France about to get worst copyright law in Europe?

France may soon enact the worst copyright law in Europe, sneaking it through in a legislative session scheduled for December 22 and 23.

Europe's equivalent to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a controversial directive called the EUCD. Each EU state is responsible for implementing the minimum set of EUCD restrictions (which are far from minimal!) but each state can exceed the minimum, and the entertainment lobby pushes hard to see to it that they do. They've run amok in France, subverting the lawmaking process with a farcical wish-list of penalties, mandates and software bans.

Copyfighters in France have published a detailed alert in French; what follows is a loose, machine-assisted translation (substantive corrections gladly sought):

* A prohibition on all software that permits transmission [disposition is
unclear without greater context] of copyrighted material that does not
integrate both a watermark and DRM
* A prohibition on marketing or advertising such software
* These prohibitions include legal sanctions<
* DRM mandates for digital radio transmission
* A universal wiretapping system for private communication [This is defined elsewhere as a system to check for, say, music files attached to email messages, and not one that would violate the "secret of private correspondence".]
* Creation of a universal filering system for all ISPs


(Thanks, Paula!) (Thanks to "C" and Kirk for help with translation)

Update: The French Department of Culture has also threatened to ban Free/Open Source Software:

Friday November 18th, 2005, French Department of Culture. SNEP and SCPP have told Free Software authors: "You will be required to change your licenses." SACEM add: "You shall stop publishing free software," and warn they are ready "to sue free software authors who will keep on publishing source code" should the "VU/SACEM/BSA/FA Contents Department"[1] bill proposal pass in the Parliament.

(Thanks, Rob!)

Update 2 Here's a petition against this hijacking of the legislative process (Thanks, Henri!)