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Schmorgluck writes "Paris' Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the AFPA (an education organization), in a lawsuit against the company Edu4, for the latter's refusal to give the sources of the version of VNC installed on the computers they delivered to the AFPA in an equipment contract, thus violating the GNU General Public Licence.
This is the first lawsuit of this kind in France, and its outcome sets an interesting precedent. Even though France, as a civil law country, doesn't grant as much law-making power to its judge as common law countries do (no strict stare decisis), precedents still play a significant role in how judges interpret the law (if only as references), and may, given sufficient decisions following a common reasoning, lead to something more binding.
By this decision, the court aknowledged (and in doing so somewhat officialized) that the user of copylefted products can actually have a valid case for suing a provider that doesn't comply to the copyleft licence, which means that a copyleft license can actually give rights to users.
Granted, it's only France in this case, and I'd prefer this decision to be made statutory (which is quite difficult to imagine with current French government), but hey, baby steps, right?" Link to Original Source top
Church of Scientology escapes dissolution in Franc
Schmorgluck (1293264) writes "Blunder or manipulation? A change in law aimed at simplifying penal law reguarding legal persons effectively (and irreversibly) prevented the two scientologist organizations prosecuted in France from being dissolved for fraud. The change in law was purpotedly a technical change in law to make it less convoluted without altering the way it works but, as unnoticed by lawmakers, it actually ruled out the option of dissolving a legal person as a sentence for fraud, which was previously possible.
The whole lawsuit went on and then when the prosecutor required dissolution, it's been pointed out it wasn't legally possible, which seemingly no one noticed before. I'm not one to go easily into conspiracy theories, but when Scientology is involved I don't rule it out. This made me think of a remarkable Slashdot article, Next Year's Laws, Now Out In Beta!. This change in law should have been reviewed closely. It hasn't. Well, shit!
And I can't even decide which would be worse: if it's indeed the result of a manipulation, or if it's just a blunder?" Link to Original Source top
The council based its decision on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (no less!), specifically its articles XI (freedom of expression) and IX (presumtion of innocence), to state that only a judge, after due process, could impose the cutting of an Internet connection, while the law granted this power to an administrative entity with no actual status of judicial authority."