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Stallman: Fight French copyright law in the street

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Legal

Free software campaigner Richard Stallman said French youth should protest against a draft law on copyright that will be voted on Friday.

The bill threatens their freedom to watch DVDs using free software, and is designed to make French citizens submit to the will of media companies, he said, delivering the closing keynote address at the Paris Capitale du Libre conference on Monday night.

Asked what could stop the law, Stallman replied: "Thousands of French youth in the streets."

Stand up or shut up

They don't have long to organise their protests, since Friday is the last day of the parliamentary session before the long summer vacation. Both houses of the French parliament will vote on the bill on that day: the Senate in the morning, the National Assembly in the afternoon. The bill, formally titled "Authors' rights and related rights in an information society," is also known by its French abbreviation DADVSI.

Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation, won over his Paris audience Monday night by addressing them in French.

"I can explain free software in three words: "liberté, égalité and fraternité", he said.

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