Industry groups representing indie and major labels, publishers, retailers and authors, as well as artists, vigorously reacted to the vote yesterday (Dec. 21) of an amendment introducing the new digit

Industry groups representing indie and major labels, publishers, retailers and authors, as well as artists, vigorously reacted to the vote yesterday (Dec. 21) of an amendment introducing the new digital copyright bill for an "optional blanket license" for content on the Internet.

Authors rights society Sacem executive president Bernard Miyet told billboard.biz that the amendement introduced a new "cultural exception in France--a cultural desert."

Speaking to Billboard.biz, Miyet added that "no other country in the world has gone that way. It will be the slow death of French creation because there will no longer be ways to financially sustain it."

Miyet, who was present at a press conference organized today (Dec. 22), said the blanket license opened the door to file-sharing on a massive scale with terrible consequences for musical creation.

"In the end, what will happen is that French-operated [legitimate music online] platforms like virginmega and fnac.com will cease to exist because there will be no way to sustain a business in such conditions," he said.

The amendment was voted yesterday in the lower house of the French Parliament by 30 members to 28, both from the majority and the opposition. It would make legal using file-sharing services for home usage.

"What 20 or so members of Parliament have done is killing two centuries of copyright law," said Denis Olivennes, president of France's biggest retail chain FNAC. He said what was at risk was the development of homegrown talent.

Stephan Bourdoiseau, president of indie labels' body UPFI, said that there was a perception that asking for a blanket licence was an anti-major move, but he warned that if confirmed, the system would impact all labels regardless of their size, but even more so small labels.

"Indies will not be able to pay for the investment in new talent; this is the end of risk-taking," said Bourdoiseau.

Some of France's leading artists have also expressed their opposition to the system. It includes Patricia Kaas, Francis Cabrel, Alain Chamfort, Patrick Bruel, Pascal Obispo and Jean-Jacques Goldman.

Speaking on behalf of publishers, peermusic France MD Bruno Lion said the direct effect of the amendement will be losses of revenues for everyone in the food chain. "I woke up this morning and wondered how many people I would have to let go in my team if this became reality," he said.

The bill was still discussed today. Industry sources suggest that the government will probably re-introduce the bill on Jan. 17 before the lower house of the Parliament. It will then be discussed before the Senate Jan. 23.

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