It is time for insurgency. Unless we all live for Croatan ?

Useful links: CPML    IRIS – ISOC France AFA
texts and debates -19 janvier au Sénat
texts and  debates - 22 mars à l’assemblée

discussion on Slashdot

French press

write to the gouvernement

English affairs  (français)  (anglais)
The Observer ( seulement si vous acceptez leur cookie),3879,145935,00.html

Transfert (français) (anglais)

Rip Information Center de la Foundation for Information Policy

Diffamation: une société internet accepte de payer 397.000 euros

AFFAIRE COSTES + BELGIQUE (encore plus grave car ça touche les
Références :
Le texte de la décision est disponible sur le site du défendeur :
A lire sur :
Alexandre Braun, "Prescription des infractions commises sur Internet:
impunité qui ne dit pas son nom ?",, mars 1999,
Alexandre Braun, "Les infractions de presse commises sur Internet
un caractère continu",, janvier 2000,
Sur le site de Sébastien Canevet ( :
L'arrêt de la Cour d'appel de Paris dans l'affaire Costes :

Nettime-bold mailing list