The parliamentary debate on France's controversial copyright bill will resume at the lower house of the Parliament during the first half of March.

The parliamentary debate on France's controversial copyright bill will resume at the lower house of the Parliament during the first half of March.

Speaking yesterday (Feb. 12) to Paris-based radio station Radio J, French minister of culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said the bill is likely to be presented "probably between March 7 and 10."

According to Donnedieu de Vabres, the government made all necessary clarifications on the bill to be submitted to vote. "My goal is to give birth to a new legal online offer of music and movies," he stated, "allowing artists to be remunerated and providing users with the best access flexibility, with models based on subscription, a la carte, package deals, etc."

Donnedieu de Vabres also confirmed the launch on Feb. 22 of a new Web site Lestelechargements.com aimed at favoring discussions between artists and the public about the download issue. Around 40 artists have already agreed to contribute to this initiative, which is supposed to exist at least until the final adoption of the bill. The site is designed by Paris-based communication agency Publicis.

This initiative comes after several voices criticized the lack of communication from the ministry of culture while preparing the copyright bill. The bill's discussion and subsequent vote at the parliament was suspended on Dec. 22 after two amendments opening the door to the legalization of file-sharing were adopted.

Since then, discussions and lobbying efforts have been fierce in France. In an article published Feb. 11 in national newspaper Libération, socialist member of parliament and former minister of finances Dominique Strauss-Kahn advocated a paid P2P model based on the traceability of works.

He said the compulsory license, for which users would be able to download as many tracks for a flat fee, was not a solution. He claimed that it was possible to set up a system by which users would paying for each download of a copyrighted song through their ISP.

Considering the high volumes of downloads monitored on P2P networks, Strauss Kahn suggested a price per download of "probably less than €0.10 ($0.19)."

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