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Cablegate: France and Ipr - Opportunities for Engagement

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PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #0156/01 0291755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291755Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1821
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 000156

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
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PASS CEA
PASS USTR: ATTN AMB VERONEAU
STATE FOR EB and EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EIPR ETRD PGOV FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE AND IPR - OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT

1. (SBU) Summary: As France prepares for its 2008 EU Presidency,
President Sarkozy is placing a high priority on Intellectual
Property Rights, pushing forward several initiatives that could
influence the global evolution of online IPR. The Olivennes
Commission Report on digital piracy, commissioned by Sarkozy, made a
number of far-reaching recommendations on combatting counterfeiting
and protecting copyrights in the digital marketplace. The French
government continues to be especially attentive to the interplay
between technology and culture and its consequences for France.
France's EU presidency provides an opportunity to ratchet up
engagement with France on our IPR issues. End Summary.

"OLIVENNES" REFORMS
-------------------

2. (U) To address what he called the challenge of the "protection of
cultural works in the new networks of communication," President
Sarkozy in August 2007 appointed Denis Olivennes, CEO of the leading
French entertainment retailer FNAC, to head a committee to meet with
entertainment producers, copyright holders, and Internet service
providers (ISPs). The Committee focused on three areas: fighting
internet piracy, developing a model for legal online purchases of
music and movies, and helping the French entertainment industry to
adapt to the digital marketplace. The Olivennes committee completed
its work at the end of November and issued a series of proposals to
combat internet piracy and stimulate the growth of a legal digital
music and movie market.

3. (U) Olivennes proposed denying internet access to repeat
offenders who illegally download material. The report calls for
the establishment of a new enforcement authority with the authority
to issues alerts, warnings and finally suspend or terminate internet
service for individuals suspected of illegal downloading. This
authority would also have the power to sanction ISPs that fail to
comply with its injunctions. According to Culture Minister
Christine Albanel, over "a billion music and movie files were
illegally shared in France in 2006."

4. (SBU) Olivennes has proven adept at mixing technology and culture
and bringing together disparate constituencies and his report has
received widespread support. Sarkozy welcomed his proposals in a
speech calling for "a civilized internet." The report is under
consideration in the French parliament with a number of the
recommendations, including new "filtering" rules that will impact
ISPs likely to enter into force in 2008 either by decree or new
legislation.

5. (U) Olivennes' recommendations have generated headlines globally,
with media reports terming his report "radical" and "revolutionary."
John Kennedy, head of the association representing the recording
industry worldwide (IFPI), termed the Olivennes report "as the
single most important initiative yet to help win the war on online
piracy." What is unprecedented is Olivennes' success in forging an
agreement between film and music rights holders and technology and
service providers, two groups that have not always seen eye-to-eye
on combating illegal downloads However, the French consumer
organization, "UFC-Que Choisir," has criticized the proposal for
creating a new internet policeman, calling it a threat to civil
liberties.

DRM DEBATE: INTEROPERABILITY AND SOURCE CODES
---------------------------------------------
6. (U) A Technical Measures Regulation Authority (TMRA), created in
April 2007 subsequent to passage of France's Digital Copyright law,
is now in place, though its future role, under any changes that may
flow form the Olivennes report, is not completely clear. The TMRA
was established to regulate issues relating to the "mandated"
interoperability of digital rights management (DRM) systems, as well
as rights to copy original works for private use. It has yet to
hear a single case.

7. (SBU) The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has filed a formal
complaint with the European Commission in Brussels regarding the
French law. According to BSA's complaint, the law, in particular
its potential for mandated interoperability, is inconsistent with
France's obligations under community rules. Specifically, BSA
claims it impedes the free movement of services in contravention of
Article 49 of the EC Treaty and disadvantages the activities of
service providers established outside of France by imposing
restrictions on companies using DRMs that are both unjustified and
disproportionate. BSA also comments that the French law reportedly
has not been formally "notified" to the EC, which contravenes EU
regulations. Apple Inc has filed a similar complaint with the
French State Council, which reviews the legality and
constitutionality of French decrees and legislation. The Council
has not yet taken any action on the complaint.


PARIS 00000156 002 OF 002


8. (SBU) The GOF intends to complete the implementation of the 2006
Digital Copyright Law by issuing a decree related to the potential
requirement of disclosure of source codes to a government authority
(Article 15.) We understand that the draft decree will be
circulated within the French government by the end of February and
then forwarded to the French State Council for approval. The decree
could impose source code disclosure obligations or new testing
requirements on technical protection measures used in DRM software.

The Year Ahead
- - - - - - --
9. (SBU) The next twelve months provide important opportunities to
work with the French in advancing our IPR agenda, both bilaterally
and regarding IPR issues globally. We are making some progress on
France's Digital Copyright law working with the newly established
TMRA ("Autorite de Regulation des Mesures Techniques") and with U.S.
industry to discuss means of protecting against spyware and other
French concerns without requiring the sharing of source codes.

10. (SBU) The French have expressed support for the Trans Atlantic
Economic Council (TEC) and are looking for headline issues to
address during the French EU presidency. Since France will be
hosting an EU-China summit during its Presidency, we should consider
initiating a TEC dialogue on key third country and strategic issues
to include IPR protection and trade.

11. (SBU) The French government remains very interested in the
proposed Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA). It agrees with
U.S. objectives but believes discussions thus far have been too
Brussels-oriented. France also continues to advocate inclusion of
at least a limited number of developing nations in ACTA, as well as
some G-8 input into the process. A more active dialogue with the
French on ACTA could help to ensure that we continue to make
progress on these negotiations during the French EU Presidency.

EMBASSY IPR CONFERENCE
----------------------
12. (SBU) IPR - in particular how it relates to the internet and new
technologies - is a personal interest of President Sarkozy and a
high priority for his government. French initiatives on IPR and the
digital economy have the potential to be precedent-setting globally,
with significant consequences for the U.S. Given strong French
interest in IPR issues, and to encourage further dialogue between
U.S. and French government and business leaders, Embassy Paris is
planning to organize a one-day conference tentatively entitled:
"Counterfeit and Copyright in the Digital Age" in early June 2008.
Embassy Paris will coordinate with relevant Washington agencies and
the Department as we move forward on the conference.

PEKALA

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