lagadu on 30 Jun 2000 16:15:57 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] FRANCE DID IT

Problems while posting, sorry if crossposting occurs


France did it. The "Liberty of audivisual communication" has been voted on June
It will apply in a few days, after publication in the Official Journal.
AlternB, the famous non-commercial service provider is closed for now. Others
will follow.

It is obvious that this bill of law  will lead to more constraints and trials
than before.
It puts heavy duties on service providers (whether they are commercial or
not),and webmasters
criminalized public expression and dramaticcaly restrains freedom of expression.


Brief summarize :
Art 46-7
- Providers must inform about and provide some filtering tools
Art 46-8
- Providers must proceed to appropriate diligences when asked by a third party
(non identified and whith no special form)
 appropriate diligences have been defined in the discussion of the law as :
check the existence of the illicit content, put the third party and the
author/editor in contact, inform about procedures, make sure that the
complaignant will seize the justice or seize it himself, forbid access to the
illicit content.

This article is particularly ambiguous for the providers as well as for the
persons publishing.
Despite the precision made by mme Tasca saying that (1) forums and chats (no
mention of newsgroups or mailing lists per se)are not concerned by this text, it

is obvious that, archiving beeing equivalent to permanent storage and
publication, there will be (there are already) complaints against such posted
messages on
the pretext they are illicit or prejudicial.

Art 46-9
- providers have to keep and store datas allowing identification and these datas
are protected against other uses than requests from judicial authorities
- providers have to provide technical means to collect identification as defined
in art 46-10.
These datas ARE NOT explicitely protected against commercial uses.

Art 46-10
Physical persons have an obligation of identification before any publication.
They are allowed to use a pseudo or to "publish anonymously" IF they indicate
the name and registered offices of their provider, to whom they will have given
their name, firstname and adress.

Under the pretext of everyone's responsability, which nobody contests and is
enforced by the laws which apply to tne net as well, everyone is considered to
be possibly guilty. The innocence presomption is not respected, the right to
freely express oneself is not respected, the natural anonymity of speach is not

This amendment in its totality and its last article in particular are not
acceptable. We lost a battle, but the war is on.

Collectif Vos Papiers !


BILL OF LAW - text voted on june 28th

 Article 1er

« Clauses relative to on line communication services other than private
correspondance »

 Art. 43-7.- Physical and moral persons, whose activity is to provide access
to on line communication services other than private correspondance, have to, on

one side inform their subscribers about the existence of technical means
allowing to restrain access to certain services or to select them, on the other
side to propose them one of these means.

 Art. 43-8 - Physical and moral persons who handle, freely or commercially,
the direct and permanent storage of signals, texts, images, sounds or messages
of all nature accessible through their services , are responsible at the penal
or civil
level for the content of these services only if :

 - having been seized by a judicial authority, they have not acted promptly to
forbid access to these contents;

 -or having been seized by a third party estimating that the content they host
is illicit or causes him a prejudice, they have not proceeded to the appropriate

diligences (1)

 Art. 43-9.- The providers mentionned in articles  43-7 and
 43-8 have to hold and keep the datas allowing identification any person
having contributed to the creation of a content of the services they are

They also have to provide people who publish an on line communication service
other than private correspondance, technical means allowing them to satisfy to
the identification conditions determined in article  43-10.

The judicial authorities can request communication to the providers  mentioned
in articles 43-7
and  43-8 , the datas mentionned in the first alinea . The clauses of articles
of the penal code apply to the use of these datas.

A state Council decree, taken after advising the Commission nationale
Informatique et Libertés,
defines the datas mentionned in the first alinea and determines the duration and

of their conserving.

 Art. 43 -10.
I.  Persons whose activity is to publish an online communication
service other than private correspondance, have to hold at the disposal of the
public :

 -  if they are physical persons, their name, first name and adress;

 - if they are moral persons, their denomination, or their name, and registered

 -the name of the director or co-director of publication, and eventually, the
name of the editor in the sens of article 93-2 of the law n° 82-652 of july 29
1982 on audiovisual communication.

 -the name or denomination and registered offices of the provider mentionned in
article 43-8.

 II.  Persons non professionnally publishing an online communication service
other than private correspondance are allowed, to protect their anonymity, to
hold at the disposal of the public only the name and
denomination or registered offices of the provider mentionned in article
43-8, with reservation of having communicated him the elements of personnal
identification mentionned in the I of present article.


(1) Precisions in the discussion - june 29th

Catherine Tasca : pretends that the principle of identification would
touch the public expression services - such as chats and forums. it is not the
case : the author of such a contribution is not a publishor, therefore he dos
not have to identify, and the provider just has to to communicate the technical
datas and the mail adress. These services, which don't constitute an activity of

direct and permanent storage, are not targeted in the present text.

One worries also about what a provider has to do when he is directly aware of an

illicit content. Things are very clear. As a citizen, he has to appreciate in
consciousness; as a professionnal, he has to accomplish the appropriate
diligences, which we have already talked about together, and in particular seize

the judicial authority; he does not have to subsitute to it...