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DADVSI

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DADVSI (generally pronounced as dadsi, in English: dah dsee) is the abbreviation of a French "law on authors rights and related rights in the information society"). It is a bill reforming French copyright law, mostly in order to implement the 2001 European directive on copyright (known as EUCD), which in turn implements a 1996 WIPO treaty.

The law, despite being initially dismissed as highly technical and of no concern to the average person, generated considerable controversy when it was examined by the French Parliament, between December 2005 and June 30, 2006, when it was finally voted through by both houses. However, the bill has not yet been signed into law by the President of the Republic, which he will probably do after a constitutional challenge has been resolved.

Most of the bill focuses on the repression of the exchange of copyrighted works over peer-to-peer networks and the criminalizing of the circumvention of digital rights management (DRM) protection measures. Other sections deal with other matters related to copyright, including rights on resale of works of art, copyright for works produced by government employees, exceptions to copyright for education and the handicapped, among other issues.

The law was highly controversial within France for it could significantly hamper free software, and also may significantly restrict the right to make copies of copyrighted works for private use.

Some amendments to the bill, not present in the original version, might require manufacturers to share their proprietary digital music formats with other software developers. Because of this, a controversy arose with Apple Computer and associated US industry groups, who loudly protested in the US press; therefore, the DADVSI bill was sometimes referred to as the iTunes law or iPod law in the English-language press, although the law is not referred to in this way in France.


The first draft of the DADVSI law criminalized peer-to-peer exchanges of copyrighted works (or, more precisely, copyrighted works whose licenses did not allow such exchanges). The case was made in Parliament that millions of French Internet users, especially among the young, currently traded files on computer networks and that it was thus unrealistic to turn them into felons. Since subsequent reading coincided with the examination of a controversial youth workforce clause known as the Contrat première embauche, the opposition argued that the government was at war with the youth.

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