Hefty fine for French teacher's music downloads

3rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

CERGY, France, Feb 2 (AFP) - A schoolteacher was Wednesday fined EUR 10,200 (USD 13,300) for uploading and downloading music on the Internet in France's first big case designed to deter other peer-to-peer pirates.

CERGY, France, Feb 2 (AFP) - A schoolteacher was Wednesday fined EUR 10,200 (USD 13,300) for uploading and downloading music on the Internet in France's first big case designed to deter other peer-to-peer pirates.

The 28-year-old teacher was ordered by a court in the Paris suburb of Pontoise to pay the money to copyright companies after being found guilty of illegally transferred 30 gigabytes of music files - the equivalent of around 10,000 songs, or 614 albums.

The fine was less than half the EUR 28,400 the companies had demanded.

The teacher also had his computer confiscated and ordered to take out advertisements in two newspapers to publicise the verdict.

Prosecutors said the teacher had been arrested because he had been one of the biggest uploaders of music online in France.

The judgement came the eve of an appeal by 70 musicians, academics and politicians calling for an end to legal action against individuals who download for their own use.

"Like at least eight million other French people, we have also downloaded music online and are thus part of a growing number of 'criminals'. We ask that these absurd lawsuits stop," the petition, to be published in the Nouvel Observateur newsmagazine Thursday, said.

It suggested the government, music companies, artists and consumer groups get together to strengthen copyright on musical works and work out "fair" ways to adapt the changes wrought by Internet.

France's music industry has since last year adopted the tactics of their US counterparts in going after downloaders and making an example of them.

Those caught risk up to three years in jail and a EUR 300,000 fine.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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