I have just returned from a 2 week stay in France and one of the issues causing waves there is the fact that France could be set to allow peer-to-peer sharing of films and music over the Internet - a move that would legalize in the country what is now considered wholesale piracy in virtually every other nation.
The issue has been covered by the UK press including the Telegraph which wrote:
"In a decision that flies in the face of international efforts to crack down on web piracy, the French parliament passed an amendment to permit file-sharing by users willing to pay royalties on top of internet subscriptions.
For a monthly payment of a few pounds, people would be able to download as much material as they wished."
We will have to see whether the law is effectively enforced but the decision is not as mad as it may appear to some.
The fact is that the movie and music studios are losing the war on intellectual property piracy due to the ease with which people can download the material and the difficulty in being traced.
The desperation of the situation was illustrated by the Sony gaffe of sneaking software onto customers computers when they played CDs which had the impact of creating a string of security flaws on the users computers.
Despite facing massive intellectual property piracy, Sony has been cast in the role of the villain.
As a consequence it may just be that France's step may just be the start of something which will happen elsewhere.