French courts ban copyright protection on DVD
Yes this sounds bizarre but at the same time so right, but a French court have decreed that film companies must remove the copyright protection from DVD's as it violates the basic rights of the owner to copy the film for their own purposes.
The decision was actually a reversal of a previous decision which found against the consumer group UFC-Que Chosir who had raised a case against Le Studio Canal and Films Alain Sarde for inadequately labelling discs that were copy protected, and also stopping the DVD's from being copied for private home viewing.
The case was already heard and back in August 2004 a decision was reached and the courts found against UFC-Que Chosir who had taken the case of a private individual who had bought the Mulholland Drive DVD and copied it onto a VHS tape in an attempt to watch it at his mother's house.
Now the appeal has been heard and they've overturned the previous decision. The two studios have been given a month to remove the copy protection and have also been chastised for their labelling of the DVD's which merely had the letters CP on the DVD to explain that they are copy protected. Finally, Alain Sarde and Universal Pictures Video France were told to pay the consumer some 100 Euros in damages, while the same studios and Studio Canal had to pay him another 150 Euros with the consumer protection company receiving 1,500 Euros.
"...directly contradicts the European Copyright Directive."
Well not according to the French courts who think that this contravenes his rights as a private consumer.
This is an incredible ruling that basically says that those who produce DVD's cannot add copy protection that stops a private individual from copying the film for their own private purposes of viewing.
If the studios don't take this case to the next level of courts in France for an appeal, then this could stretch further than this case and this DVD, and more studios could be forced to remove copy protection from their DVD's allowing them to be copied, something that goes against everything the preach, for according to them they are stopping the funding for international terrorism and crime by stopping copy protection.