Court's Acquit French Movie 'Pirate'

By Jon Newton 3/12/05

In yet another bitter defeat for the Big Seven movie studio cartel, two French courts have confirmed that downloading a movie file for personal use is acceptable.

A man accused of downloading 500 film and music files has been acquitted by the Montpellier Court of Appeals in the south of France, confirming an earlier ruling by a bankruptcy court in Rodez in October last year, says Belgium's Le Vie du Net.

The court said once a work has been made public, it can be copied for personal use.

Jon Newton

The plaintiff admitted lending CDs made from his copies to friends. But this still fell within the concept of ‘personal use,’ the court ruled.

The man’s lawyers argued the CDs had already been bought and paid for before they appeared online.

Unhappy with the bankruptcy court’s decision and siding with the entertainment industry, the French government, , had demanded that the man be fined e5.000, more than $6,730.

The studios' MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) is currently trying to stop movies from appearing online by shutting down BitTorrent sites.

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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